The popular pop music superstar Prince has passed away at the age of 57 at his home today, Thursday April 21, 2016. This has been confirmed by his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure.
His private jet had to make an emergency landing on April 15th in Illinois. Being the performer that he is, Prince appeared at a concert the next day and assured his fans that it was just the flu. The pop music singer/songwriter, arranger, writer and musician was best known for the music singles “Little Red Corvette”, “When Doves Cry”, “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy”. His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, jazz and pop.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis and stood only 5 feet, 2 inches tall but had giant size voice and style all his own when commanding a stage. He modeled himself after the popular Jimi Hendrix and his flamboyant style. Prince’s wardrobe helped create a certain flair when it came to being on the stage. But he was a fierce protector when it came to battling his material and his name with his record company Warner Bros. Prince fought hard to keep control over his music and his name. At one point in his career, he wrote “slave” on his face to protest his rights in not owning his music.
In 1982, Prince became an international name with his album “1999”. This album produced a number of music singles for the entertainer. The songs: “1999”, “Little Red Corvette”, “Delirious”, ”Automatic”, “Free”, “All The Critics Love U in New York” all were on the Billboards Top 100 music chart. Prince went on to sell over 100 million records during his career and won an Academy Award for Best Original Son Score for Purple Rain in 1985. He was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and performed an amazing version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” to close the ceremony.
Married twice, the first time to his backup dancer Mayte Garcia but that ended in 2000. He then married Manuela Testolini and that ended in 2006.
Prince went on to write hit songs for Sinead O’Connor – “Nothing Compares 2 U”, Cindy Lauper’s “When You Were Mine” and for the Bangles – “Maniac Monday”. He also toured right up until his death. He released four albums in the past 18 months and two appeared on the Tidal streaming service last year. Prince was on tour with his “Piano and a Microphone” tour and just appeared in Atlanta last week in a stripped down show that featured a mix of hits and some B-sides from his extensive library.
Fans are now gathering outside his music studio, Paisley Park and are paying their respects to the great entertainer. His music studio proudly displays the purple motorcycle he rode in the 1984 movie Purple Rain as well as his gold records are lined along the walls.
The publishing company Spiegel & Grau had teamed with Prince and were in the process of writing his memoir “The Beautiful Ones”. The book was expected to be out in the fall of 2017. There is no word yet on what the status of the book. But Prince’s dream was to take the readers on a poetic journey of his life and creative work. The book was to include stories about his music, the family that shaped him and the people he had met along the way. The readers were going to get a glimpse of places and people that inspired him and his creative imagination.
His music and memories will live in all of us. Prince’s flair for music and his passion to deliver it will be missed. There are no details yet as to the funeral services for this legendary entertainer. May he forever RIP.