“Dearly beloved: we are gathered here today to get through this called life.” And one legendary man made it easier it to get through life with his music.
ESSENCE Editors celebrate the iconic musician’s legacy in the new book Prince: A Tribute to His Royal Badness ($11.99, amazon.com)
Prince, a musical genius who departed on April 21, 2016, left behind several examples of living life with faith, purpose and passion. He was more than a brilliant songwriter, more than a dynamic singer and more than an impossibly talented dancer. Prince was something most pop stars aren’t: he was there for us. He put words to our feelings even when those feelings were most complex.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, he seemed to craft the most original and compelling sounds at will, whether playing guitar in a flamboyant style, switching his vocals from a nasally scream to an erotic falsetto or turning out album after album of amazing original material.
The Minneapolis native broke through in the late 1970s with the hits “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” and soared over the following decade with such albums as “1999” and “Purple Rain.” He was also fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his art and even his name. Prince once wrote “slave” on his face in protest of not owning his work. In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame, which hailed him as a musical and social trailblazer.
#PurpleESSENCE: Prince at the 20th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival
In the introduction of the commemorative book, ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. DeLuca remembers jamming with Prince “until the wee hours of the morning” when she met him at his home in 2014. “For many, Prince was the first true, unabashed young sex symbol who pushed every conceivable boundary, just as the video age was gaining momentum,” she said.
Also included are numerous original essays and contributions from Patti LaBelle, Lalah Hathaway, Misty Copeland and many more, as well as quotes from Prince himself that reveal insights into his creativity, music, activism, and inspiration. It’s also filled with dozens of photographs that span Prince’s entire career taking fans on a journey from his early days to his electrifying collaborations, activism and style as a fashion icon.
Prince: A Tribute to His Royal Badness honors this cherished artist and the unforgettable impact he had on millions of fans who loved him. His legacy will live on through his music and continue to help us all through the highs and lows, the heartbreak and joy, of this thing called life.
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