Officially, he released 39 albums in 37 years. Often, these were solo albums as the term would imply: albums on which he made sounds with his own hands on his instruments and singing his own words and music. This does not include live albums, “hits” compilations, or all the songs he sold other artists.
Legend has it that there is as much unreleased music yet to be heard by the public. His most recent album came out in December 2015.
When Prince died today, it was a shock because 57 is 57, after all; because he has been touring with an acclaimed solo acoustic show; because when news broke about a hospitalization last week with dehydration from the flu, he handled the publicity with some cheeky Tweets and Instagram photos. This weekend, he did something he often did at his home/studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota (Paisley Park): host a dance party at $10 per ticket at which he performed.
(People in attendance report that he performed “Chopsticks” on the piano, which apparently started out with a tongue-in-cheek declaration that he was working on his piano skills and then became a moment of beauty.)
Right now, fans are showing up outside Prince landmarks in the Twin Cities and of course, outside the gates of Paisley Park. At Target Field, the ballpark at which the Minnesota Twins play, the lights are purple today. (Purple was his color in part out of hometown boosterism: the Minnesota Vikings wear purple and gold.)
I am neither a music expert nor a musician, just a fan. And this right here is also a moment of beauty, Prince in 1982:
Or this, from 2004, Prince’s guitar solo during “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which legend has it he put together backstage:
Dave Zirin of The Nation captured Prince in one sentence: “Prince’s secret was that he could be your everything … but only if you were willing to expand your own horizons and be better than the person you were.” He includes a memory of encountering him. It’s a great read: “Good Night, Sweet Prince.”
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