Superstar Artist Prince Dead At 57
Radio Reflects On His Legacy
April 21, 2016 at 3:28 PM (PT)
Multiple media outlets have confirmed the sad news that superstar artist PRINCE has died at the age of 57. His body was discovered at his PAISLEY PARK residence in MINNESOTA early THURSDAY (4/21) morning.
The multi-genre icon -- real name PRINCE ROGERS NELSON -- had a medical emergency on FRIDAY, APRIL 15th when his private jet made an emergency landing in ILLINOIS, FOX6NOW.COM reports, yet he performed at a concert the following day. His camp told TMZ he was battling the flu -- and he previously canceled two shows due to health concerns.
Born in 1958, the son of a pianist in a MINNESOTA jazz band, PRINCE came out of the MINNEAPOLIS club scene in the '70s before becoming a global sensation in '80s and early '90s. PRINCE's early hits included "Little Red Corvette," and a bevy of hits from his "Purple Rain" film and soundtrack -- "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," and the title track -- and a string of hits from successive albums, such as "Kiss," "Sign O' The Times," "Cream," and "Diamonds and Pearls.
PRINCE was also a supremely gifted musician and performer, fronting several top-flight bands. He was fiercely protective of his music rights and his image, leaving WARNER BROS. RECORDS for a time before returning and even changing his name to a symbol.
PRINCE was inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL OF FAME in 2004. "He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties," reads the HALL's dedication. "PRINCE made Dance music that rocked and Rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, PRINCE and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy, and provocative."
RECORDING ACADEMY President NEIL PORTNOW referred to PRINCE as "one of the most uniquely gifted artists of all time.”
“Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape,” he said in a statement. “PRINCE was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his incredible work.”
WARNER BROS. RECORDS Chairman/CEO CAMERON STRANG offered the following thoughts:
Today, we lost one of the most revolutionary talents of our time. PRINCE’s untimely passing is deeply shocking, reminding us that unique artists who chart their own course and move culture are precious few and irreplaceable.
He leapt onto the scene in 1978 and it didn’t take the world long to realize that pop music had changed forever. He played the studio like an instrument and shattered the definition of live performance. He defined a new kind of superstardom, with a transformative impact not just on music, but on video, film, and style.
PRINCE was the epitome of cool and mystery -- an inspirational soul who created his own universe by bringing together different genres, races and cultures with a purity of sound and spirit unlike any other. His visionary gifts as a songwriter, vocalist, musician, performer and producer placed him in a league all his own.
We are honored to have had PRINCE as a member of the WARNER BROS. RECORDS family during two eras of his astonishing career. We express our deepest condolences to everyone who loved him and join his family, friends and legion of fans in mourning his loss.
iHEARTMEDIA Top 40 KDWB/MINNEAPOLIS' morning star DAVE RYAN is back on the beat, posting live updates from PAISLEY PARK on his FACEBOOK page.
HUBBARD Hot AC KSTP (KS95)/MINNEAPOLIS KS95 played non-stop PRINCE music from 2-7p and will play non-stop PRINCE music from 5:30-9am tomorrow morning. The station is also promoting PURPLE FOR PRINCE DAY tomorrow, FRIDAY, APRIL 22nd. The on-air personalities will be encouraging everyone in the TWIN CITIES to wear purple tomorrow and share their photos at #purpleforprince. KS95 is running these billboards as well.
Here’s more from its FACEBOOK page.
Just after the news broke, CBS RADIO Hot AC WBMX (MIX 104.1)/BOSTON flipped to an ALL-PRINCE format beginning with "When Doves Cry," "Take Me With U," "1999, "Kiss," "Raspberry Beret" and continuing throughout the day playing his biggest hits, deep tracks, and a mix of songs penned, produced or performed by THE ARTIST including: "Nothing Compares To You" by SINEAD O'CONNOR, "The Glamorous Life" by SHEILA E., "I Feel For You" by CHAKA KHAN, "Manic Monday" by THE BANGLES, "Stand Back" by STEVIE NICKS, and "Jungle Love" by THE TIME.
APD/MD MIKE MULLANEY tells ALL ACCESS, "We've had an incredible response from our audience. We had three television crews interview myself and our jocks! KARSON AND KENNEDY did a live TV hit on CBS WBZ-TV, and FAST FREDDY from the PM drive team did hits with WCVB and FOX-25 ... we were EVERYWHERE."
COX MEDIA AC WSB (B985)/ATLANTA put up a dozen of billboards (pictured above_ across the metro this afternoon, in addition to a bevy of on-air musical tributes.
CUMULUS MEDIA Hot AC WRQX (MIX 107.3)/WASHINGTON, D.C went back to its Q107 days and pulled out all the best PRINCE songs and went wall to wall PRINCE! ASHLEY NICKLES and JASON KIDD piloted the airwaves with tons of listener calls and PRINCE custom imaging.
"A very, very sad day," JASON KIDD said. "My favorite artist of all time. As much as today has sucked for fans and all of us in the music industry, what we did today is what it's all about. Reflecting what is top of mind with the audience.
"We owned the music," he continued. You can't get PRINCE's music anywhere else, except on the radio! Even RED's DANNY BUCH stopped by to talk about his ATLANTIC days when he first received a copy of a song, "I Wanna Be Your Lover," which turned out to be his first single. He was blown away when he looked at the back and saw he played most the instruments. A true icon."
LOCAL MEDIA SAN DIEGO Rhythmic AC XHRM (MAGIC 92.5)/SAN DIEGO will be playing PRINCE on-air all day today, and encourages listeners to call in to share their grief. The station has become PURPLE 92.5.
“Today is a hard day. PRINCE is an icon to our audience,” MAGIC 92.5 PD/afternoon host R DUB! said, “The best thing we can do now is play his massive library of hit music and remember what a creative and inspirational legend he is."
JAMTRAXX’s RADIOMIXES division has put together a PRINCE tribute megamix for any radio station to use. Produced by DOUG HOLT, contact ROB AUSTIN at (312) 893-7549 or RobAustin@JamTraxxMedia.com for a copy.
ABC RADIO will air an Instant Special, "PRINCE – Death of a Legend," anchored by ABC News correspondent AARON KATERSKY with ABC RADIO entertainment reporter ANDREA DRESDALE, PRINCE biographer ALAN LIGHT and the very latest worldwide reaction to PRINCE’s death at 7:60p (ET).
SCRIPPS Top 40/Rhythmic WKHT (HOT 104.5)/KNOXVILLE has been playing nothing but PRINCE since noon and will continue to until 6p (ET).
CONNOISSEUR MEDIA/LONG ISLAND stations celebrated the life of PRINCE with AC WKJY (K98.3) tweaking the format for over 45 minutes with a block of his music interspersed with live calls from listeners who shared their passion for his work, his life and the impact he left on their lives. Sister 80s WBZO (MAX 103.1)'s JOHN LYNCH will feature PRINCE’s music by request from 7-10p on FRIDAY (4/22).
According to WKJY PD JON DANIELS, “An influential artist like PRINCE has been a mainstay on K-98.3 for years and his music will continue to be. We’re proud to feature his music and work all weekend, this weekend and beyond.”
Urban Radio Deals With The Tragedy
Urban radio was hit especially hard by the news of PRINCE's passing. Here's a sampling of their reactions to the tragic news:
iHEARTMEDIA Urban AC WDAS (105.3)/PHILADELPHIA afternoon air personality PATTY JACKSON spoke with Secretary of State HILLARY CLINTON about the passing of PRINCE. The complete interview including more on PRINCE and the upcoming PA Primary on PATTY JACKSON’s “Rewind” between 8 am and noon SUNDAY.
ENTERCOM OM/PD ELROY SMITH KBLX & KRBQ/SF, CA
"When I think of PRINCE, the following comes to mind."
"PRINCE transcends all formats. When he debuted in the '80s, I was in BOSTON, and I remember the instant impact and phenomenon his music and aura created. He captured all cultures. Not too many artists reach this crescendo in their career. To date, one of my all-time favorite PRINCE songs is, "I WILL DIE FOR YOU."
CARTER BROADCAST GROUP OM/PD MYRON FEARS Urban KPRS (HOT 103 JAMZ)/KANSAS CITY, MO
“PRINCE was one of the most gifted artists of my lifetime. Not only could he perform but he could compose, play various instruments, perform, produce and sing music. He matched to his own drumbeat and understood the importance of owning his material. In terms of his music, he was influenced by JAMES BROWN and SLY STONE's sound. In the 1980s, it was a battle between MICHAEL JACKSON and PRINCE. They both owned Black and Pop radio and were some of the highest grossing revenue artists of all-time.
"It's sad, especially with our African-American musicians and singers, that we'll never experience the farewell tours of PRINCE, MICHAEL JACKSON, LUTHER VANDROSS, GERALD LEVERT, and many more, who died to soon. PRINCES's death marks another sad day for Black music and music as a whole. We lost an American icon.
“We did a one-hour special after we announced his death. We took calls from the listeners and had the audience to post comments on our social media pages. We incorporated his songs into the gold category position after the special was over. The FOX 4 TV affiliate came to the station and interviewed midday personality JULEE JONEZ on her thoughts. It will be on the evening news here locally."
SERVICE BROADCASTING/DALLAS Dir./Operations GEORGE ‘GEO’ COOK
“His impact on pop cultural was unparalleled. He got his crew on too: TIME, VANITY 6, JIMMY AND TERRY LEWIS, SHEILA E, and others. His videos were iconic and innovative. What we are doing today on our stations is what radio is all about, bringing people together as a community in times of celebration or tragedies such as this.
“On my Mainstream Urban K104 and Urban AC KRNB, we played his music and allowed listeners to share their feelings. His genius transcends format and the music world”
Even More Tributes:
PARAGON MEDIA STRATEGIES CEO MIKE HENRY took to the company blog to note, "PRINCE: The Day the Music Died."
BENZTOWN has a couple audio tributes to PRINCE free for use:
MTV has postponed its regular schedule and gone to programming PRINCE videos wall-to-wall, changing the color of its logo to purple in his honor, beginning at 1:55p (ET). MTV LIVE will start airing videos at 3p (ET).
AXS TV celebrates the life and legacy of pRINCE with a tribute block on SATURDAY, APRIL 23rd, featuring the PRINCE episode of AXS TV’s ROCK LEGENDS at 1p ET/10a PT, and the television premiere of the acclaimed documentary SLAVE TRADE: HOW PRINCE RE-MADE THE MUSIC BUSINESS at 2p ET/11a PT.
Prince At The Super Bowl