Prince, the songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman, died on Thursday at his home, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn. He was 57.
Prince was a man bursting with music — a wildly prolific songwriter, a virtuoso on guitars, keyboards and drums and a master architect of funk, rock, R&B and pop, even as his music defied genres. In a career that lasted from the late 1970s until his solo “Piano & a Microphone” tour this year, he was acclaimed as a sex symbol, a musical prodigy and an artist who shaped his career his way, often battling with accepted music-business practices.
"You had to be stuck in a box," Valadez says of 1980s music culture. "Even Michael Jackson faced a lot of that, trying to get his videos on MTV. And you had this African-American man standing with a guitar, and, man, it was just powerful, you know? It was just really powerful."
Prince's fifth album, 1999, exploded onto America's music scene. Released in 1983, it included such hits as "Little Red Corvette" and "1999." It also set the stage for Purple Rain, the 1984 movie and soundtrack packed with songs such as "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" that became fixtures on the radio and established Prince as a pop culture icon.
As Swensson wrote for MPR about Purple Rain for the film's 30th anniversary in 2014, "it grossed $7.7 million in its opening weekend, beating out Ghostbusters — and racked up comparisons to movies like the Beatles' Hard Day's Night and Citizen Kanein glowing reviews from major media outlets."
Prince also won two Grammys and an Oscar (for original song score) for Purple Rain.In 2007, he won a Golden Globe Award for best original song, "The Song of the Heart" from Happy Feet.
Rest in Peace "Prince," you now have a place on the Nightshift with other famous talents who have gone on before you.
Rest in Peace.