Prince Dies in Minneapolis Home, Leaves Lasting Legacy
by Hana Tatsutani on Friday, April 29th, 2016
On Thursday, April 21st, the world was shocked to learn that beloved pop icon Prince was pronounced dead at the age of 57. Prince was last seen alive Wednesday night and the circumstances surrounding his death remain unknown. The following morning, a staff member at his Minneapolis home found him unresponsive in an elevator. The staff member called 911 and by 10:07, Prince was declared dead. He was found with no bodily injuries, and there was no indication that he had committed suicide. An autopsy should reveal the cause of his death within the next few weeks.
Prince was a singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. Born in Minneapolis, Prince developed a love for music at a young age and signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. by the age of 18. He released his first album For You in 1978, but it was his second album, Prince, that launched him into the spotlight when it went platinum. His subsequent albums continued his success, and he became known for his stage presence, innovation, and eclectic style. During his career he won 7 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. Prince is also recognized as one of the best-selling artists ever, having sold over 100 million albums worldwide.
While the world still reels from the death of the pop icon, fans across the country have honored Prince by throwing huge dance parties. On Friday, April 22nd, thousands of fans attended an all-night party hosted by Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue. Additionally, many artists are paying tribute to Prince by covering his songs. Bruce Springsteen opened his Brooklyn concert on Saturday with a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” As the song ended, Springsteen shouted “Prince forever, God bless!” Other artists who have payed tribute to Prince with a cover of “Purple Rain” include Jake Owen, Corey Taylor, and Sufjan Stevens.
Many companies took to Twitter to commemorate Prince, but some tributes were more tasteful than others. Spotify tweeted a tributary picture of Prince, but was quickly called out for not offering his music on their service. Cheerios tweeted an image of the words “Rest in Peace” against a purple background, replacing the dot on the “i” with a Cheerio. The tweet was quickly deleted after Cheerios received a storm of tweets from fans angered by the brand’s using his death to promote their product. Even Pornhub got in on the action, commemorating the artist by replacing the “P” in its logo with Prince’s symbol.
Like most of the general public, the Milton students I talked to were surprised and saddened to hear that Prince had passed away, though many of them admitted that they weren’t very familiar with his music. Brie Etoniru (I) says “I’ve heard Prince was a great artist, but I don’t know much about him other than his song ‘Purple Rain’. Like they often do, my parents talked about another great artist gone too soon. Just wish I had paid more attention to this one.” Sophie Edouard (II) explains, “I’m not all that familiar with his music, although I know he was a huge influence in the [90’s]; he was a sensation like Michael Jackson. I think the generation [before] us is more impacted by his death. I’ve heard snippets here and there of people relaying the news and peoples’ subsequent reactions of sadness and shock.”
Prince’s legacy will live on in his influence on music, songwriting, and performance.
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