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Pop Superstar Prince Dies At His Minnesota Home

Rock singer Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., during his opening show, Feb. 18, 1985.
Associated Press
Rock singer Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., during his opening show, Feb. 18, 1985.
Prince: San Diego Memories
Pop Superstar Prince Dies At His Minnesota Home
Pop Superstar Prince Dies At His Minnesota Home GUEST:Nina Garin, editor and producer, KPBS Arts Calendar

Our top story on midday edition prints who brought a unique style of powerful musicians it to pop music in the 1980s and beyond was found dead today is at home in Minneapolis. He was 37. Is hits include red Corvette, when does cried and per -- purple rain. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame 24 and joining me to talk about Prince's Nina Garin. Hello it's a sad day for music. It is. What was a would you say about Prince's music and style that made them you need? I think he was a rebel. Everything about him was contradictory how was he pop? With the R&B? His appearance was kind of feminine and flamboyant but his lyrics were really masculine. I think you couldn't classify him and he would it was you classify him. The band that Prince fronted in the 80s looks like nothing that came before it. You have lots of people milling around the stage taught a female drummer Sheila a who is related to the Escovedo brothers from San Diego. Prince was also as you say the pushing boundaries with his lyrics wasn't he? Yes. They were pretty out there for the 80s, overly sexual. I have one of his songs in my phone. I can't play that when the family is in the car. Back then it wasn't quite as common so he wasn't afraid to say what he wanted to say. Have you seen Prince and concert Nina? I have. I saw him in 1997 he was playing at UCSD and I happen to be covering it for the daily Aztec and I was in the very front row way photographers are. It was amazing. I didn't expect for him to be so professional, he was on time, he was the consummate musician he cared about the audience he played some hits but then he also did a self-indulgent dachshund going to play my own thing. He was the most Prince he could be. Speaking of that there was a time. In the 90s when Prince didn't want to use his name anymore. Yes. The artist formerly known as -- The artist only known as Prince. That's because he was in a fight with his record label was was Warner Bros. He wanted to release more music all the time when he wanted and they wouldn't let him so he started writing slave on his cheek saying I am a slave to my record label. Eventually he laughed and he became independent. Did he release any music without -- under different names? Yes. He was a symbol. Yes. A big part of his legacy was that he fought to be independent and that he was independent. He lives in Minneapolis and he made a music under his label, under his name. He kept doing it and do many could stop him. You have an anecdote about Prince related to a job interview. I think it's sweet and it tells how for all of his eccentricities he was really into being for Minnesota. I applied to work at a newspaper in Minneapolis and the music critic said Prince doesn't talk to me so if you get this job you will be the one dealing with Prince. He didn't like that critics so I didn't get the job that I never happened. How do you think he and his music are going to be remembered? I think -- I feel like in the later years not everyone still listen to him but he will always be known as someone who is a pure artist and believes in what he was doing and will always have 1999, purple rain and all of those amazing songs that we remember him by. I have been speaking with Nina Garin.

Pop superstar Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive musicians of his era with hits including "Little Red Corvette," ''Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57.

His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, told The Associated Press that the music icon died at his home in Chanhassen. No details were immediately released.

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."


The title song from "1999" includes one of the most widely quoted refrains of popular culture: "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999."

The man born Prince Rogers Nelson stood just 5 feet, 2 inches and seemed to summon the most original and compelling sounds at will, whether playing guitar in a flamboyant style that openly drew upon Jimi Hendrix, switching his vocals from a nasally scream to an erotic falsetto or turning out album after album of stunningly original material. Among his other notable releases: "Sign O' the Times," ''Graffiti Bridge" and "The Black Album."

He was also fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his material and even his name. Prince once wrote "slave" on his face in protest of not owning his work and famously battled and then departed his label, Warner Bros., before returning a few years ago.

"What's happening now is the position that I've always wanted to be in," Prince told The Associated Press in 2014. "I was just trying to get here."

In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which hailed him as a musical and social trailblazer.


"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."

Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Feb. 4, 2007.
Associated Press
Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Feb. 4, 2007.

A small group of fans quickly gathered in the rain Thursday outside his music studio, Paisley Park, where Prince's gold records are on the walls and the purple motorcycle he rode in his 1984 breakout movie, "Purple Rain," is on display. The white building surrounded by a fence is about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis.

Steven Scott, 32, of Eden Prairie, said he was at Paisley Park last Saturday for Prince's dance party. He called Prince "a beautiful person" whose message was that people should love one another.

"He brought people together for the right reasons," Scott said.

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego lobby goes purple

#Prince takeover in our lobby. Photo via @nbcsandiego

A photo posted by Hard Rock Hotel San Diego (@hardrocksd) on

The lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter was lit in purple Thursday in memory of Prince.

The last San Diego performances by Prince took place at the hotel in 2013, giving fans an intimate view of the master showman.

"The energy was palpable, we were so excited when he got on stage and when he performed his set," Rana Kay, the hotel's public relations director, told NBC7/39.

"If you've ever seen Prince, he's a very energetic performer — he's spectacular at playing the guitar and he has this magnetism," Kay said. "You hear about it, but seeing it live, he's just commanding the room — truly amazing."

The hotel piped Prince's music into the lobby and will light up the outside in purple tonight, NBC7/39 reported.