As I am pretty sure you were, I was shocked to find out that #Prince was found dead in his Minneapolis-area studio when this news broke today. This may sound cliche, but this announcement is as sad as those of the deaths of Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Michael Jackson because like these other artists, Prince was a music icon who was in a class by himself.
As someone who grew up during the 80s and early 90s, I vividly remember hearing Prince’s records like Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, Kiss, and Diamonds And Pearls on the radio. These are more than just records; they are masterpieces because of the way that his compositions were arranged and his instrumentations were augmented by his phenomenal baritone-to-countertenor vocal range. As for his work as an actor, Purple Rain is among his best work not just as a motion picture but his best work collectively because his work ethic reflected in everything he did.
Prince Rogers Nelson, aka The Artist Formerly Known As The Unpronounceable Love Symbol, may have been as maniacal about his privacy as the late Michael Jackson and veteran music producer Mutt Lange have been about theirs, but through his work, I feel that the world knew as much about him as he would let us know. He will be truly missed, and as his recordings continue to play on the radio, his spirit still lingers among us. May you rest in peace, Prince.
This video contains reflections about Prince and his musical legacy. Check it out.
Sir George Martin, the legendary producer who was at the helm of most of the Beatles’ biggest hits, has passed away at age 90. Aside from the Fab Four, “the fifth Beatle,” as he was known, also produced recordings for such artists as America, Celine Dion, Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney (and Wings), and Michael Jackson. Martin’s contribution to the music industry as not only a producer but also as a composer, arranger, and music executive is remarkable and will never be forgotten.
May you rest in peace, George.
Legendary Australian rock band AC/DC has suffered another setback — frontman Brian Johnson has been told that he is going deaf and that he risks total deafness if he continues to tour.
Maurice White, the leader of legendary R&B group, Earth, Wind, and Fire, has passed away today. He was 74. Since the 70s, his band has scored hits with such songs as September, Shining Star, After The Love Is Gone, and Let’s Grove. Rest in peace, Maurice.
Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole, the daughter of late legendary crooner Nat “King” Cole, has passed away yesterday at the age of 65 after battling health issues in recent years. Since 1975, she produced hit singles like This Will Be An Everlasting Love, Dangerous, and her cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s classic, Pink Cadillac. Natalie’s biggest hit came in 1991 when her mezzo-soprano voice was technologically paired with her father’s baritone on their duet, Unforgettable.
Having listened to Natalie’s music since my childhood in the 80s, I can honestly say her voice was (and still is) one of a kind like her father’s was. Even after she overcame her drug addiction in the early 80s, she proved that she could return to the charts as not only a stronger vocalist but also as a stronger woman.
Natalie, may you rest in peace, and may you keep singing in sweet in heaven.
The legendary O’Jays, an R&B group who has scored hits in the 1970s with such songs as Back Stabbers, Love Train, and Use Ta Be My Girl, will headline a concert at NC A&T State University homecoming in October. Click on the link below for more details.
I have just stumbled across a story about this unfortunate event online, but Anthony Riley, a former member of Team Pharrell on the Voice, has been found dead at the young age of 28. Even though he left the show after the first battle rounds, Anthony was one of the most talented singers of Season 8 of the Voice. My condolences go out to his friends and family.