Today is Prince Day. Prince Day was a day that was declared by the Minnesota governor, Mark Dayton to remember and celebrate Prince’s musical legacy. And it also happened to fall on his birthday. If Prince would have been alive, he would have turned fifty nine years old. However it is my mission to remember and celebrate how Prince’s musical legacy how I see it. Hence the importance of Prince’s musical accomplishments must be highlighted to accurately celebrate him, as a musical legend.
Growing up, I always knew who Prince was. My mother had been a huge fan of his and always played his music(well not the songs with sexual connotations in it) often. In fact, she went to see Purple Rain when it was in theaters back in 1984. Though I liked a few of his songs, I didn’t quite understand him. I thought he was weird and effeminate. I felt that it was odd that she held such reverence towards him despite me not thinking much of him. Fortunately, I didn’t really start to like Prince until I was a teenager. I had grown tired of listening to the music of my peers and started to listen to the Classics and oldies. I started to listen to his music and realize how much of a musical genius and pioneer he was. There wasn’t many online ventures that played his music, but I looked hard enough for the few that did. When I would listen to his music, I would feel a sense of chills and awe from the listening to the sexual connotations of Little Red Corvette and Cream. For some reason, I saw him as edgy and his lyrics spoke to my underlying sexual desires and feelings. I did my research on him and realized all of the influences in his life that led him to create the music he created. Then it donned on me that he wasn’t as weird or effeminate that I had thought he was. Needless to say, I didn’t really start listening to the music from his catalog until after he died.
On the evening of April 20th, 2016, I was texting a guy that I was seeing. He told me that he was going to come see me with a friend. It wasn’t long until he came for me and I met his friend. We walked around and drove around the area. He offered to take me out to eat but I declined. I had already ate that day. Then he stopped outside of my apartment to talk and walk around. In fact, one of the conversations we had was about music. I mentioned Prince as one of my favorite musicians and how I held him in high regard. Then I told him that I had to go to bed because it was a school day. I hugged him and told them goodnight. I went to bed. I didn’t get any news of Prince’s death until a friend of mine texted me the next day. I had just came back from attending Math class that morning and had come back home to take a shower. I was doing some homework when I got an alert from my cell phone. I read a text message that Prince had died. I didn’t believe her until I googled it on my laptop. I couldn’t believe it. Prince is dead at age 57. So I started to search endlessly for his music and listen to it whenever I can. It wasn’t long until I started to even listen to lesser known songs of his such as I’m Yours from his first album, For You. The more I learned about the music on his catalog the more I began to appreciate the musical greats he left behind for the world to enjoy and appreciate.
What are the main highlights of Prince’s career?
- He won an Academy Award for the Best Original Song Score in 1985 for the movie, Purple Rain.
- Prince won a total of seven Grammys including one in 1985 for Purple Rain soundtrack.
- His albums, 1999 and Purple Rain are rewarded in the Grammys Hall of Fame Award.
- He won a total of four MTV Music Awards.
- Prince knew how to play over twenty seven instruments.
- He produced and wrote all of the songs and played all of the instruments on his 1978 debut album, For You.
- His estate, Paisley Park was his home and also a built in studio for him to record his own music
- Prince left Warner Brother’s contract and protested against the music label’s control over the content and production of the music he produced. He wrote the word, slave on his cheek as an act of defiance.
- Chaka Khan’s song, I Feel For You was originally written and composed by Prince early in his career.
- Prince is often compared to his counterpart, the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
More over, I appreciate the musical legacy and catalog that Prince left behind. Millions around the world were devastated by the news of his death like I was. Fortunately, he will live on through his music and accolades he achieved while he was on earth. There wouldn’t be another musician like him ever again.