Superstar Prince has died at the age of 57
In what is turning out to be one of the worst years for legendary musicians and actors, it’s now being reported by TMZ and other sources that Prince, one of the most iconic musical stars of the past 30 years, has died at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57.
Prince’s body was found at his Paisley Park compound days after his private jet was forced to make a landing in Illinois due to health reasons, and he had to cancel two shows for the same reason that was reportedly due to a flu.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958, Prince’s contributions to music and film helped to define the ’80s, but no more so than in the album and film both entitled Purple Rain, released in 1984. Prince already had a huge hit with the title track off his previous record “1999” as well as its follow-up “LIttle Red Corvette,” but his “Purple Rain” record, the soundtrack to a film in which Prince starred and was loosely based on his own life, remained on the Billboard charts at #1 for 24 weeks, solidifying his status as a superstar. Purple Rain, the film, would win an Academy Award for “Best Music and Original Score” and 3 Grammys.
After the follow-up album “Around the World in a Day,” Prince released “Parade” featuring music from the follow-up film Under the Cherry Moon and neither received nearly as much critical praise or success as Purple Rain. Prince continued to have success both as an artist and as a songwriter for others that covered his songs (such as Sinead O’Connor, whose first major hit was a cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares to U.”)
Prince also released a concert film based around the tour for his 1987 record Sign “O” The Times, before disbanding his band The Revolution, changing his name to a curious symbol, forcing others to refer to him as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.” (This was presumably done to get out of his contract with Warner Bros. Records.)
Although he wouldn’t have as much success in terms of record sales or hit songs after changing his name back in 2000, Prince continued to be a live performance powerhouse, continuing to mix rock, funk, jazz, soul and any other musical genre imaginable to sell-out crowds. He has been honored with numerous awards, including seven Grammys and four MTV Video Music Awards in total.
His final record, “HITnRUN,” was released in two “phases” last year as part of Tidal’s streaming initiative.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)