A Lost Icon: #RIPPrince
The world lost an icon on April 21, 2016 when a musician who reinvented perceptions of identity, and redefined what one could do with a guitar, Prince, passed away at the age of 57. Maybe more so than any other artist, Prince survived changing eras and genres with his irreplaceable and innovative sound, unique to him, expressed over the course of a long string of records, soundtracks, and concert films. #RIPPrince was trending worldwide on Twitter, with over 89.8 thousand Tweets sent in the United States alone.
Prince was known for being explicitly sexual in both his lyrics and lifestyle, building a brand that was larger-than-life and impossible to replicate. Prince sold over 100 million albums over the course of his career, and was long known for challenging beliefs on identity, and how one conducts themselves in the music business. He was constantly reinventing the way his music was distributed, from giving albums away with the purchase of concert tickets, to most recently, making his entire discography only available via Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service.
Prince was an example of an artist finding incredible success by combining his talents with an unmistakable aesthetic, a unique identity, and always challenging genres and stereotypes. Over time, Prince’s brand became immediately recognizable, and he amplified the most unique aspects of his brand, drawing controversy throughout his life for his challenge of perceptions. Despite embracing controversy, his success dramatically altered the music business and opened the doors for other artists to challenge the status quo. He built a brand that was unique to himself through his constant output of quality content, and a close relationship to his fan base.
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While Prince can never be replicated, his influence on our culture can’t be understated and must be looked at as the epitome to anyone looking to make a mark on the entertainment, business, and our culture as a whole.
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