I’m sure by now you’ve heard that the legendary artist Prince has passed away in their home in Minneapolis. Although Prince has made history, many people don’t know all of their accomplishments, or even some of their backstory. As a tiny tribute to the person who changed the face of music, here is Prince. Throughout this post you’ll notice that I don’t use gendered pronouns for Prince. They described themselves as somewhere between a man and a woman, and neither ‘he’ nor ‘she’ accurately describe them.
Prince was born in Minneapolis in 1958, and yes, their name really was Prince. They wrote their very first song at the age of 7, called ‘Funk Machine’. Later, they formed a band with some friends called ‘Grand Central’. Before they got their first contract, they say that they used to stand outside of McDonald’s, and rather than buy the food, smell the air because they couldn’t afford anything at all.
After the first deal came along, with Warner Bro’s., their first album came out. Despite being provided a band, Prince recorded every single instrumental part themselves. Shortly after they appeared on Saturday Night Live, and accidentally swore in one of the song performed. The censoring team didn’t catch it, and it became the first time actual swear words were on television.
Some time passed, 4 more albums came, and then ‘Purple Rain’ came. ‘Purple Rain’ is the most known album/movie by Prince, and the color purple became his legacy. Prince is the only other artist, the Beatles as the first, to have a number one movie, album, and single all at the same time. At this time, as music videos for the songs on the albums were being made, Prince directed every single video.
More albums came, and then in 2000 Prince changed their name to the symbol below. This symbol does have a name, ‘Love Symbol #2’, but no one really knew and continued to call them Prince,
When the recording deal with Warner Bro’s. ended, they went back to being called Prince, but the nickname ‘The Artist Formally Known As Prince’, had stuck. From 2000 to 2015, they released 15 new albums. Throughout their career, they sold over 100 million records worldwide, won 7 Grammys, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. In 2004, the first year they were eligible to be indicted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, they were immediately.
Somewhere along this timeline, Prince said their favorite meal was spaghetti and orange juice, and in the same conversation talks about hitting Michael Jackson with a ping pong ball while playing table tennis with him.
Last week, Prince cancelled a few concerts after their plane made an emergency landing due to their illness. 2 days ago they said they felt fine and attended a party, looking healthy. Yesterday, April 21st, they were found unresponsive in their homes elevator, and could not be resuscitated by CPR. They were pronounced dead at 10:27am. Shortly after, their Twitter icon was changed from a drawing of them wearing shades to another of them, eyes closed.
Throughout their life, Prince influenced so many people, and touched so many lives. If you have the time, plug your phone into your car and listen to some of their albums, and reflect on the legacy they’ve left in the world. If you’d like to take it a step further, then do something you’ve always wanted to. Compliment someone on something you’ve always thought of, but never said. Be the best you you can be, because Prince was all about being yourself and loving yourself completely.
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life”
Giorgia Close ’16