If you thought Prince was an immortal figure who would outlive all of us and continue to create his music for eternity, reality delivered some terrible, sobering news on Thursday afternoon. The legendary musician has passed away at 57 years old.

TMZ initially reported that there had been a fatality at the Paisley Park complex outside Minneapolis Thursday morning, prompting authorities to be called for a medical emergency. That led to immediate speculation that Prince had passed away. Given the era in which we live, when social media can create and quickly spread hoaxes, there was hope (albeit a very morbid one) that someone else had died, rather than Prince.

Yet within 10 minutes, TMZ reported that it was indeed Prince who died. Some of us still held onto hope that maybe this wasn’t an accurate story, since TMZ was the one breaking the news. Let’s wait for an official, presumably more reputable source. Soon thereafter, the Associated Press confirmed the news, receiving it directly from Prince’s publicist.

A family member also confirmed the news to CNN.

The musician had been battling the flu during at least the past week, prompting him to postpone two shows in Atlanta on April 7. But he did eventually perform those shows at the Fox Theatre on April 14, albeit staying on stage for a shorter time than many fans would have liked. While flying home from Atlanta, Prince’s plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, where he was taken via ambulance to a local hospital. Following three hours of treatment, he then flew back home. Oh, and he threw a dance party the next day.


Prince Rogers Nelson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and released 39 studio albums over his amazingly prolific career. And that’s just what was released to the public. For years and years, there have been rumblings that Prince wrote and recorded a vast amount of music — enough to release dozens of albums — that had essentially been kept in a vault and never been heard by anyone, save for close friends and family. If that music ever ends up being released — pending whatever his wishes were — Prince really could live forever, in some regard.

During his more than 30 years in music, Prince won seven Grammy Awards, while also earning 30 nominations. Five of his songs reached No. 1 on the charts, with 14 others breaking into the top 10. In 1985, the music he created for Purple Rain — a presumably autobiographical film he starred in — won the Academy Award for Best Original Score. He sold more than 100 million records.

Ask 10 different people what their favorite Prince song is, and you might get 10 different answers. Yet every one of those answers would be correct. Where do you begin to sum up this man’s career? “1999,” “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Purple Rain,” “I Would Die 4U,” “Kiss,” “Raspberry Beret”… there are so many great songs that touched us and brought so much joy and celebration, that will live on, that set a bar that very, very few can ever hope to reach.

Prince truly was a legend, even when some of that mythology veered into comedy. Stories like the one told in the Chappelle’s Show skit and Kevin Smith’s encounter with him were so funny because they had to be true. His reputation preceded itself.

What a genius. What a legacy he leaves behind. Nothing compares to him.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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