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I grew up in the 80’s, at the height of Prince’s career, during the birth of MTV. In the resurgence of his career, in this past year, it seemed Prince was slated to come back, bigger than ever, resurrected, like a phoenix, this time walking in the path of a legend; to be revered.
So it came to a shock, to hear wailing in my office, when it was confirmed by several news outlets that this genius, synonymous with the 80’s, had passed away at age 57 this morning. So far no news sources have reported a definite cause of death, however many believe it may have been due to the flu-like symptoms he was suffering from, which forced an immediate grounding of his plane recently. Prince was found dead in his compound, Paisley Park.
For millennials that were unfamiliar with Prince’s enormous contribution, his hits littered the 80’s landscape and pushed the boundaries of sexuality in music television. His video “When Doves Cry” was once considered so spicy, it was only allowed to be aired late night on MTV. His song “1999” was the anthem to the end of the century, and his movie “Purple Rain” firmly established his genius to the world, recreating his early career as an artist in Minneapolis.
He fell out of public favor in the mid to late 90’s, when he abandoned his sexual ambiguous persona and became a Jehovah’s Witness. This was also the time he abandoned his stage name “Prince”, due to contractual disagreements with his record label, and for ten years, was known as “The artist formerly known as Prince” or “The Artist”.
The death of Prince has shaken fans as deeply as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston’s passing, showing his reach, far and wide.
Prince, thank you for sharing your genius that was your music. It was a seminal part of the soundtrack of our lives, for those of us who grew up in the 80’s.