Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones have made statements on Twitter about Grammy-winning music icon Prince, who died at his home in Chanhassen, Minn., on April 21, 2016. The Associated Press and other media outlets confirmed the death. Prince (whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson) was 57. The cause of Prince’s death is to be determined by a medical examiner. An autopsy was scheduled to take place on April 22, 2016.
Jagger tweeted: “I am so saddened. Prince was a revolutionary artist, a wonderful musician and composer. He was an original lyricist and a startling guitar player. His talent was limitless. He was one of the most unique and exciting artists of the last 30 years.”
Wood tweeted: “I will miss a good friend who was so talented. He was such a great performer/guitar player. Sleep well Prince.” Wood also posted a photo from 1986 of him performing on stage with Prince when Wood was a guest at one of Prince’s concerts.
Prince was an opening act on the Rolling Stones’ 1981 North American tour (when the tour played two shows in Los Angeles), but during the first show, before he could finish his set, he was booed off the stage by audience members who did not appreciate his musical talent and might have been turned off by his androgynous image. A humiliated Prince reportedly wanted to cancel his appearance for the second show, but guitarist Dez Dickerson (who was in Prince’s band at the time), Steve Fargnoli (who Prince’s manager at the time) and Jagger convinced Prince to do the second show. Prince was still booed by much the audience, but at least he finished his set for the second concert. Although Prince was a popular R&B artist at the time, he had not yet broken through to a mainstream pop audience. That would happen with his 1982 album, 1999, which included hits such as “Little Red Corvette” and the title track. Prince reached superstar status with his 1984 album Purple Rain, the soundtrack to the semi-autobiographical movie in which he starred. The movie and soundtrack were major hits and earned him several awards, include an Oscar (for best original song score) and two Grammys.
Jagger was an early champion of Prince and was the driving force in having Prince as an opening act for the Rolling Stones in 1981, at a time when black artists were rarely played on MTV. Prince was a prolific songwriter and musician who collaborated with many artists. Although it’s unlikely that he would have recorded with the Rolling Stones, it would have been interesting if he ended up working with Jagger on one of Jagger’s solo projects. Prince’s last concert was in Atlanta on April 14, 2016. Prince’s last public appearance was when he hosted a dance party for his fans on April 16, 2016, at his Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen.
April 22, 2016 update: Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards tweeted this statement about Prince: “A unique talent. A true original. So sad, so sudden and, I will add, a great guitar player. We are all going to miss him.”