Prince Roger Nelson, a singer, songwriter and a musician. A man whose unique style has had a visible influence on modern music culture of varying genres.
His refusal to conform to a solid style of music or fashion and his ability to mould and shape his voice in an intriguing way are one of the biggest reasons that his legacy will transcend time.
Since the announcement of his death, Prince has sold 3.5 million albums. The world has taken to social media to show their appreciation for his contribution to people's lives through his music. Tributes of many shapes and forms are being made to honour his life. Seemingly, one of the best ways to pay tribute to him is to let his music speak for itself.
‘For You’ (1978) was the first album released by prince at just 17 years old. Prince had an involvement in every stage of this album. From composing and producing, to playing each instrument that make up each song, he kept this habit going all through his life. The album truly sets the mark for Prince’s ability to capture a moment and turn it into the soulful sounds that send chills down our backs.
‘Prince - Soft and Wet’ (1978), was the point the world realised this young 5′2″ man from Minneapolis, Minessotta wasn’t playing games. You can’t help but smile and feel the cheeky, sensual and playful nature of his voice. ‘Prince - I wanna be your lover’ (1979), brings a lot of people back to a moment of being young and heart-eyed for their first crush. The songs not only showed off his vocal talents but also acts as a sneak peek for what was to be expected from this eccentric and remarkable man.
The album, ‘Dirty Mind (1980)’, raised a lot of eyebrows for music enthusiasts upon its release. Here was a mainstream black man singing some songs in the style of rock while donning a blouse and doing so boldly and unapologetically. If there wasn’t enough eyes on him for the way he glided across the stage in vibrant frills and performed as though he was every note personified, ‘Dirty Mind (1980)’ made sure people realised he was here to be daring and downright sexy. When he performed songs like ‘Do Me, Baby’ (1982) he broke all the rules about where you were allowed to take your music.
‘Purple Rain (1984)’, the soundtrack to the movie ‘Purple Rain’ which was loosely based on Prince’s life, sold more than 13 million copies upon release. Single tracks like, ‘Prince - When Doves Cry’ (1984) ensured Prince kept his No.1 spot on charts across the world, while graphic songs like ‘Prince -Darling Nikki’ (1984) are the reason we have parental advisory stickers on albums today! Prince was certainly deemed too hot for our ears.
The well-known song, 'Prince- Kiss’ (1986), from his album ‘Parade (1986)’ was so popular, Prince went on to include it in four future albums including his 2006 album ‘Ultimates’ and the single has repeatedly dominated charts. What’s astonishing about Prince is that although from 1978 - 2006 he released 31 full length studio albums and had featured in at least 12 albums of various artists, this was a man who wasn’t interested in taking breaks. He honestly was “the great musician”.
In 2007, he released his ‘Planet Earth (2007)’ album for free, a gift to his fans worldwide. Prince didn’t want his 2010 album ‘“20TEN’ to be available online as he believed the internet was where music went to be devalued. One of the last albums released by Prince was ‘Art Official Age (2014)’. The album landed in the top 5 on charts in Norway, Switzerland, France, Denmark and Japan.
While the icon’s death shook the world, it’s evident that his first love was his music. He created his own genre and when he shared it with the world, we listened. Music legends like Prince may be mortal, but they never truly die. It’s obvious that Prince has been made eternal by his art because somewhere in the world someone will always be listening.