One of music’s greatest living legends has passed away April 20, 1016. It all began with a death investigation at Prince’s recording studio in Minnesota. The Associated Press confirmed Thursday afternoon it was in face the legendary singer. Many millennials may not be familiar with the artist but his music has been sampled and duplicated by some of the most popular artist of this decade. What Prince Rogers Nelson has done for music will be forever acknowledged and honored by all those he inspired.
It was announced earlier in the week he was suffering from an ailment but a spokesperson had confirmed to CNN that he was doing alright.
According to Celebrity Net Worth he is worth over $300 million. Prince has sold over 100 million records worldwide, including 48.9 million certified units in the United States, and over 10 million records in the United Kingdom. Prince has been ranked as the 21st most successful act of all time, the 26th most successful chart artist worldwide, including 27 overall number-one entries, and being the most successful chart act of the 1980s, and tenth most successful chart act of the 1990s. Most recently Billboard took the difficult and tumultuous task of ranking his 40 biggest hits. Throughout his long and admirable career he has put a lot of artist on. Sheila E, his former drummer went on to release number 1 singles of her own including “Glamorous Life.” Including Apollonia, who passed away earlier in 2016.
One of his biggest musical achievements was the film and soundtrack Purple Rain. The soundtrack’s theme song garnered Prince an Oscar award and several Grammys. All of his success started when he was just 19 years old producing his debut album under Warner Bros studios. He was the youngest music producer in history signed to a label. According to a biography written by Alan Light entitled “Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and The Making of Purple Rain” It was his demo tape that garnered the attention of Minneapolis businessman Owen Husney. Husney had cultivated his image and marketed him as part of a package to get his demo noticed. It definitely worked and Warner Bros gave him an unprecedented 3 album deal which gave him full creative control of the music and album covers.
He released his final album exclusively through Jay-Z streaming music service Tidal. HitnRun: Phase One was his most collaborative album in his career.
Prince continued to be a huge influence among American culture. In 2015 he released a song in protest to the death of Baltimore teen Freddie Gray. The song was inspired by his death at the hands of police who are under trial for his murder. There has been an outcry in America for years against police brutality in Black communities and and the justice system’s tough and strict enforcement on black criminals even for nonviolent offenses.
The protest song was recorded April 30th at Paisley Park Studios with Prince playing all the instruments. The second verse of the record was the most notable for the lines
“Does anybody hear us pray? / For Michael Brown or Freddie Gray / Peace is more than the absence of war.”
He was also known for his fashion sense. His androgyny mixed with his “I don’t care” attitude made him a true fashion icon. From his earliest days in the public eye back in the ’70s, Prince has awed his audience with his dynamic, vivid fashion sense and his dizzying array of looks. Always iconoclastic, never dull.