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Dead at 57. Here's a link to Rolling Stone's obituary.

Back in the 80's I commuted into the city from NJ. More often than not, the soundtrack for the trek from Port Authority to my office was a Prince mixtape in my Walkman.

It's a beautiful day ... perhaps a memorial stroll down 42nd Street with "Kiss" blasting in my ears is in order. (Warning: it's a Prince video; it's just barely SFW.)

Truly one of the great pop artists and a superb musician. And a supporter of arts education, too, including ABT & the JKO school. He gets some of the credit for bringing Misty Copeland to the attention of a wider audience.

PS: I just have to add this quote from Copeland in the New York Magazine article linked above: Prince “prefers to see me in the really classical stuff, with the tiara and a tutu,” Copeland says laughing. “He saw me do a gig where I was doing Sugarplum in the Nutcracker, and he absolutely loved that.”

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Too much bad news -- can we make it stop for a little while. Please?

A smidgen from Billboards (sorry for the promotional stuff -- I can't find something cleaner right now)

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He was an extraordinary guitarist and all-around musician. RIP Prince Rogers Nelson.

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Oh gosh, I completely forgot about his support of ABT and their school. Yes, I remember Copeland danced in one of his videos years ago.

So very sad to hear he's passed away. Shocked actually. I had many posters of him on my teen-aged bedroom walls and nearly wore out my tapes (remember those?) of his music.

Another legend....gone.

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I saw him interviewed on Charlie Rose a few years back, and what really impressed me was his support for musicianship. He was a big fan of Alicia Keys, for both her musicianship as a singer *and* as a piano player. He was really interested in all of the arts, as long as they were done in an authentic manner (which explains his interest in Copeland in traditional ballet choreo). He was an extraordinarily intelligent man, and was probably pidgeonholed by his early accomplishments in the pop genre. I know influenza has taken down others in their prime, but this is such a shock because he spoke in the interview of leading a very healthy lifestyle (nutritious food choices, exercise, etc). But influenza can be fatal and I'm just so sorry it took such a talented man away in his prime.

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When I heard the news at work, I grew curious as to what the radio stations would play on my commute home. I've long thought that his major phase was between the years 1982 and 1987 when he released the albums 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade and Sign o' the Times and seemingly everyone was releasing versions of his songs, including Chaka Khan w/ "I Feel 4 U," Cyndi Lauper w/ "When U Were Mine," The Time w/ "Jungle Love" and "The Bird," The Family w/ "Nothing Compares 2 U" (later immortalized by Sinead O'Connor) and The Bangles w/ "Manic Monday".

Sure enough, everything I heard on my ride home was from that period -- "Little Red Corvette," "When Doves Cry," "Purple Rain," "Raspberry Beret," "Sign o' the Times" and "U Got the Look". As major phases go in pop music, that was about as major as it is possible to get within a concentrated period. After that, from the late-80s to the mid-90s, his recorded output became more scattershot. And for the last 20 years, the public preferred to ignore his actual records and instead go see him perform live. (I don't think his abilities as a live performer ever diminished.)

Did anyone ever see the Joffrey's production of Billboards? Given the hysterical reviews at the time, the Joffrey could have killed someone and received less adverse commentary than it received for Billboards.

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MTV is actually running music videos. I just saw an extended version of I Would Die 4U.

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"....and another one down, and another one down; another one bites the dust!"

So sorry to hear this.

Yes, influenza, should it turn out to be one of the things which killed him, can indeed be deadly. (we often forget that nowadays)

He will be sorely missed.

-d-

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Oh, I wouldn't blame it all on the flu just yet.

Too bad. Extraordinary talent. Thanks for the links, Kathleen.

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I live in Minneapolis and the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelmingly beautiful. From street parties to all night dance parties at First Ave (3 nights in a row) to an outdoor filming of Purple Rain in Downtown Mpls - it has been amazing! Watching the movie really hit home. But what I love the most is his love for ballet. In fact Prince hosted a benefit to raise money for our home ballet studio, Minnesota Dance Theatre (MDT). Prince, Morris Day (the TIme) took classes at MDT to learn how to dance for his upcoming movie (Purple Rain) and the instructor from MDT was the choreographer. In fact Prince debuted Purple Rain for the first time at the MDT fundraiser. Since then Prince remained a supporter of the Company and School. Prince was kind, giving and a local who had a HUGE impact on the Twin Cities - and of course the world. He will be remembered in so many ways but I especially love that the Ballet world was a part of is world!

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2016/04/23/purple-rain-choreographer/?cid=facebook_WCCO-TV_|_CBS_Minnesota

https://www.facebook.com/mdtdance/photos/pcb.10153982876690199/10153982860895199/?type=3&theater

http://shine.forharriet.com/2016/04/how-prince-introduced-misty-copeland-to.html#ixzz46lBzF4iG

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Thanks so much for giving us this hometown report. I have friends and family from the area, but no one there right now, and was wondering how things were.

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@Sandik - it has been more than amazing. Yesterday there was moment of silence with a huge musical tribute at the Wild game, the downtown Mpls bell tower played a tribute to him Sunday afternoon with 5 of his songs done by bells (link below), Every building and bridge in downtown Mpls lit up in purple. A fly over smoke design in the sky of Prince's symbol during a jazz festival. A 28 hour "A-Z" playlist of Prince's entire collection on the local radio station that Prince loved. And of course First Ave and Paisley Park have been inundated with flowers and fans paying their respect. It has been amazing to not only see the local support, as he was a guy who loved his city and supported local artists in the most amazing of ways. Beyond that, his support to the causes he believed in remained consistent and strong, but done in such a quiet, anonymous manner that we may never really learn of the extent he supported the arts, the schools and of course the musicians.

https://www.facebook.com/TheCurrent/videos/10153407045302657/?pnref=story

Below is the first ever released LIVE benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theatre where Prince debuted Purple Rain for the first time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-O-LsD7czo&feature=youtu.be

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Oh thanks for this -- I've heard about it, but didn't know how to find anything from it.

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This according to my local alternative newspaper:

"When [James Brown drummer] Clyde Stubblefield had bladder cancer in 2000, Prince stepped in and paid off the balance of his $90,000 medical bill. Stubblefield's wife went public with the story after Prince died April 21."

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Per the MTA and NYC's Department of Environmental Protection, 10 peregrine falcon chicks have hatched atop three of the MTA's area bridges. They've all been given names, among which are Princess, Roger, and Nelson, which I'm going to take as a tribute ...

(FYI, the rest are named April, May, June, Huey, Daisy, Little Bob and Freddy.)

I'll take them that way too (wondering, though, if there's a Huey, why did they leave out Dewey and Louie?)

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Posted (edited)

For those who are interested, the Prince estate's latest "from the vaults" release is Originals, which contains the original demo versions of songs Prince gave away to other performers and, in some cases, became very big hits for those performers. More info here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Originals_(Prince_album)

Here is Prince's version of "Manic Monday," which was a #2 hit for The Bangles in 1986. (Kept off the top spot by Prince's own "Kiss")

For comparison here is The Bangles' (definitive, in my opinion) version:

 

Edited by miliosr

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If I'm lucky, I'll be gone before the estate finishes cleaning out the vaults.  Prince!

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18 hours ago, sandik said:

If I'm lucky, I'll be gone before the estate finishes cleaning out the vaults.

I have mixed feelings about some of these posthumous releases. I'm all for remastered rereleases of the studio albums Prince released during his lifetime. But Originals is really more of "historical interest" than anything else. Listening to demos of songs Prince gave to other singers is fine once or twice. But all Originals really does is to confirm that the subsequent cover versions are the definitive versions, especially The Bangles' "Manic Monday," Sheila E's "The Glamorous Life," Martika's "Love . . . Thy Will Be Done," Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U," and The Time's "Jungle Love".

What I would like to see from the estate is a box set devoted to the unreleased albums Dream Factory, Camille and Crystal Ball, which eventually resolved themselves into Prince's 1987 masterpiece, Sign o' the Times.

 

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And I'm a simple girl -- I want it all.

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On 8/28/2019 at 7:48 AM, miliosr said:

For those who are interested, the Prince estate's latest "from the vaults" release is Originals, which contains the original demo versions of songs Prince gave away to other performers and, in some cases, became very big hits for those performers.

In addition to being a huge Joni Mitchell fan, Prince was also a huge Mavis Staples fan. Prince and Staples (who was a generation older) were close personally and he wrote quite a few songs for her. 

From the Guardian: If All I Was Was Black – Mavis Staples, 2017

Then there was Prince. He signed Staples to his Paisley Park label after falling in love with her backing vocals on Nona Hendryx’s 1987 single, Baby Go-Go, then watched the Staple Singers’ 1971 Soul to Soul movie about a concert they had played in Ghana. “I’ve been in love with Mavis since I saw that movie,” he told Staples’ biographer Greg Kot in 2014. “I would watch her [singing] … it’s like when you see someone possessed.”

“He was so shy when we met; too timid to say a word,” Staples recalls. She started writing to him instead and he put her words into songs. One of those lines (“We went to church on Sunday mornin’ / All dressed up looking fine”) begins a verse of Blood Is Thicker Than Time, which is her favourite song that he wrote for her.

They spoke and wrote to each other right up until Prince’s death last year. Staples struggles to talk about him today. He called her Mama, which had a deeper impact, as she didn’t have any children of her own; her unhappy eight-year marriage to Chicago funeral director Arthur Leak ended in 1972 when he asked her to stop singing – she would never stop singing. “I still can’t listen to an entire Prince song without breaking down. I was in Saint Paul, Minnesota, just last month [on the Dylan tour] and planned to go to his museum. But, on the day, I realised I wasn’t ready yet. I’d have needed someone to hold me up.”

Fun Mavis Staples fact: Bob Dylan proposed to her, but she turned him down

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