On Apr. 21, the world remembered the life of music icon Prince as the day marked the third anniversary of his untimely death in 2016 at the age of 57. Throughout his life, Prince infused the music industry with his unparalleled creativity and willingness to stay true to himself.
Kids today may not know much about Prince or his work. His creativity and artistry provided a soundtrack for a generation with songs like “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” and “I Would Die 4 U.” His work has had a profound impact on the opportunities and tendencies of the next generation of artists, all the way up until the present day. On albums like “Purple Rain,” Prince reinforced the notion that an artist could pack multiple genres into one album and not take away from the flow or consistency of the project. Rock-oriented tracks like “Let’s Go Crazy” blended perfectly with ballads such as “The Beautiful Ones” and made a timeless album that is still celebrated today. By combining these genres, Prince opened the door for artists today from different backgrounds and cultures to collaborate and make genre-transcending tracks; the number of pop-rap collaborations today, for instance, was made possible by Prince.
Still, this wasn’t the only way that Prince influenced music today. Those parental advisory tags you see on albums so often these days? They came into existence because of Prince, as parents were outraged when they found their kids listening to songs like “Darling Nikki.” His shyness and intense privacy became almost a trademark, and when he ditched his name and was identified only by his iconic purple upside-down anchor symbol, he added a whole new mystique to his personality.
We may not have learned much about Prince, the man, in his lifetime, and some of our curiosities about him may never be truly answered. However, as we remember him on the third anniversary of his passing, there can be no denial of the profound impact he made on the music industry in his life that was cut far too short.