It's our sad duty to report that Prince Rogers Nelson, better known by his first name,passed away in his Minneapolis, MN-area home and recording studios after dealing with flu-like symptoms for several weeks. He leaves this world at the tender age of 57, born less than one month after this reporter (Steve=May 19, Prince=June 7) in Minneapolis proper. He released his first album, FOR YOU, in 1978 after several unsuccessful prior attempts.His first hit, "I Wanna Be Your Lover," came the following year, with the albums DIRTY MIND, CONTROVERSY, and 1999 following.
Prince was noted for his unique blend of disco,soul, hip hop and rock, apparently influenced by such diverse sources as George Clinton (Parliament-Funkadelic),John Lennon,Carlos Santana,Jimi Hendrix Little Richard,,and James Brown, and flavored with sexually suggestive lyrics. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ROLLING STONE placed him at Number 27 on their chart of the Greatest Artists of All Time.
Prince was named for his father (John Lewis) who performed jazz under the stage name Prince Rogers. His most significant music frequently appeared on the Billboard charts in the 1980's, and in 1984, he made his motion picture debut in the Oscar winning PURPLE RAIN, whose soundtrack spawned the title hit, "WHEN DOVES CRY,"and "LET'S GO CRAZY." The "Sgt. Pepper-" inspired AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY held the Number One position on the album chart, and his "MANIC MONDAY" was a hit for the Bangles, but PARADE had the dubious honor of being the soundtrack album for the Golden Raspberry Award (the Anti-Oscars, presented for the worst movies) winning UNDER THE CHERRY MOON, starring Prince and British actress Kristin Scott Thomas.
In the 1990's Prince changed his name to an unpronouncable symbol and asked to be referred to as either "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince" or "The Artist." His Royal Badness recorded under his new identity until 2000 when he became Prince again. He played at Super Bowl XLI in Miami and released several albums before his last, HITnRUN Phase One.
Prince's songwriting ran the gamut from the sacred ("4 The Tears In Your Eyes") to the profane ("Erotic City") to the just plain crazy ("Anotherloverholeinyahead"), but he always used that sound which, while a hybrid of different influences, he made his own. In Shakespeare's plays, it always storms when a king dies. Today it rains in our heart, and it is indeed, a purple rain.
R.I. P, Prince
The blogger presently known as Steve