Prince is dead, “Purple Rain” now just a legacy, after paramedics were called to his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota at 9:43 a.m. Thursday, April 21, 2016. The Carver County Sheriff’s Department, along with a forensics team and a medical examiner, confirmed the pop star’s passing. His private plane had been forced to make an emergency landing on Friday, April 15, in order for him to be hospitalized for flu-like symptoms.
According to CBC, Prince, 57, was released within hours of his hospital visit, and was seen the next day, riding his bicycle around his neighborhood. He even got to host a dance party in the dead of night, Saturday, April 16, at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Prince played the resilient trouper throughout his solo Piano and a Microphone tour, against claims that he was turning to dead wood. His itinerary included gigs in Toronto and Montreal in late March.
Prince Rogers Nelson, a.k.a. Prince, had been exhibiting flu-like symptoms for several weeks but seemed to be on a rebound until early Friday when his condition worsened during his private flight. His plane was diverted to Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, for an unscheduled landing, and he was rushed to the hospital for treatment lasting three hours, and then released, no one expecting him to be dead in a week.
Reuters flashbacked to the late 1970s when he first found fame and grew into a force to contend with in American pop music for the next three decades. Prince was considered unstoppable, on a dead run for superstardom, selling more than 100 million records and winning seven Grammy awards. By the time 2004 rolled around, he’d arrived at his pedestal of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2007, his memorable performance at the Super Bowl proved that he still had the magic, that his act was not dead in the water.
In December 2015, he released his latest album, HITnRUN: Phase Two, as another notch in his belt of accomplishments. Prince has been on tour in the United States until the recent worsening of his condition.
According to BBC, the circumstances around Prince’s passing are still unexplained pending investigation. An unnamed spokeswoman for the dead musical icon issued the following statement to the press:
“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died. There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”
Prince was a prolific songwriter and performer who recorded more than 30 albums, and among his top hits are “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry.” By 1984, he’d reached his pinnacle, winning an Oscar for the score to Purple Rain, a film wherein he had a starring role.
According to Billboard Magazine, Prince has maintained a high profile in its Hot 100 songs chart and won Billboard’s Icon Award at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, where his hits include five first placers, often in a dead heat with each other. The range of his chart-topping work goes from “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Kiss” to funky beats of “Hot Thing” and “Controversy” to passionate love songs “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and “Take Me With U”.
Billboard has reviewed the 40 top Hot 100 hits in Prince’s long career, highlighting songs that will continue as he lies dead and silent. Leading the pack is his No. 1 smash from the Purple Rain soundtrack, “When Doves Cry,” which came out in 1984 and hit the number 1 spot. Closely following behind is “Kiss” at number 1 in 1986, then “Let’s Go Crazy” at number 1 in 1984, “Cream” at number 1 in 1991, “Batdance” at number 1 in 1989, “Raspberry Beret” at number 2 in 1985, “U Got the Look” at number 2 in 1987, “Purple Rain” at number 2 in 1984, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” at number 3 in 1994, and “Sign ‘O’ the Times” at number 3 in 1987.
When Beyoncé and Prince did a Purple Rain medley at the 2004 Grammys, she was a bundle of nerves. He gave her a piece of advice she still remembers.
“Don’t be scared. Come on, belt it out.”
Now the words she can still quote have become the legacy of a dead prince.
[Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images]