The entertainment world is in mourning since musical virtuoso Prince died at his home in Minneapolis on Thursday. He was 57.
The icon of icons is credited with producing a seemingly endless string of hits of his own (“When Doves Cry,” “Purple Rain, “Let’s Go Crazy”) as well as hits for others (writing “Manic Monday,” and “Nothing Compares to U,” lending his slicks to “Like a Prayer”).
And you’d be hard-pressed to find an artist (music, fashion, film or otherwise) who doesn’t shortlist the Purple One as a major influence.
Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis in 1958, put his Midwestern city on the music map, following a 1980 performance on “American Bandstand.” When host Dick Clark was shocked by the then-19-year-old’s unique chops, he huffed, “This is not the kind of music that comes from Minneapolis, Minnesota.”
But it was. Prince’s synth-heavy blend of electro-pop, new wave, funk and rock known as the “Minnesota Sound” — influenced countless others such as Mark Ronson, Janet Jackson and Bruno Mars.
As a fashion icon, a feminist and a filmmaker, it’s impossible to capture what made Prince so uniquely, importantly and unapologetically Prince. But perhaps the best way to sum up Prince is as the all-knowing cultivator of all that is cool.
In fact, he said it best himself.
“Cool means being able to hang with yourself. All you have to ask yourself is, ‘Is there anybody I’m afraid of? Is there anybody who if I walked into a room and saw, I’d get nervous?’ If not, then you’re cool.”
We are all a little less cool without him. RIP Prince.