David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Frank Sinatra Jr., Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), Glenn Frey (Eagles), Keith Emerson (Emerson Lake and Palmer), George Martin (Beatles producer), Maurice White (Earth Wind and Fire), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane).... 2016 has been an especially terrible year when it comes to losing musical icons.
Unfortunately, another major name in the history of recorded music has been added to that list. At the far-too-young age of 57, Prince passed away at his Paisley Park residence, as confirmed by his official publicist.
Details are vague at this point; however, earlier this month, Prince had to temporarily postpone a planned performance in Atlanta due to illness. After soldiering through the make up date, his plane was forced to take an emergency landing in Illinois so that the legendary singer and guitarist could seek medical attention.
Prince has seen sustained popularity since he first emerged on the scene in the early 80's. It was his iconic album 1999, and the single of the same name, that first launched "the Purple One" into the mainstream. A string of subversively and overtly raunchy hits soon followed, including Darling Nikki, Raspberry Beret and Little Red Corvette gave the PMRC fits and songs like Let's Go Crazy and Purple Rain became ubiquitous parts of American culture (even if the movie of the same, latter name decidedly didn't).
The eccentric artist may have changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol for a time and been notably reclusive; that said, his blend of rock, funk, R&B and pop created one of the most unique sounds in business and he is universally accepted as one of the greatest guitarists and lyricists of all-time
In recent years, Prince has slayed a Super Bowl halftime show, released a string of critically acclaimed singles and albums and made popular guest appearances on TV, such as his cameo in New Girl. His appeal as a musician and artist stretched through several generations, much like David Bowie.
As such, today I'll been spinning my original pressing of his 1999 album and my purple, 7" single of Purple Rain (which has one of the greatest guitar solos ever committed to record) in honor of this influential icon. Prince himself may now be gone; however, his genius and presence will continue to be felt on the airwaves and through stereo speakers forever.
The most rock n' roll halftime show - ever.