Music by August Prum June 7, 2017
Prince, one of the most influential artists in modern music, would have turned 59 today.
The Minnesota native melded elements of soul, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, r&b, gospel, and American pop music unlike any other artist in history, bending genres and changing the way people listened to and thought about music.
Prince was also moved the needle socially. His flamboyant outfits and flippant treatment of the conservative, Reagan-era, American social establishment made him a social and sexual icon, pushing the envelope in both music and society.
Virtually all modern American pop culture was shaped, influenced, and affected by Prince Rogers Nelson.
Tributes to the late great “Purple Rain” singer came in from all corners of the music and art world on Wednesday.
Prince’s sister Tyka Rogers released a music video for her song “End of the Road,” celebrating the life of her brother and the Rogers’ childhood in Minneapolis.
The music video shows previously unseen pictures from Prince’s childhood, including the home he grew up in and the nightclub where Prince got his start.
Tyka Rogers said of “End of the Road,”
“After Prince passed I wanted to give him one final birthday present and I decided to fulfill his wish, and record this song at Paisley Park [where Prince passed away]. This song poses the question ‘is this the End of The Road?’ and my answer is I don’t think so! I will see all three of my beautiful family members someday again.”
The music video and song are a beautiful tribute from Prince’s young sister, and proof that the Rogers family had some pretty impressive musical genes.
Sheila E., who was taken under Prince’s tutelage as a young artist and had both a romantic and artistic relationship with Rogers, released her own rendition of Prince’s “America.” She told Rolling Stone that Prince wrote the song in response to American foreign policy in the Reagan era, but the song still resonates today.
“Prince wrote the song in response to America bombing Libya America. It’s crazy, because here we are again.”
Outside Prince’s home at Paisley Park, thousands of fans packed outside the fence, blaring their favorite Prince deep-cuts, dancing away, and covering the fence with purple flowers and signs.
Prince quite simply changed the way music sounded, what it looked like, and what artists were allowed to do. With the release of 1984’s Purple Rain, and the subsequent soundtrack, Prince became a bonafide star across multiple mediums.
Owen Husney, Prince’s longtime manager who first singed The Purple One when he was 18-years-old, said we should remember Prince for how he changed what it meant to be an artist.
“I think, more than a song, you should remember … what he did to break down barriers. There are only a handful of artists that have broken down barriers between all the musical genres, and I think that’s how he should be remembered. I think he just has to be understood for the body of work he’s going to leave us — and I’m talking beyond just what we call traditional rock ‘n’ roll and funk and everything else. I think he’s got things that are in the vaults at Paisley Park that we will be unpacking for years to come, and we will be amazed.”
Activist and political pundit Van Jones posted a lengthy video celebrating Prince’s wonderful life and career, although Jones does note that Prince himself didn’t have time for that sort of thing.
Prince never celebrated birthdays. But today we celebrate him. 💜 #Prince #ThankYouPrince WATCH (grab some tissues) https://t.co/3qlMpYtRPk pic.twitter.com/7kXtPhVCZj
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) June 7, 2017
Best believe we’re celebrating Prince’s birthday over here at the KH offices.
I know there are some youngins out there not really knowing too much about the man who changed American music forever and I urge you all to watch (and listen to) Purple Rain.
Shit, Chris Rock is right we shouldn’t even have work today.
Today's is the birthday of Prince and for some insane reason schools are open. Damn you President Trump. pic.twitter.com/A1Tm83MpsO
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) June 7, 2017