RIP Prince 1958-2016

Details are just coming in, but the world is reeling from the breaking news that Prince, aka Prince Rogers Nelson, has died in his home in Minneapolis.  He was 57.

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It is difficult to overstate his importance to pop music.  In addition to his parade of hits, he was a virtuosic musician, playing 27 instruments on his 1978 debut album, For You.  He produced and helped shepherd numerous other artists through the years, from the Time to Sheila E., and other artists has career-making hits with his compositions, such as the Bangles’ “Manic Monday” & Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”  He bridged the gap between the R&B and funk sounds of urban America with the rock heroics of 70s-era music scene, in a way that artists like James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding did before him.  He took controversial political stands about the position of the artist within the monolithic music industry.  He was an actor, he was a fashion icon, he was an icon in every sense of the word.

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We will be covering the music, career and life of Prince here over the next weeks.