By Joselle Dizon
Kiss, When Doves Cry, I Feel for You. Three of the late Prince’s many hits. Praised for his incredible vocal ranges and unique style, the musician’s death on April 21, 2016 brought millions of his fans together to mourn his loss, but also to celebrate his successful career.
Prince, born in Minneapolis, did not lead a luxurious life as a child. He once said that his family was so poor that sometimes he stood outside of restaurants to smell good food. But one thing he did have as a kid was music. Prince pursued his interest in music at quite a young age. Mastering at least 27 instruments, the artist received his first record deal at 18 years old with Warner Bros. and released a platinum album (Prince) by the time he was 21.
Creating fusions of rock, disco, and pop, the musician draws his inspirations from other renowned artists – Carlos Santana, Mick Jagger, and Jimi Hendrix to name a few. He quickly gained people’s attention with his unorthodox music genres and flamboyant look. He often challenged social norms, singing of sex and dressing up as a woman. And that’s what people loved most about him – his ability to effortlessly defy these standards and make something beautiful of it.
But despite his success in the industry, Prince had trouble in something else. He had quite a few legal issues throughout his career, including a battle with Warner Bros. He felt that the company had started to take over his career, and even signed a contract giving WB ownership for all of his music. Prince’s reaction: change his name as a means of separating himself from the company. For some time, he had the word “slave” written on his cheek to emphasize his point that musicians are chained to record labels.
Prince has rightfully earned the title of once who revolutionized the music industry. His brought his very own style of artistry and it truly inspired many musicians who followed him. His music, his very being really encouraged people to break away from conformity and follow their own hearts.
In his lifetime, Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide, won 7 Grammys, and headlined 29 tours. His career, although a relatively short-lived one, has definitely made its own mark in music history.