As if his life wasn’t a mystery to fans in itself, the death of beloved pop icon, Prince, on Thursday, April 21, 2016 remains an enigma. Emerging from Minneapolis, MN, where he was A1 on the basketball court, and also where he taught himself how to play the piano, drums and guitar, the uber-eccentric Prince Rogers Nelson’s adulation for music and eclectic talents began at a very young age. Taking his love for music into his own hands, he began his very first band, Grand Central, in high school with two fellow musicians.
The son of a jazz-band leader and a female vocalist, Prince’s journey into the music world began at age 18 when he signed to Warner Bros. Throughout his career, he dropped gems such as, “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” appealing not only to his fans auditorily, but also aesthetically, with his crisp hairstyles, ruffled attire and extravagant embellishments.
Like anybody who has gained success in the industry, Prince dealt with his fair shares of contentions and controversies. From his start in the late 70s to the 2000s, Prince has definitely had his ups and downs throughout his reign.
The seven-time Grammy winner grew strong tensions with his record label Warner Bros., comparing his record contract to slavery, which led to public appearances with the word “slave” on his face. Due to the fact that the label owned his name, the artist made news by changing his name to that of an indecipherable glyph, symbolizing the astrologic male and female fusion.This lasted until 1999 when his contract with Warner Bros. ended, during which he was most popularly referred to as “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.”
An indubitable icon for gays, Prince’s sexual orientation was a huge controversy for his large fan base. His metrosexual feminine essence, however, never got in the way of his pursuit for female companionship. He was romantically tied to celebrities such as Carmen Electra, Madonna, Sheila E., Vanity and Kim Basinger.
At age 37, he married his backup singer and dancer Mayte Garcia.After the death of their first child at only seven days old, the two split and he later wed Manuela Testolini in 2001. Their marriage only lasted for five years.
As all great things must come to an end, Prince was found unresponsive in the elevator of his Paisley Park estate, and was pronounced dead Thursday morning. With no signs of trauma or suicide, the Carver County police are continuing to investigate the circumstances around his death. The ruler of the 80s pop world started showing signs of problems two weeks prior to his passing, when he canceled two shows in Atlanta due to catching the flu. A week later, however, he put on a show that fans described as an, “epic performance,” where he was said to have, “left everything on the stage.”
On his flight back to Minneapolis only six days before his death, there was an emergency landing in Moline, IL where Prince was advised to remain in the hospital for 24 hours, although he only stayed for three. While his reps told sources he was hospitalized for the flu, the true circumstances of what was said to be a ‘life threatening emergency’ remain a mystery.
His awaited autopsy was completed Friday, although results may stay private as the pop legend kept most of his life. Prince leaves behind gold in his lyrics and melodies and will forever be remembered by fans as the ruler of 80s pop.