The Loss of a Legend – Prince Rogers Nelson

Princes Album Purple Rain.

Kylee Baines

Princes Album “Purple Rain.”

At the height of his career in the 1980’s, Prince was a music icon who sold out stadiums and slayed fans with his sass and open sexuality. A six time Grammy winner, he was known best for his hit songs “Purple Rain,” “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” and “1999.” However, after a dispute with his record company in the 1990’s, he disappeared  from the public eye, keeping his public life private aside from the occasional awards show, benefit or tour.

Widely known as the Purple One, Prince fought to keep a tight grip on his music – keeping it off YouTube and other streaming services. He also has a strict no camera policy at his shows.

Having hid so long from the public eye made the news of his death on Thursday, April 21st a bit harder for the world to swallow. Found dead in the elevator of his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minn., the last few days of his life provide hints to the public that not all was well. Having been rushed to an Illinois hospital the Friday before, he was released several hours later. His rep told TMZ he had been battling the flu for several weeks; the legend even canceled two shows in Georgia back to back.

But as night fell across America Thursday, disbelief and solemn hearts gave way to celebration of Prince’s life. “In his hometown of Minneapolis, thousands of people gathered for an all-night dance party outside the First Avenue nightclub, where part of Prince’s hit 1984 movie “Purple Rain” was filmed, as local musicians played some of the star’s hits,” according to Fox.

Several prominent landmarks were shrouded with Prince’s signature color purple Thursday night as well; including New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Superdome in New Orleans, the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., city halls in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Lowry Avenue and I-35W bridges in Minneapolis, Terminal Tower in Cleveland, and the Zakim Bridge in Boston.

Around Hampton Roads, the loss can also be felt. According to Wavy TV 10 who sat down with Rick Mersel, the Vice President of AEG Live Midatlantic, “Prince left his mark on the Norfolk Music Industry, whether most realize it or not. He said, look no further than some of the talent that has come out of Hampton Roads.” Local radio station Movin’ Mornings also paid their respect Friday morning by playing tribute after tribute.

Menchville’s Activity Director, Pete Mercier, who doubles as the Guitar/Piano Instructor, as well as NNPS’s Secondary Music Lead said, “The loss was sigificant, a tragic hit to the music community.”

The Norva in Norfolk will also be hosting a Prince Tribute Show with the Deloreans on Sunday, May 8th, which is Mother’s Day, to honor the fallen icon.

Princes Album "Purple Rain."
Kylee Baines
Princes Album “Purple Rain.”