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Prince: 1958-2016

The Grammy and Oscar-winning artist was 57 years old.

by | April 21, 2016 | Comments

Prince2
(Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

 

Prince, the Grammy and Oscar-winning artist who shot to superstardom while blurring the lines between rock, pop, and R&B with a series of multi-platinum albums and hit films throughout the 1980s and beyond, has passed away at the age of 57.

Initially reported by TMZ, Prince’s death has been confirmed by the Associated Press, acting on information from a publicist. Although he was briefly hospitalized on April 15, his passing comes as a shock; after he left the hospital, representatives dismissed the incident, attributing it to a battle with the flu. He performed the following day, but had canceled a pair of recent shows due to health concerns, and was at home in Minneapolis when he died.

Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, the Minneapolis native released his first solo album, For You, in 1978 and hit the Top 40 with a self-titled follow-up the following year. His profile skyrocketed with the Top 10 sales of 1999, but even that was only a prelude to the massive success of 1984’s Purple Rain.

A multi-platinum Grammy-winning album as well as an Oscar-winning film, Purple Rain helped redefine the rock movie while serving as a springboard into subsequent Hollywood activity for Prince, who followed it with Under the Cherry Moon (1986), Sign O’ the Times (1987), and Graffiti Bridge (1990). While none of those films managed to make the same impact he’d enjoyed with Purple Rain, they were all part of a multimedia reign that also included a handful of significant soundtrack work, most notably for Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989.

An acrimonious falling out with his longtime label Warner Bros. prefaced Prince striking out as a free agent in the 1990s, and although sales for a series of licensed or self-released albums were uneven, he remained a prolific artist and an incendiary live performer who continued to draw sellout crowds to a series of well-received tours. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, he sold more than 100 million albums over the course of a career that included nearly 40 solo studio LPs. At the time of his death, he was only a few months removed from his most recent release, HITnRUN Phase Two, and had announced plans to pen a memoir.

  • Jason Black

    called home to play for the big man…he will be missed..

  • Jan Terri

    i love his cover of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U.

    • voiceofreason

      i hope you’re kidding. Prince wrote and recorded that song before Sinead covered it.

      • Jan Terri

        You are thinking of Susane Vega

        • voiceofreason

          you edited your post after i commented. i know this because you even edited THIS post after I got a notification with you saying I must be thinking of Suzanne Vega. nice try though. i’m just glad you are a little less ignorant now.

          • Jan Terri

            What do you have against proper capitalization?

          • voiceofreason

            what do you have against spelling out words properly, “Learn 2 read B 4 U comment”? troll much? have a little respect for the deceased subject matter of this thread and move on please. peace to you. #RIPprince

          • Jan Terri

            It’s an homage to Prince, who often spelled song titles as such. For example, Nothing Compares 2 U. I didn’t expect you to pick up on this.
            #voiceofreasonisretarded

          • kenni

            I didn’t know that Prince had penned the wonderful ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ the first time I heard it… until the Radio Jock announced it after playing the track. No worries if you missed it…

          • Jan Terri

            Why would I worry? I’m the best.

  • Vits/Vicente Torres

    Prince, you didn’t have to be rich or cool to rule the world. You had the talent. R.I.P.

  • Richter Belmont

    This is what it sounds like when doves cry ….

  • D.D. Davis

    Ugh 🙁

  • BIGNASTY

    One of the all time great musicians, first Bowie now Prince, just take Miley and Bieber.

  • Dart Vade

    Drugs…Im shocked….just kidding.

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