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Deathiversary | Prince

Illustration: Coleman Conley • The Sentry
Prince’s legacy lives on.

June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

Four years later, and many still praise the work and talent of pop sensation Prince. A musician who integrated many different levels of musical genresfrom funk to rock, R&B, new wave, and soulPrince was an individual that even Spotify notes, that “no other musician can compare to.” Sadly, however, the musician’s time was cut short at the age of 57 in April of 2016, when police were notified and called to Paisley Park in Minneapolis, where they found an unresponsive Prince. Months later, in June, his death was ruled to be a result of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Yet, even though this was an unexpected and emotional time of death, Prince achieved much to be remembered by and continues to be remembered by. 

As mentioned before, Prince was a package full of talentnot only as a vocalist, but as a guitarist, instrumentalist, and songwriter. The first two albums of his career featured high praise for his use of 70’s funk-pop. Then came Dirty Mind in the beginning of the decade in 1980, where Prince clashed genres together with aesthetic guitar and symphonic soul ballads. Controversy and 1999 followed up with commercial success as well, but his fame was far from stardom until 1984’s spectacular. 

Purple Rain was the hit of the year, making its way on the billboard charts, winning a couple of Grammy awards, and was nominated as Album of the Year. Critics praised the masterpiece, calling it a surreal experience. The single “When Doves Cry,” was a sensation like no other, with high synthpsychedelic beatspop notes, and keys. Prince’s vocals were some of the highlights of it all, showing the range in notes that he could hit. 

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Prince had many battles and issues with Warner Bros., his record label. Through much turmoil, Prince would release music under the radar, specifically, he released the single “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” which became a summer hit and illustrated what he could do on his own without Warner. 

He spent much of his time touring in the 2000sEurope would be his destination for some time in the early 2010s to 2012. In early 2016, Prince had set out on a solo tour he called “Piano and a Microphone.” However, the tour would cut short and the inevitable would happen. 

The music industry and fans around were broken when news of his death broke. Singer Alicia Keys went to Twitter: “Prince was a gift and a genius. He showed us that we have no limits. His music left me changed forever.” Madonna tweeted: “He changed the world! A True Visionary.” In an interview with an LA Times critic, comedian, and actor, Maya Rudolph notes that she has always been a fan of Prince since Dirty Minds and the “Purple Rain” movie, she states: “But Purple Rain, was my music.” 

Prince continues to live in the hearts of many. He would have been 61 this year. 

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