Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince, His Royal Badness Is Dead

Just heard the sad and shocking news that Prince has died at his Paisley Park estate at age 57.

According to local and multiple news sources, a medical response call coming from Prince's Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, MN was received at 9:43 AM CDT.  After attempts to revive him by first responders failed, he was declared dead at 10:07 AM CDT.

He has been having health issues recently, and reportedly was hospitalized in Moline, Illinois after his plane was diverted while flying back to Minneapolis from a concert in Atlanta Friday night that was blamed on flu-like symptoms

Cause of death has not been determined at the time I write this..

The enigmatic Grammy and Oscar Award winning Prince was acclaimed as one of the most gifted and inventive musicians of our era   You could see the James Brown, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Little Richard and other influences in his music and stage performances that fused R&B, soul and funk with rock, and the Minneapolis Sound as it grew to be called was heard in groups and artists like The Time, Vanity/Appolonia 6, Mint Condition, Alexander O'Neal, Cherrelle, Sheila E and because of super producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who were The Time members, Janet Jackson and New Edition.  .

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and much of the music soundtrack of my late teens and twenties is dominated by Prince songs. I still chuckle when I think about my late high school friend Joel Anderson who resembled the late 70's Prince complete with the big Afro he was rocking then, bristling when me and my godbrother Brent Warren teased him about it.

Some of my fondest concert memories involve going to his Dirty MindControversy, 1999, and Purple Rain tours at  Hofheinz Pavilion and The Summit in the early 80's.  I stood in line at the Almeda 8 with my brother and other Prince fans in my 1999 concert T-shirt to buy tickets for the opening weekend of the movie Purple Rain when it.came out.  And when a Prince album or CD came out, I was at Soundwaves and Sound Warehouse eagerly snatching them up.

I knew that with many of my fave musical artists being in their late 50's, 60's and 70's that 2016 could be one of those years where we witnessed many of them leave this plane of existence for various reasons.  But I can't help thinking after hearing today's news that another musical piece of my childhood, my life and the lives my Baby Boomer and Gen X peers is gone.

His Royal Badness may be gone, but his towering musical legacy will endure forever.

Rest in power and peace, Prince.   The concerts in Heaven just got a little more funkier.  

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