The Passing of Prince, Musical Legend and Fashion Icon

Posted on

The Passing of Prince, Musical Legend and Fashion Icon

Prince Rogers Nelson, better known by his mononym Prince, passed away yesterday Chanhassen, Minnesota at the age of 57. The musician was found in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios, and had reportedly been struggling with his health over the past several weeks. His spokeswoman confirmed his passing yesterday, saying, “It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died.”


Copyright © 1984 Warner Bros

As the news of the artist’s passing made headlines worldwide, musicians, designers, celebrities, politicians, and more came forward to mourn his death and share their memories of the legend. “Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in a statement on Facebook. “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. “A strong spirit transcends rules,” Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him.”

Since coming to the forefront of music in the 1980’s, Prince made impact after impact on the world, both musically and through his inspired sense of fashion. His musical range included R&B, funk, rock’n’roll, soul, and more. His songwriting skills were lauded as some of the best this century has seen. Even when written for performance by other bands or artists, such as Manic Monday for The Bangles, I Feel for You for Chaka Khan, and Nothing Compares 2 U for Sinead O’Connor, these songs became huge successes. A seven time Grammy winner, Prince was also inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of fame in 2004. “When I first started out in the music industry, I was most concerned with freedom,” he stated during his induction. “Freedom to produce, freedom to play all the instruments on my records, freedom to say anything I wanted to.”

His ability to effortlessly maneuver and combine several musical genres, even within one song, and his talent as a vocalist and a multi-instrumentalist influenced the generations of musicians and performers that followed him, as well as many of his contemporaries. In an interview yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered, Prince’s manager Owen Husney was asked “Is there a song you’d like us to remember him by?” His response was not to name a particular song, but rather to express Prince’s effect on music as a whole. “I think, more than a song, you should remember … what he did to break down barriers,” Husney said. “There are only a handful of artists that have broken down barriers between all the musical genres, and I think that’s how he should be remembered. I think he just has to be understood for the body of work he’s going to leave us — and I’m talking beyond just what we call traditional rock ‘n’ roll and funk and everything else. I think he’s got things that are in the vaults at Paisley Park that we will be unpacking for years to come, and we will be amazed.”

Though apparently a shy and private individual, as a style icon Prince has been celebrated for his innovation and fearless style. From purple sequined coats, ruffled lace blouses and high-waisted fringe pants, to perfectly tailored, vividly colored suits, the artist was not one to shy from flash or glamour. His willingness to throw gender norms aside and embrace a brazen sexuality only allowed for a greater freedom of style, that was also reflected in his music. From his stunning eyeliner and blowouts, to lace and a plethora of facial hair styles, Prince set standards in style that transcended gender and inspired on every level. Fashion designers including Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, and Donatella Versace took to social media to remember the musician, along with numerous other celebrities, artists, and more who were influenced by Prince. While the legendary musician has passed away, his music, style and persona will be celebrated for years to come, both through his work and through the work of so many others he has influenced.

The Passing of Prince, Musical Legend and Fashion Icon

Avatar photo

Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *