Prince, the eclectic 1980s musician known for much of his career for his protests against the greed and exploitation of the music industry, was found dead in his Minnesota home early Thursday morning. Prince’s publicist has confirmed the singer’s death. He was 57.
According to TMZ, Prince had been hospitalized for what he said was the flu, but doctors released him last week. Although he had recently cancelled shows for health reasons, he did attend a $10 dance party in Paisley Park, Minn., on Saturday, telling worried fans to “wait a few days before you waste any prayers.”
Born Prince Rogers Nelson, Prince was known for his mastery of the guitar and a performative sexual fluidity that informed his music. There are dozens of beloved songs to his credit including “Kiss,” “Raspberry Beret,” “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette,” “1999,” “I Would Die 4 U” “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Purple Rain,” which was a smash film and soundtrack in addition to a single in 1984.
Over the course of a four-decade career, Prince sold more than 100 million records and won seven Grammy awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
His performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at that ceremony is still considered one of the landmark moments in the history of the award.
This past summer, he released “Baltimore,” featuring Eryn Allen Kane, a protest record about the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests in city.
Photo: Prince performing at Coachella in 2008. Wikimedia Commons.