One of music’s biggest icons, Prince (Rogers Nelson), was found dead today at his home in suburban Minneapolis, USA. He was 57. The cause of death is unknown at this time. He did postpone a recent concert saying he had a bout of the flu.
Starting out in 1978 when he was 19, Prince’s first significant hit was “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (from his self-titled album) which peaked at #11 in the United States on January 26, 1980. But his string of hits began two and a half years later with the release of quadruple platinum album 1999 which spawned Top 10 singles “Little Red Corvette”, title-track “1999”, and “Delirious” through 1983. Prince scored five #1 hits in the U.S. through his career beginning with “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” from the 13x Platinum Purple Rain soundtrack (1984), “Kiss” (1986), “Batdance” (1989), and “Cream” (1991). In all, he had 19 Top Ten hits and 30 Top Forty hits in the United States.
Prince collaborated successfully with Sheila E. on “A Love Bizarre” and the UK’s Sheena Easton on “U Got the Look”. He also wrote songs that became big hits for other artists, including “Manic Monday” from all-girl group The Bangles, “I Feel For You” from Chaka Khan, and “Nothing Compares 2 U” from Ireland’s Sinéad O’Connor .
Short in stature at just 157 cm, Prince was a promising basketball player but decided to pursue a music career. Though blessed with success, he spent stores of energy over the course of his career battling his record label over control of his music and his name. He began a new life when he married a Canadian in 2001 and relocated to Toronto where he lived for several years. Hailed for innovatively fusing Black funk and White pop together in a production that was danceable, Prince was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 which described his music as “androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative”. A diligent musician and showman, Prince released music frequently and toured extensively right up to his untimely and sudden passing on April 21, 2016.