we are gathered here today
to get through this thing called life
The news that the iconic musical legend Prince, passing away on Thursday, April 21 was confirmed by his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure.
He was found deceased at his recording studio in his Paisely Park home in Chanhassen, Minn. on Thursday morning, as TMZ reported.
“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” Prince’s publicist, Noel-Schure said in a statement to the media on Thursday.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958 and was widely known for defying music genres and mashing together the sounds of rock, funk, R&B, pop, disco and jazz. Prince’s multifaceted talents were seen from near and far—an extraordinary guitarist, an unstoppable singer, an inventive songwriter and a stunning producer. Many musicians across all mediums, with all abilities praise him as their inspiration.
During Prince’s career, he was awarded with seven Grammys, an Oscar in 1985 for the category of Best Original Song Score with his song, “Purple Rain”, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Although tears of despair were streaming down fans’ faces over the influential artist’s sudden death on Thursday, no less than 12 hours after hearing the news, thousands of people gathered in downtown Minneapolis at First Avenue, the club that Prince made his regular venue and the setting for the infamous “Purple Rain” movie, to not mourn the artist’s death, but to celebrate his life.
Local MPR station, The Current held a last-minute tribute party from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. outside of First Avenue on Thursday evening, while the city of Minneapolis shut down the strip of Seventh Street between Hennepin and First Ave.
Special guests performing Prince’s notable songs included; DJ Shannon Blowtorch, Lizzo, Chastity Brown, P.O.S., Sarah White, Tiny Deaths and Pavielle, hosted by the Current’s Jade.
Afterwards, First Avenue began their eight hour Prince dance party, which they had special allowances from the city to let it go on until the wee hours of Friday morning, at 7:00 a.m. People poured into the club’s main room, filled with purple lights streaming every which way, dancing and singing along to the monumental music of the icon.
The notorious music club shared on their Facebook page, “Our hearts are broken. Prince was the Patron Saint of First Avenue. He grew up on this stage, and then commanded it, and he united our city. … Rest in peace and power Prince.”
Numerous buildings in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas were lit up in purple lights on Thursday evening, most prominently Interstate 35W and Lowry Ave. bridges in Minneapolis, as well as Target Corporation’s headquarters downtown, the lights on France Ave. in Edina, along with many others.
As much as Prince’s legacy is connected to his music, CNN political commentator and close friend of his, Van Jones, spoke out about how big of a humanitarian Prince was, on a live CNN broadcast.
“[Prince] did not want it to be known publicly, but I’m going to say it because the world needs to know that it wasn’t just the music,” Jones said. “The music was one way he tried to help the world. But he was helping every day of his life,” he said.
Jones continued to speak about how much Prince was always there for other people, including himself, and how he always wanted to help others in any way he could. Some of Prince’s efforts included helping create programs such as #YesWeCode, giving urban youth the opportunity to work with technology, as well as Green For All, an organization that helps with building a sustainable and “green” economy for everyone, which Jones is the face of.
People all around the world are coming together to create unique ways to honor the man who gave so much to others in his short life span. In St. Cloud, Minn., Marcus Theaters at Parkwood Cinema is sharing the magic of the iconic film, “Purple Rain” on the big screen. They originally had only two showtimes set on Sunday, April 23, until the demand was so high they added shows all week. The movie will be playing Monday, April 24 through Friday, April 28. Tickets are $5 and showtimes are at 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Prince was a legend in not only music, but in this thing called life. Whether you hear his songs as you are flipping through radio stations or creating playlists on Google Play, let’s all make sure to remember not only the eccentric musician, but the compassionate humanitarian who this man was.
10 Prince songs to get you through the day
“Let’s Go Crazy”
“When Doves Cry”
“The Beautiful Ones”
“When You Were Mine”
Jessie was the Editor-in-Chief of the University Chronicle during the 2017-2018 academic year. She graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Geography, and a minor in British Studies. Jessie’s social media channels are a mix of film and video game goodness, along with gender equality and inspiration vibes. Follow her on twitter @jessieannwade to connect.