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On June 7, 1958, the world was blessed with an incomparable talent with the birth of Prince Rogers Nelson.
Although we soon came to know him only by his first name, in addition to aliases like “The Purple One”, The Artist Formerly Known As and even just as a symbol, his time on this Earth as a famous artist ended far too soon after his death in April 2016 at the age of 57.
On what would have been his 64th birthday today, we remember everything that made Prince a globally recognized black music icon, both in life and in memory.
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Throughout his time at the top, Prince has broken records, won accolades, and changed the culture of black music in general musically and even financially. His fight for ownership of master recordings made him a true star in the industry at a time when he was on his own; today, many artists don’t even sign deals if they don’t include some form of ownership or capital. This can be directly traced back to Prince – the name change wasn’t just for showmanship! — but there’s so much more to his story beyond the music. From her well-documented fashion prowess to her role in the 1984 cult classic purple rainPrince gave a new definition to the term Renaissance Man which, to this day, has not left a void filled by anyone.
Although this is a birthday that he will not be here physically to celebrate with those who defend his memory today, the legacy left by Prince is strong enough to continue to inspire people for decades to come. come.
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Coinciding with Black Music Month, we’ve picked 10 moments from The Purple One’s career that remind us how much Prince will always be missed. Check it out below:
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Happy Eternal Birthday, Prince!
1. Release of his very first single, “Soft & Wet” (1978)
Despite barely reaching the Billboard Hot 100, “Soft & Wet” made the top 20 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and proved it made music for the people.
2. Breaking into the Top 10 with “1999” (1982)
Even after five albums and critical acclaim, in the early 80s, Prince had still not seen the chart success of contemporary Michael Jackson. Everything changed with 1999, his first album to reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart at #9. The title track, along with fan-favorite “Little Red Corvette,” helped propel the album to quadruple Platinum status by the time 1999 really arrived.
3. The release of “Purple Rain” – The film and the album (1984)
Arguably, but Prince truly became the entertainer he is revered as today with his well-rounded output on the epic rock musical known as purple rain. Sure, the plot had holes in it and showed mediocre performances in some scenes, but what that movie and the accompanying album meant to black culture still resonates whenever the title track or “When Doves Cry.” is played. Not to mention, it earned him his chart-topping debut album, an Oscar for “Best Original Song Score” and the NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Actor.”
4. Produce the soundtrack for “Batman” (1989)
Along with topping the Billboard 200 for six weeks and earning another Billboard Hot 100 #1 with “Batdance,” Prince’s production on the soundtrack of a hit juggernaut like Batman finally proved himself to be a multi-dimensional superstar who could even come down to Gotham City. If only he actually played Two-Face in the movie!
5. Take comedy seriously with “Graffiti Bridge” (1990)
While some may wonder whether or not graffiti bridge is a good follow-up to purple rain, at its core, it reminds us that Prince was by no means making movies for instant Hollywood success. While this will ultimately be his final theatrical release, it’s unclear if he was planning on pulling a Clint Eastwood and returning to the game.
6. The Era of Love Symbol No. 2 (1992 – 2000)
Although originally intended to represent both male and female energy in his art, then later as a sign of protest during a years-long feud with his label Warner Bros., the symbol of love #2 now holds significant significance for Prince as a creative that simply can’t be defined. It has since become synonymous with his legacy.
7. Perform at the GRAMMYs with Beyoncé solo (2004)
There’s something truly powerful about seeing a legend embrace a young talent who is destined for the same fate. When Prince was joined by former Destiny’s Child singer Beyoncé Knowles, many couldn’t have predicted that her then-single, “Crazy In Love,” would lead to her status as “Queen Bey” today. of the music industry. For that reason alone, watching Prince kiss her early and even allow her to duet on some of her greatest hits is simply historic in itself.
8. Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2004)
As with any musician, becoming a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is a dream that is not an easy achievement by far. That’s why Prince’s induction ceremony in 2004 was so monumental and, dare we say it, it was about time!
9. The Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show (2007)
It’s fitting that the Super Bowl halftime show is reserved for music’s most legendary performers. So, it’s no surprise that Prince was not only asked to lead the 2007 show, but also to tear down the house with a handful of classic hits. There are no words – just look!
10. His last concert, ‘The Piano & a Microphone Tour’ (2016)
Even with the premature end of The visit of the piano and the microphone due to Prince’s death on April 21, 2016, the visuals, voice acting, and presentation alone show that it was far from finished.
May the soul of The Purple One shine forever.