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A Look Back At Prince's Life and Legacy Five Years After His Passing

A Look Back At Prince's Life and Legacy Five Years After His Passing


Remembering the rock icon today and always.

It is unbelievable to think that it has been five full years since the legendary Prince passed away. In honor of his life, here is a look back on the legacy he left behind.

Life Begins

Prince's story had humble beginnings, but he was born to be like royalty. He was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Prince was the child of two talented musicians, and so his love for music was inherent. He taught himself to play guitar, piano, and drums. Prince started his professional music career in high school as part of a band once called Grand Central.

Career Begins

In 1978, his career began to skyrocket as he signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records. Prince was truly a visionary and channeled his boundless talent and creativity into his music, and that energy paid off.

Perhaps one of, if not the most prolific element of Prince's career was his album Purple Rain and film under the same name.

The album, concocted by Prince and his band Revolution served as a soundtrack for the film which earned an Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1984. Moreover, that year, the film made over $70 million at the United States box office; an approximate $175 million in today's times.

The title track reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100, while other hits When Doves Cry and Let's Go Crazy both reached the number one spot.

Becoming an Icon: Literally.

From that point on, Prince was considered nothing less than an industry icon. Purple Rain remains one of the most iconic albums of all time.

Despite Prince's rejection of doing press during the time of the album's release, Purple Rain swept the Grammys and made Prince a permanent superstar.

Prince and his album were so much more than just a number on a chart, however. Prince went down in history with his iconic look, style, stage presence, and character.

One song in particular on the album sparked a bit of controversy when Al Gore's wife, Tipper Gore purchased it for her daughter. After a listen, Gore vied for warning labels to mark songs with explicit lyrics or motifs.

Always a visionary, Prince's artistic journey prompted him to rename himself to a symbol, resembling the fusion of the symbols for male and female. He kept the name from 1993-2000.

Prince's Name from 1993-2000

Success Continues

1985 and '86 were successful years for Prince, as they saw the release of both Around the World in a Day and Parade, which served as the soundtrack for the film Under the Cherry Moon.

Several controversial yet legendary albums were sandwiched in the years of Prince's successful career and only got raunchier as time went on, making him quite a Pioneer. It was in 1999 that Prince reached international success after releasing the album 1999 in 1982.

Private Life and Love

Prince's personal life stayed just that - pretty personal, but he did have a few love affairs along the way.

In the eighties, he had a tumultuous love affair with one of his guitarist's sisters, Susannah Melvoin. He also famously spent some time getting romantic with percussionist Sheila E.

In 1996, Prince married his backup singer Mayte Garcia. The two of them tragically lost their only son to Pfeiffer Syndrome, and the two divorced in 1999.

In 2001, Prince remarried Manuela Testolini, an employee at one of his charities, which came to a close in 2006. Afterward, Prince got romantic with American singer Bria Valente.

Remembering Prince

Life Ends, But Legacy Remains

The remarkable Prince passed away on April 21, 2016, at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota. Just a week beforehand, he was reportedly hospitalized with a severe case of the flu, but it was later claimed that he was actually admitted for a Percocet overdose. On June 2nd of that same year, it was revealed that Prince's true cause of death was a self-administered, accidental overdose of fentanyl.

We remember Prince not for how he died, but what he did between birth and death - for himself, the music industry, and the people who loved him.

Rest in peace, Prince. You are missed.

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Marley Gifford