Early Thursday morning, in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota, another era in the music industry ended. 57-year-old Prince Rogers Nelson, known around the world as simply ‘Prince’, was found dead – sparking worldwide grief over the passing of another musical icon that defined a generation.
Prince garnered worldwide recognition back in the 80’s with his breakthrough album, ‘1999.’ It was also the first album to feature his own American rock band ‘The Revolution,’ foreshadowing what will become of his career in music.
Behind all the lights, the flashy attires, his flamboyant bravado and eccentric lifestyle, Prince was truly a symbol for revolution, a true activist who called for change and fought for justice both on and off the microphone. His activism spanned decades as he took on numerous social issues like police brutality, the discrimination against race and class, global hunger and the dreadful repercussions of war. He is revolutionary in every sense of the word and the sudden passing of an icon who cried for equality through music is definitely disheartening, to say the least.
Kaleena Zanders, a fan who just spent $173 on Prince-related items on the very same day that she heard of Prince’s passing, said:
”Prince means the future, because he’s changed music, everyone in music, he’s influenced every person, and I believe that he represents our future, and it kind of died with him in a way.”
U.S. President Barack Obama also acknowledged what Prince did for the industry. ”As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer,” Obama said.
”A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said – and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.”
Prince truly was a creative genius in spreading his revolutionary message. His song ”Hello” spoke of how ”We’re against hungry children / Our record stands tall / There’s just as much hunger here at home.” He also took on poverty through his hit single ”Ol’ Skool Company” back in 2010 from which he sang, ”Everybody’s talkin’ about hard times / Like it just started yesterday / People eye know they’ve been strugglin’ / At least it seems that way / Fat cats on Wall Street / They got a bailout / While somebody else got 2 wait.”
Away from the microphone, Prince continued to live up to his reputation as an advocate for change, being a dedicated supporter of the Elevate Hope Foundation, not to mention his $1.5 million donations to local New York charities.
Although the world has lost yet another one of music’s greats, the steps that Prince took for social justice will not be forgotten. He will be remembered as a trailblazer, a revolutionary leader, and a true activist who demanded equality for all.
He will be remembered for all of these, as well as being an amazing artist.
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