The world-famous musician Prince died today: he was 57-years-old and discovered in his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. Though his private jet made an emergency landing for health reasons last week in Illinois, he appeared at a concert the next day and assured his fans that he was okay. Prior to that performance, he had cancelled two others citing health reasons.
According to TMZ, the site that announced his death, the star was treated for a drug overdose six days before his death. The New York Times points to signs of his failing health during his last days; you can also read the full transcript of the 911 call that preceded his death. He released 39 albums during his lifetime and sold over 100 million records during his lifetime.
While we love Prince because his sexually risque lyrics and gender-bending stage persona helped push creative and sexual self-expression, he was not perfect. In a 2008 interview, he said that God disapproved of homosexuality; in 2013, he featured anti-bisexual lyrics in his song “Da Burgeoisie” and in 2014 on The Arsenio Hall Show, he acted revulsed by the prospect of other men non-sexually touching him… pity. But the man means so much more culturally than his late-period anti-LGBT comments, so we commemorate him thusly.
We will expand this story as more details emerge… but for now, here are some fitting words from his 1984 song “Let’s Go Crazy”:
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else
The after world
A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You’re on your own
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy, punch a higher floor
If you don’t like the world you’re living in
Take a look around you
At least you got friends”
You should also check out this article entitled, “11 Songs You Didn’t Know Were Written By Prince”.