Photo credit: Scott Penner

Early today, TMZ reported that Prince Rogers Nelson, most commonly known only as Prince, had died. We take a moment to remember his career and his legacy.

Prince was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 7th, 1958. He wrote his first song at the tender age of 7, and released his first album, For You, in 1978. A year later, he released Prince (1979), which went platinum, and launched a prolific and successful career.

He cemented himself as one of the most versatile funk maestros, and was rapidly recognized for his tremendous vocal range and incredible live presence. His shows were often theatrical and dramatic, and his focus on sexual themes and controversial stances earned him a cult following worldwide.

Prince released an incredible 39 studio albums during his 37-year long career, making him truly a music making machine. Alongside legends like James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone, he established himself as one of the household names of funk.

His superstar success continued through the 80s and into the early 90s. In the mid-90s, his popularity started to decline, but he remained one of the best-selling artists in the world.

Few musicians can reach an artistic lifespan so relevant as to inspire several new generations of musicians. His albums 1999 (1982), Purple Rain (1984) and Sign O’ The Times (1987) all reached multiplatinum status and are commonly found amongst artists’ inspiration and references.

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Purple Rain, especifically, turned him into a global icon. The album was said to sell one million copies per week in the U.S. alone, and the movie of the same name became a #1 blockbuster hit. The album spent an incredible 24 weeks at the top of the charts.

He was regarded as one of the industry’s most gifted guitarists, multi-instrumentalists, and creative masterminds. His foray into psychedelic rock and pop heavily marked definitive moments in his career.

For his incredible work in music, he was introduced into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004, the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008, and was recognized with countless awards. Few artists have created work so vast and rich as Prince. Critics, pundits and fans alike all celebrated his achievements and suffered his defeats, and hold him in regard as one of the greatest artistic talents ever to grace the Earth.

Thank you for your guitar.

Rest in peace.

 

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