This morning, one of the greatest male pop artists that the world has ever seen passed away. Prince Rogers Nelson who was simply known as Prince has passed away from health issues. Prince burst onto the scene in 1982 with his album, Controversy. Though he had released two albums prior to Controversy, it was that particular album that he shot him into stardom. At the time of his arrival upon the pop music scene, many people compared him to Michael Jackson. Mostly due to their intense popularity and that they were both Black. However, Prince had something over Michael, his ability to play several instruments. He was an all in one music creating machine.
In 1984, he produced a movie loosely based on his life called Purple Rain. Purple Rain was an enormous success and he was catapulted into the stratosphere of rockdom! If Elvis Presley was the King of Rock n Roll, then Prince surely was well… the Prince. Not only did he have his own band, Prince and the Revolution but he helped propel others to fame as well. People like Vanity 6, Apollonia and the Time. A whole generation grew up listening to the music of Prince.
And though some of the songs like Darling Nikki were not meant for innocent ears. Other songs like Diamonds and Pearls were truly sweet and uplifting. Like his aptly named first album, Prince was often surrounded by controversy. In 1993, he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol:
“Prince was fed up with his label, Warner Bros. They wanted him to release fewer CDs so he wouldn’t flood the market and they could better promote him. He couldn’t get out of his contract, but he could change his name to an unpronounceable symbol, largely to mess with them. Journalists started to call him “the artist formerly known as Prince,” but in 2000 he went back to Prince when his Warner contract expired. During that time, sales of his new music slowed down significantly, but he still managed to get his point across.”
Prince’s music was very spiritual on one hand and very sexual on the other. It was this sharp contrast that often surrounded him in controversy. He could also look very androgynous at times which contributed to people questioning his sexuality. That was just for show, though. Prince was never publicly with another man but he was married twice. His last marriage ended in 2006.
Prince was found dead in his Paisley Park compound and there is an investigation into his death. It is quite ironic, that Vanity 6 who was his protege, just died February 15, 2016. Prince was one of a kind musician and sold over 100 million copies of his album worldwide. He is definitely one of the top selling artists of all time. Michael died in 2009, followed by Whitney Houston and now pop music has lost its Sweet Prince.