By Harry Colbert, Jr. (Insight News, NNPA Member)
The reaction to the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson, more commonly simply known as Prince, has come from all reaches of society.
Prince was found unresponsive at Paisley Park – his home and entertainment compound – in the early morning hours of April 21. He was 57.
The death came as a shock to most, even after word spread that the prior week his plane had to make an emergency landing due to what was said to be flu-like symptoms. But Saturday before his death Prince hosted a party at Paisley and reportedly told fans he was in good health.
Statements from around the globe flooded in, with dignitaries and celebrities expressing their condolences. Even President Obama issued a statement within hours of Prince’s passing.
“The world lost a creative icon,” said the president. “Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince. Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all – funk…R&B…rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer.”
Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement that Prince made Minnesota a better place.
“Prince, and his music, defined an era,” said Dayton in a statement. “His tremendous talent was matched only by his generosity and commitment to improving his community. Minnesotans and our nation mourn the loss of a great artist today; one who has left an unforgettable mark on music history, and whose contributions to the betterment of our state will be remembered for years to come.
“Prince, and his music, defined an era. His tremendous talent was matched only by his generosity and commitment to improving his community. Minnesotans and our nation mourn the loss of a great artist today; one who has left an unforgettable mark on music history, and whose contributions to the betterment of our state will be remembered for years to come.”
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said Prince was a city treasure.
“For the residents of Minneapolis, the loss of Prince is too large to describe. His music brought untold joy to people all over the world. But in Minneapolis, it is different. It (his death) is harder here,” said Hodges in her statement. “Prince was a child of our city and his love of his hometown permeated many of his songs. Our pride in his accomplishments permeates our love of Minneapolis.
“From his youth in the Minneapolis Public Schools, to his graduation from Central High School, to his breakthrough performance at the Capri on Broadway Avenue, to his worldwide success, he was one of us. He gave us more opportunities to hear his music than anyone else. What a blessing. Only now may we realize how lucky we were.”
Rep. Keith Ellison said April 21 will be remembered as a dark day in history.
“My heart is heavy with the news of Prince’s passing. To the people of Minnesota, Prince was a cultural ambassador. He inspired countless others around the world with his music and theatrics. Prince showed us it was okay to be different. He showed us that the best way to be cool was to be yourself,” said Ellison. “Prince wasn’t merely a pop star – to many of us, he was much, much more. The world will be a little less bright without Prince in it.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar thanked Prince for being the state’s top ambassador.
“I grew up with Prince’s music. He was a superstar composer, an amazing performer and a music innovator with a fierce belief in the independence of his art. He made ‘Purple Rain’ a household name, First Avenue a landmark, and brought international fame to Minnesota’s music scene. I was always so proud to say ‘Prince, he is from Minnesota.’”
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