Prince, who was hospitalized last week, has passed away today at the age of 57, his publicist has confirmed. No cause of death has been revealed.
Many of us will be, rightfully so, devastated. Prince (full name Prince Rogers Nelson) was many things - an honest-to-god musical genius, a mentor to many up and coming musicians, a brilliant performer. His first album, For You, was released when he was 20 years old and he wrote, produced, arranged, and composed every track, as well as playing all twenty-seven instruments on it. Prince was more than a man, he’s an icon, a superstar, a visionary the likes of which we rarely see, multi-talented and seemingly eternal. Yes, he has a series of occasionally laughably bad films, and his eccentricities are legendary (see Kevin Smith’s incredible story about his time with Prince for a wonderful, confusing, incredible example). He became a Jehovah’s Witness in 2001, and since then his politics became more conservative and often, somewhat murky. But it doesn’t change the fact that the musical landscape as we know it today would never be what it is without him. His good, his achievements, his talents all far outweigh his failures. On a personal note, he was a massive influence on my musical tastes, showing me that music truly has no boundaries and that art can take unexpected and wondrous forms.
There are few truly unique, legendary, historic musicians anymore. Prince was one of them, and for all his faults, the skies will be a bit darker tonight as one of its stars was extinguished. Rest in peace, Prince Rogers Nelson. Here’s to you finding a world of never ending happiness, where you can always see the sun - day or night.