Singer Songwriter Prince Dead at 57

Posted on April 21, 2016

Prince The Hits cover

Oscar and Grammy winning songwriter and performer Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as Prince, was found dead at his home in Minnesota this morning. No cause of death has been reported, although he had been suffering from the flu. On Friday his private plane was diverted to Illinois and he was rushed to a local hospital for an undisclosed medical emergency. He was released and flew home to Chanhassen, Minnesota.

CNN is reporting that police were called to Paisley Park, his estate, this morning, where Prince was found dead. He appeared at an event this past weekend and told the crowd that he had been suffering from the flu. Prince became a Jehovah's Witness in 2001. He became very religious, studying the bible for hours. He wouldn't even swear due to his religious beliefs. He would surprise local suburbanites by appearing at their front door with a Bible to talk about God and religion, as required by his religion.

In a number of interviews he was asked about his earlier work, which contained racy lyrics, but Prince declined to discuss the past. He was married twice, once to his backup dancer, Mayte Garcia in 1996. They had a son who died as an infant. The couple later divorced. Prince battled with his record company and changed his name to a glyph, so he became the artist formerly known as Prince. But he eventually changed his name back.

Prince's 1984 album Purple Rain, written for the film of the same name, made him a superstar. He won the Oscar for Best Original Score at the 57th Academy Awards for Purple Rain. He released 41 studio albums including Prince, Dirty Mind, 1999, Sign o' the Times, Lovesexy, Batman, Graffiti Bridge and HITnRUN Phase One and Phase Two He was an amazingly prolific and talented songwriter and performer who sold more than 100 million albums and wrote countless hits for other artists. He won multiple Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe for his single "The Song of The Heart" from the Happy Feet soundtrack.

Prince was writing his memoir, which was to be published by Random House in 2017. The book was to be called The Beautiful Ones. Rolling Stone reported that Prince discussed the memoir with a group of reporters in March at the Manhattan club Avenue before he was set to perform. He told them, "The good people at Random House have made me an offer that I can't refuse. We're starting right at the beginning from my first memory, and hopefully we can move all the way to the Super Bowl. We just started, we're going as quick as we can, working tirelessly."

The memoir was set to be released by the imprint Spiegel & Grau. During his set he stopped in the middle of the song to tell the crowd, "We wanna thank Random House...Ain't nothing random about this book." It is unclear how far Prince had gotten with writing, or if the memoir will be cancelled.

Prince gave an amazing performance in the pouring rain at the Super Bowl XLI halftime show on February 4, 2007 in which he played his hits "Let's Go Crazy", "Baby I'm a Star", "Proud Mary", "All Along the Watchtower", "Best of You", and "Purple Rain." In this video you can see the performance on a slippery stage, along with commentary from the producers who didn't see how any one could perform under those conditions. But he did -- he and his four electric guitars were soaking wet, but it didn't bother him a bit.

Prince was a brilliant and unique talent who will be greatly missed. Here he is performing "She's Always in my Hair" with his band 3rdEyegirl on Arsenio. Take a look:

Photo: Warner Bros.

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