Prince, one of the biggest luminaries in all of music history, was found dead this morning at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota, according to TMZ and confirmed by the AP through the musician’s publicist. He was 57. There’s no confirmation of cause of death at this time.
It was reported last week that Prince’s private jet made an emergency landing in Illinois, where the musician was then admitted to the hospital, but he then continued his concert tour the following day, with reports that he been sick with the flu, but recovering
Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, MN, the mononymous performer who was able to deftly, soulfully, and incredibly parlay a wide amalgam of sounds and styles into a kind of funk/R&B/rock fusion that continues to dazzle the globe.
For an entire generation of people in the 1980s, only Michael Jackson may have been a more important figure than Prince in terms of creativity and constant unbridled passion in every approach he took to his art. But make no mistake, Prince dominated the 1980s in a way like no other. He was a titan of guitar, one of the most underrated of all time, and was able to play sounds which reminded one of Jimi Hendrix and Funkadelic, with Sly and the Family Stone mixed in, but unmistakably his own. With his wild garish costumes, a control over his music akin to people like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye — both influences and then side-by-side legends once he staked his own territory — the larger than life performer remained a true enigma, yet 100 percent accessible to the masses of fans, which spread genres and conventions.
There wasn’t a soul alive during the mid 1980s who hadn’t owned, spun, or enjoyed the Purple Rain album, a soundtrack to a film he won an Academy Award for, and a soundtrack that spawned pop masterpieces like the title track and “When Doves Cry,” an irresistible slice of music that was remains a masterpiece of its zeitgeist. Other classics like “1999” still also remain high as not only party anthem staples, but also well crafted artistic sonic pieces of the genre.
In recent years the musician, like many artists of his and further back generations, coasted on his past laurels to fans globally, while still reaching creative heights with challenging new releases. But Prince, who even changed his name to a symbol for awhile to much-ado-about-nothing-really ballyhoo in the 1990s, always remained in the center and on the pulse, and was a true American musical legend in every sense of the word, and will be missed terribly by musicians of all stripes and fans on all four corners of the globe.
Like David Bowie, this is another death that hits home like a sledgehammer, and not just because the stunning suddenness of it. Conflicting stories that surfaced early had made this story possibly appear to be a hoax, but as this article went to press, the AP confirmed the tragic passing of another true wizard, another star that even though he shone alone his own musical galaxy, it was as bright as the most luminescent star that could ever have been created. A farewell to Prince, a true American legend, and the best way to respect his titan-sized legend would be to play his music all day, every day, just like most of us always have been anyhow and always will.
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016
BREAKING: Publicist: Pop music superstar Prince has died at his home in suburban Minneapolis.
Prince Performs “Purple Rain” During Downpour Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show A tribute to a legend that has passed too soon, take a look back at Prince’s Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show through a rain and wind storm.