Remembering Prince, A Look Back At The Legacy Of A Musical Genius

Legendary singer-songwriter Prince has died today, as multiple sources have confirmed, and the performer leaves behind one of the most storied and influential legacies of any modern musician.

As the Inquisitr reported previously, pop superstar Prince was found dead at his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The cause of death is still unconfirmed, but fans around the world are already reacting to the crushing loss of Prince, one of the most famous and influential musicians in the world.

Prince became one of the most iconic musicians in history after a humble upbringing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a where he started small, writing his first song at age seven. A musical prodigy from a young age, Prince’s passion for music brought him to the stage for the first time performing with the band 94 East, for whom he wrote a the song “Just Another Sucker.” Prince attracted the attention of record executives early in his career when producer Chris Moon shopped around Prince’s demo tape, securing him an early record contract with Warner Bros. As a star on the rise, Prince left 94 East shortly after releasing his first album in 1978, titled For You.

Prince’s debut album was part of a record deal which secured the budding musician full creative control over his first three albums, and ownership of the publishing rights. This first record deal marked what would become hallmarks of Prince’s relationship with the recording industry — Prince became well known for his perfectionism, for his attention to detail, and for his uncompromising demand for creative freedom. Prince was, by nature, a perfectionist, and frequently came into conflict with record executives who pushed for more and more control over Prince’s sound, image, and publishing rights. Prince proved a formidable opponent for the recording industry, using his business savvy and renown to push for ever more creative control and freedom from restrictive record industry contracts.

After the release of For You, 19-year-old Prince was a star on the rise in the music industry, receiving glowing reviews from critics who praised Prince’s original sound and style — as well as the staggering feat of performing all 27 instruments heard on the studio album. After establishing himself within the recording industry, Prince released albums at a steady rate, growing more and more ambitious with each one — the cost of his first studio album was reportedly twice the advance he was paid for it.

Prince released four more albums, all of which were met with critical acclaim and wild praise from Prince’s ever-growing fan base, but Prince really hit it big in 1984 with the release of his album Purple Rain — the film of the same name won an Academy Award and reportedly grossed more than $80 million in the United States alone. Prince was famous before Purple Rain, he had a huge fan base, and he’d established himself as a virtuoso performer in the pop scene, but after Purple Rain, Prince became a superstar.

Rolling Stone consistently ranked Purple Rain as one of the greatest albums of all time — the Prince masterpiece contained hits that have remained popular for decades. Purple Rain featured songs that would become hallmarks of Prince’s musical legacy: “Purple Rain,” “When the Doves Cry,” and “Let’s Go Crazy” all have tens of millions of views on YouTube, a tribute to Prince’s enduring legacy among fans young and old.

Billboard reports that Prince was not only an influential and perfectionist performer, but also incredibly prolific. Reportedly, Prince maintained a “vault” of unreleased recordings, containing never-before-heard songs and musical experiments which have become the stuff of urban legend.

Prince died today at age 57, but his musical legacy will endure for generations.

[Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for NPG Records 2015]