Legendary performer, musician Prince has died at age 57. We’ll listen back to a remarkable career.
What Prince really wanted when he composed and played and performed was freedom, he told the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Freedom to produce and play and say anything he wanted to. He won that freedom in part by doing so much himself. On many albums, every instrument, every vocal line – produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Prince. Then he shared that freedom with us. In Purple Rain, Kiss, When Doves Cry and so many more. Up next On Point: remembering Prince.
Susan Rogers, professor of music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music. Prince’s engineer on Purple Rain (1984), Around the World in a Day (1985), Parade (1986), Sign o' the Times (1987), and most of The Black Album (1994).
From Tom's Reading List
Prince dead at 57: Legendary musician found at Paisley Park — Legendary Minnesota pop musician Prince, widely hailed as a versatile musical genius, was found dead Thursday morning at his Paisley Park recording studio complex in Chanhassen. He was 57. Immediately upon hearing the news, mourners began lining up with flowers and stuffed animals outside the studio on Audubon Road, some sobbing and embracing. Shocked condolences flooded social media. Lawmakers paused for a moment of silence at a state legislative hearing. A wave of purple washed over the Twin Cities, on sports teams’ social media pages and buildings. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
From the Archives Where music meets religion. What an L.A. Times writer learned spending a night with Prince in 2009 — "Prince's personality seems to be governed by two oppositional impulses: the hunger to create and an equally powerful craving for control. Intense productivity battles with meticulousness within his working process. Others might not anticipate his next move, but it is all part of the chess game for him." (Los Angeles Times)
On Prince, blackness, and sexuality — A man. Clearly a man. A black man. Slight of stature, narrow of hip. Rising to global popularity in the 1980s, at the same time as another major American export: Hip-hop. A genre in which many black male artists releasing music on shelves alongside Prince’s albums—Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Ice Cube—projected an urban toughness. Leather jackets thick as armor, heavy gold chains, bold aggression. But Prince was a flirtatious, peacock pastiche made of diamonds and pearls, a dandy in paisley and lace. Some rappers’ personas aligned with the age-old oversexed, “primitive,” mandingo stereotype invented by white slaveowners. Prince defied stereotypes, period. (Fusion)
This program aired on April 22, 2016.