On April 21st 2016, Minneapolis-born legend, Prince, unexpectedly passed away at the age of 57, sending shockwaves through the world. Though an iconic music phenomenon is gone, his unique characteristic style and art will forever live on. With his impressive body of revolutionary music, eclectic fashion sense, and intrepid performances, he built a diverse and incredibly loyal fan base, becoming one of the most prolific figures in rock and pop history. Beginning his career at just 17 with the released of his debut album For You in 1978, he effortlessly exuded star quality with his outstanding talents, from playing several types of instruments, to song-writing and singing. Prince had a clear vision and was a true artist of his craft, reminding us all of the beauty of music and creation.
“Why do we need to hear another cover of a song someone else did? Art is about building a new foundation, not just laying something on top of what’s already there.”
In tribute, we take a look at some his most iconic moments.
Prince starred in his feature film acting debut Purple Rain, which saw a two-time Grammy Award winning soundtrack, with songs from his studio album of the same name. This was followed by an Academy Award for the best original song. The album sold over 13 million copies and the soundtrack was the number one hit in the US album charts for 24 weeks. The Purple Rain tour was is still his most celebrated to date.
The release of his album Sign O the Times was a real milestone in his career. It included a blend of genres from Funk, to Soul, and Rock’n’Roll.
Why on God’s green earth would Prince ever wear a normal suit? In fact, for the MTV music awards this year, performing ‘Let me show you, baby, I’m a talented boy’, he donned a delicately cut-out, bright yellow dapper suit, fully revealing his perky toned cheeks, and resulting in one of MTV’s most outrageous moments of all time.
1993 – 2000:
When Prince sought to release more music, Warner Brothers didn’t approve, claiming at the time, their marketing strategy was better suited to sticking to fewer releases. In light of this, Prince changed his iconic name for a couple years, though thankfully returning to his original stage name when the contract ended.
We will never forget the year Prince teamed up with then freshly-gone-solo artist Beyoncé for a momentous duet, taking place less than a year from when her debut album dropped.
Possibly one of Prince’s most legendary performances was at this year’s halftime show at the Super Bowl. Prince played all his classics, including Purple Rain, Let’s go Crazy and Baby I’m a Star, and even covered songs by Bob Dylan and Queen, all while standing in the pouring rain. He stood with his electric guitar and a couple of background singers, performing an incredible set in front of over a 100 million people.
There’s no doubt the music legend’s resounding influence on the music industry will continue to flourish for decades to come.