Prince Is Dead At The Age Of 57

The man born Prince Rogers Nelson in 1958 and known around the world simply as Prince has died in his Paisley Park home.

A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Prince is a gigantic figure in popular music.  He was a wildly expressive singer with astonishing range and an electrifying performer.  His gifts as a vocalist and a showman were equalled by those as a a multi-instrumentalist and a songwriter.

Prince released his debut album two months shy of his 20th birthday.   A string of hit albums followed through the eighties including Sign o’ The Times, 1999, and Purple Rain populated by undeniable songs like Little Red Corvette, Delirious, Raspberry Beret, When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy.  From track to track and from album to album, he was dangerous, adventurous and unpredictable:  funk and pop and R&B and rock all were in his purview while his lyrics ranged from the sexually explicit to the socially conscious.

As his prolific, multi-faceted, and sometimes sprawling output didn’t conform to record company directed cycles of marketing and touring, Prince became dissatisfied with the business side of his affairs.  This frustration as well as his eccentricity manifested itself in his refusal to use his name for most of the 90’s and insisting on being referred to as an unpronounceable symbol.

Prince was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2004.   His death came as a shock as he played his last concert in Atlanta just one week ago.  His body of work includes 39 studio albums including four released in the last two years.  He also starred in 4 films, 3 of which he directed.

Maybe the best quote about him came from Johnny Guitar Watson many years ago.  He said, “It’s like seeing Sly, James Brown, and Jimi Hendrix all at once.”  The incomparable Prince is dead at the age of 57.

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