Prince found dead at his Paisley Park recording studio aged 57

The enduring influence of Prince, the trailblazing singer and songwriter who died on Thursday aged 57, is perhaps best measured in the praise of his musical peers. Responding to the news of his passing, Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson wrote that Prince “could do it all: sing, play, arrange and produce.”
The veteran songwriter Diane Warren tweeted: “U wanna learn what a great song is? Go listen to every f***ing song on Purple Rain,” referring to Prince’s classic 1984 album.

The body of the celebrated musician – full name Prince Rogers Nelson – was found in a lift at his Paisley Park recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota on Thursday morning. Entertainment website TMZ was the first to report his death, which was confirmed to The Independent by a spokesman. “The news is devastatingly true,” they said.

Singer, songwriter, producer, musician, philanthropist and pop music icon, Prince.

Singer, songwriter, producer, musician, philanthropist and pop music icon, Prince.

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it was investigating the circumstances of the singer’s death. Concerns about Prince’s health had been raised at least a week previously, when his jet made an emergency landing in Illinois early last Friday morning, on the way back to Minnesota from a concert in Atlanta.

Prince had reportedly complained that he was feeling “considerably worse” after being laid low for several weeks with a “bad bout of flu”. He was treated at a local hospital but released three hours later. The following night he appeared at a dance party close to his home, where he did not perform, but told the audience: “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers.”

Born in Minneapolis in June 1958, Prince grew up in a musical family: his mother sang in a local jazz band, which was led by his father. He was playing the piano by age seven, guitar and drums at 14, all without ever receiving lessons.

His debut studio LP, 1978’s For You, was not a huge commercial success, but he followed it up with his first hit single, “I Wanna Be Your Lover”.

The subsequent, eponymous 1979 album Prince went to number four in the Billboard Soul LP charts. Drawing on a spectrum of musical influences, from funk to rock and from disco to jazz, Prince’s instrumental talent, flamboyant stage presence and unabashed originality made him one of the most distinctive musicians of the past four decades.

A prolific songwriter, he composed a string of hits for other singers, among them the searing Sinead O’Connor ballad “Nothing Compares 2 U”. But it was Purple Rain that secured his place in music history. The LP, which featured multiple hits including “When Doves Cry”, is a stalwart of greatest-ever album rankings and earned the singer his first brace of Grammy awards.

As a cultural figure, Prince blurred the lines of gender, race and sexuality, both delighting and confounding fans with his sexually expressive lyrics and androgynous persona. Much of his third album, 1980’s Dirty Mind, was deemed too obscene to receive radio airplay. But, rather than tone down his lyrics, Prince lasted long enough to see radio standards bend in his direction.

That refusal to conform became a defining characteristic: at one point, Prince changed his name to a symbol no-one could pronounce. He rarely gave interviews, and was known to refuse to allow journalists to record his voice. Given his private nature, it came as a pleasant surprise to fans when it was announced last month that he had signed a publishing deal for his memoirs. He had reportedly written around 50 pages prior to his death.

Though his public profile was lower than in previous decades, Prince remained prolific in the last few years
of his life. His most recent album, 2015’s HITnRUN, was released in two parts. He was also believed to have
a “vault” of unreleased recordings sufficient to fill an album per year for decades to come.

Even President Barack Obama was moved to pay tribute to the late singer, saying in a statement: “As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer. ‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said – and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.”

– The Independent

By Heather Saul, Tim Walker

Share your feedback with us.

Comments are closed.

← Go Back | bbApp | International | Tit Bits Back to Top ↑
THE STAR Newspaper
Magazines available in THE STAR Newspaper
2Nite Magazine for Saturday October 1st, 2016 ~ Issue no. 204
2nite Magazine
Sports & Health Magazine for October 1st, 2016 ~ Issue no. 112
Sports & Health Inc

Lifestyle & Archives

  • 2Nite Magazine TV

    2Nite Magazine's Candid Camera

    You never know where 2Nite Magazine will capture you next. You may very well be the next one 'caught on candid camera' at the next event!! If its HIP and its HAPPENING, then its in 2Nite! Hosted by: Faye-Chantelle Mondesir (Empress Faye)

    Posted by 2nite Magazine on Friday, 22 January 2016
  • Contact us via WhatsApp with news on 1 758 720 2896

    What's App
    Send us your news or contact us with your story via What's App.
  • Sound your voice and cast your ballot!

  • Poll for the week

    See all polls and results
  • TALK or VENT here!

    TALK or VENT constructively and share your feedback on our weekly news and stories. CONSTRUCTIVE talk is welcome. You have a voice with The STAR Newspaper!
    TALK or VENT constructively and share your feedback on our weekly news and stories. CONSTRUCTIVE talk is welcome. You have a voice with The STAR Newspaper!
  • Subscribe for latest news and updates

    Enter your email address to subscribe and receive latest news and updates via email.

  • The St.Lucia STAR Newspaper

  • STAR Articles