Prince Passes Away, Aged 57
Legendary pop icon and musical innovator Prince has passed away, aged 57. The news was announced from the Carver County Sheriffs Office and comes after reports of his hospitalisation last week due to flu-like symptoms and suspicion of complications from pneumonia. However, no official cause of death has been declared. Prince’s passing is yet another devastating blow to the world, it seems like 2016 just keeps on getting heavier.
The bold and brilliant Prince made his mark on the world with his genre fusion, androgynous style, and chameleon nature. A true entertainer, Prince is one of the biggest selling artists of all time with a slew of hits including Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, and Kiss.
Often cited as rewriting the book when it came to what was deemed acceptable, Prince was no stranger to pushing the boundaries. Even in terms of his name, over the span of his career his name changed from Prince, to an unpronounceable ‘symbol of love’, to The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, and back to just Prince.
With unbridled talent, he was an expertly skilled guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, so much so that he supposedly played all 27 instruments on his first studio album ‘For You’. His wide vocal range spanned over four octaves, from baritone to falsetto and his songwriting ability was a gift to match.
So much so that most of 80’s pop is directly attributed to him or his influence. Prince wrote for many artists including Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Sinead O’Connor, and Alicia Keys. Listening to Keys’ speech at Prince’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is especially bittersweet now. “There are many kings. King Henry the eighth, King Solomon, King Tut, King James, King Kong, the three kings. But there is only one Prince.”
Like many pop icons, Prince’s interests were not contained to just music. His feature film ‘Purple Rain’ won an Academy Award for best original score and is now a cult classic. Not to mention, the man really was an all-encompassing sexual revolution. He had no hesitation in injecting as much sex appeal into his lyrics as possible and his gender blurring style rocketed him to fashion icon status.
With tributes from MTV to NASA, the world is turning purple to mourn the loss. His hometown Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St Paul has lit stadiums, shops and streets purple in his honour.
His ‘Piano and Microphone Tour’, which made a surprise visit to Australia only a short eight weeks ago, was critically praised. Prince was particularly taken with the talent of Australian musician Harts, whom he worked with and mentored last year. The protégé gave a fitting send off.
Rest in peace Prince (1958 – 2016).