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Prince, actress Kimberly Elise invited to join Motion Picture Academy

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When next year's Oscar winners say, "I'd like to thank the Academy," they'll be thanking two new Academy members from Minnesota.

Variety reports that Minneapolis natives Prince and actress Kimberly Elise were among the 276 artists asked to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Friday.

Elise is joining the actor's branch of the Academy, while Prince is joining the music branch.

Elise, 46, has starred in such films as "Beloved," "The Manchurian Candidate," "For Colored Girls" and "John Q."

The Hollywood Reporter counts Prince as No. 1 on its list of the "Academy's 5 Most Surprising New Members," mainly because of his movie awards-filled history including the Oscar he won for Best Music, Original Song Score for "Purple Rain" in 1985.

Prince's movie music work includes the soundtrack for Tim Burton's "Batman" in 1989 and the single "Song of the Heart" for "Happy Feet," which won Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 2007.

Academy president Howard Koch told THR that the delay in inviting Prince, 55, was due to the fact that he simply wasn't asked to join until this year.

This year's additions bring the Academy membership up to more than 6,000.

Other invitees to the Academy this year include actors Jason Bateman, Lucy Liu, Jennifer Lopez and Danny Trejo, and directors Catherine Hardwicke ("Twilight") and Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids," "The Heat").

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