Today in History – April 21 – Losing the PRINCE

On the morning of April 21, 2016, Prince, the polymathic musician who created over thirty albums and won seven Grammy Awards over a 40-year career, is found dead in Paisley Park, his Minnesota home and studio. The reason for death was an accidental o.d. of the opioid Fentanyl. He was fifty-seven years old.

In the hours and days, once the news broke, fans around the world mourned his death with large memorials in a statement, President Obama said, “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many individuals with their talent.”

Prince’s sixth studio album, Purple Rain, released in 1984, was a high point. The album spent twenty-four consecutive weeks at number one on the billboard 200 chart, spawned 2 hit singles (“When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy”), won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance, and sold-out thirteen million copies. The attendant film of the same name, that starred prince in a very loosely autobiographical role, won the laurels for Best Original Song Score. both the album and therefore the film’s success launched prince to international high status.

Throughout his career, Prince defied and transcended genre. His music united parts of funk, R&B, rock and pop into what later became called Minneapolis Sound. Famously, he typically played all of the instruments on his albums himself—including twenty-seven (ranging from piano to guitar to finger cymbals) on For You. He conjointly toured frequently and was called an especially thrilling live performing artist.

In the years before his death, Prince had been taking prescription pain medication for chronic hip pain. It is believed he was fighting opioid addiction. He still recorded and performed throughout this point. His last album, Hit n Run Phase 2, was released in Dec 2015.

In Oct 2016, six months after Prince’s death, Paisley Park opened to the general public for tours. In 2016, Prince’s estate sold-out more albums than any other creative person that year, dead or alive.


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