Salute to Prince
Elle ‘Queen’ Cunningham
On the morning of April 21, 2016, the world lost one of its most iconic geniuses to ever dominate the music industry, while the universe gained, yet again, another star. Prince, also known as Prince Rogers Nelson, was found unconscious at his Paisley Park Studio and home in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the age of 57, just days after battling the flu. The exact cause of death is still unknown, although there is speculation surrounding what led to his death.
Prince released his first studio album, For You, in 1978. He would go on to record a total of 39 studio albums over the course of his music career. That didn’t include video albums, soundtrack albums, live albums, extended play albums, or compilation albums. Upon release, his Purple Rain soundtrack remained at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for 24 weeks and to this day is still ranked as Prince’s best selling album. Selling over 100 million copies worldwide and being ranked No. 27 on the Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, list. People often referred to Prince as a modern day Mozart. However, Prince was far beyond that, he was a musical God.
The musical mastermind taught himself to play between 27-30 instruments. He became more than just a vocalist, he was also an instrumentalist, as well as a writer. Writing under various pseudonyms for numerous artists. With his hit movie Purple Rain, Prince gave us the most chart topping soundtrack ever presented by an artist. It was his sixth album and Prince reigned all over the billboard music charts. Based in his hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, his character, Kid, was a rock musician striving to dominate the club scene while battling with family and relationship issues. Purple Rain was a movie inspired by his longtime ex-girlfriend Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews, and it co-starred one of his closest childhood and modern day friends, Morris Day. Aside from Purple Rain, Prince directed and starred in some movies of his own. Those movies, include: Under the Cherry Moon, Sign ‘O’ The Times, and Graffiti Bridge.
Prince received between 30-32 Grammy nominations, 12 MTV Video Music Award nominations, one Academy Award nomination, and one Golden Globe nomination. Of his many nominations, he received seven Grammy Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, one Academy Award, and one Golden Globe. Throughout his musical career, he at least 40 hits that charted the Billboard Charts. And in 2014, he received one of his greatest accomplishments of all, he won his long time battle with his former record label, Warner Brothers, and gained control of his music catalog, gaining control back of his master recordings, songwriting copyrights, and his publishing.
As a humanitarian he donated millions of dollars to charities and those in need since the founding his organization Love 4 One Another. Prince never wanted publicity for his good deeds, he simply wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. He encouraged musicians to reject signing contracts and instead own their own work if they created it.
Prince (The Artist, Love Symbol #2, and The Purple One) was a vocalist, a songwriter, producer, an instrumentalist, an actor, a director, and a humanitarian. He was a positive, conscious, light to the world that had grown to love him, and he was full of magic. Since his death, more than 4 million Prince albums have been sold in the United States alone. The music industry, along with the rest of the world, has suffered a great loss. There will never be another like our Prince.