Some widely unknown achievements during Prince’s career
“In May 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray and the subsequent riots, Prince released a song entitled “Baltimore” in tribute to Gray and in support of the protesters in Baltimore. He also held a tribute concert for Gray at his Paisley Park estate called “Dance Rally 4 Peace” in which he encouraged fans to wear the color gray in honor of Freddie Gray.
Prince’s penultimate album, Hit n Run Phase One, was first made available on September 7, 2015, on the music streaming service Tidal before being released on CD and download on September 14.
Illness and Death of Prince and Reactions to the death of Prince
Prince died at his home and recording studio, Paisley Park
On April 7, 2016, Prince postponed two performances from his Piano & A Microphone Tour, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta; the venue released a statement saying he had influenza. He rescheduled and performed the show on April 14, even though he still was not feeling well. While flying back to Minneapolis early the next morning, his private jet made an emergency landing at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, so that he could seek medical treatment. Representatives stated that he suffered from “bad dehydration” and had had influenza for several weeks. Prince was seen in public the following evening, when he shopped at the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis on Record Store Day, and made a brief appearance at a dance party at his Paisley Park recording studio complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota, stating that he was feeling fine.
On April 19, 2016, he attended a performance by singer Lizz Wright at the Dakota Jazz Club.
On April 21, 2016, at 9:43 a.m., the Carver County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 phone call from an unidentified man, requesting that an ambulance be sent to Prince’s home, initially reporting that Prince was unconscious, and later in the same call that he was dead. Authorities found Prince unresponsive, in an elevator at Paisley Park, which also served as his Minnesota home. Prince did not respond to CPR administered by emergency responders and was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. He was 57 years old.
Many musicians and cultural figures reacted to Prince’s death. Cities across the US held tributes and vigils, and lit buildings, bridges, and other venues in purple. In the first five hours after the media began reporting his death, “Prince” was the top trending term on Twitter, and Facebook reported there had been 61 million Prince-related interactions.”
“In April 2004, Prince released Musicology through a one-album agreement with Columbia Records. The album rose as high as the top five on some international charts (including the US, UK, Germany and Australia). The US chart success was assisted by the CD being included as part of the concert ticket purchase, and each CD thereby qualifying (as chart rules then stood) towards US chart placement. Three months later, Spin named him the greatest frontman of all time. That same year, Rolling Stone magazine named Prince as the highest-earning musician in the world, with an annual income of $56.5 million, largely due to his Musicology Tour, which Pollstar named as the top concert draw among musicians in US. The artist played 96 concerts; the average ticket price for a show was US$61. Musicology went on to receive two Grammy wins, for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Call My Name” and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for the title track. Musicology was also nominated for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Album, and “Cinnamon Girl” was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked Prince No. 27 on their list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In April 2005, Prince played guitar (along with En Vogue singing backing vocals) on Stevie Wonder’s single “So What the Fuss”, Wonder’s first since 1999. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Prince recorded two new songs, “S.S.T.” and the instrumental “Brand New Orleans”, at Paisley Park in the early hours of September 2. Prince again performed all instrumental and vocal parts. These recordings were quickly dispersed to the public via Prince’s NPG Music Club, and “S.S.T.” was later picked up by iTunes, where it reached No. 1 on the store’s R&B chart. On October 25, Sony Records released a version of the single on CD.
In late 2005, Prince signed with Universal Records to release his album, 3121, on March 21, 2006. The first single was “Te Amo Corazón”, the video for which was directed by actress Salma Hayek and filmed in Marrakech, Morocco, featuring Argentine actress and singer Mía Maestro. The video for the second single, “Black Sweat”, was nominated at the MTV VMAs for Best Cinematography. The immediate success of 3121 gave Prince his first No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 with the album. To promote the new album, Prince was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on February 4, 2006, 17 years after his last SNL appearance on the 15th anniversary special and nearly 25 years since his first appearance on a regular episode in 1981. Prince also held a contest to win a trip to see a ‘Purple Ticket Concert’ at his private residence in Hollywood, California. Seven winning tickets were placed inside 3121 CD packages in the US, and other tickets were given away in various contests on the Internet and around the world. On May 6, 2006, 24 prizewinners (with a guest each) attended a star-studded private party and performance at Prince’s home.
On June 12, 2006, Prince received a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his “visionary” use of the Internet.
Weeks after winning a Webby Award, Prince shut down his NPG Music Club website on July 4, 2006, after more than five years of operation. On the day of the music club’s shutdown, a lawsuit was filed against Prince by the British company HM Publishing (owners of the Nature Publishing Group, also NPG). Despite these events occurring on the same day, Prince’s attorney stated that the site did not close due to the trademark dispute. Prince appeared at multiple award ceremonies in 2006. On February 15, 2006, he performed at the BRIT Awards along with Wendy & Lisa and Sheila E. On June 27, 2006, Prince appeared at the BET Awards, where he was awarded Best Male R&B Artist. Prince performed a medley of Chaka Khan songs for Khan’s BET Lifetime Award. Prince had previously written and performed several songs with the singer.
In November 2006, Prince was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, appearing to collect his award but not performing. Also in November 2006, Prince opened a nightclub named 3121 in Las Vegas at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino. He performed weekly on Friday and Saturday nights until April 2007, when his contract with the Rio ended. On August 22, 2006, Prince released Ultimate Prince. The double disc set contains one CD of previous hits, and another of extended versions and mixes of material that had largely only previously been available on vinyl record B-sides. Prince wrote and performed a song for the hit 2006 animated film Happy Feet. The song, “The Song of the Heart”, appears on the film’s soundtrack, which also features a cover of Prince’s earlier hit “Kiss”, sung by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. In January 2007, “The Song of the Heart” won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
2007–10: Super Bowl XLI, Planet Earth, and LOtUSFLOW3R
Prince’s stage set for the Earth Tour in 2007
On February 2, 2007, Prince played at the Super Bowl XLI press conference. Prince performed at the Super Bowl XLI halftime show in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007. He played on a large stage shaped as his symbol. The event was carried to 140 million television viewers, the “biggest audience of his life.” In 2015, Billboard.com ranked the performance as the greatest Super Bowl performance ever.
Prince played 21 concerts in London during mid-2007. The Earth Tour included 21 nights at the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena, with Maceo Parker in his band. Tickets for the O2 Arena were capped by Prince at £31.21 ($48.66). The residency at the O2 Arena was increased to 15 nights after all 140,000 tickets for the original seven sold out in 20 minutes. It was then further extended to 21 nights.
Prince made an appearance at the 2007 ALMA Awards, performing with Sheila E. in June 2007. On June 28, 2007, the Mail on Sunday revealed that it had made a deal to give Prince’s new album, Planet Earth, away for free with an “imminent” edition of the paper, making it the first place in the world to get the album. This move sparked controversy among music distributors and also led the UK arm of Prince’s distributor, Sony BMG, to withdraw from distributing the album in UK stores. The UK’s largest high street music retailer, HMV, decided to stock the paper on release day due to the giveaway. On July 7, 2007, Prince returned to his hometown of Minneapolis to perform three shows. He performed concerts at the Macy’s Auditorium (to promote his new perfume “3121”) on Nicollet Mall, the Target Center arena, and First Avenue. It was the first time he had played at First Avenue (the club appeared in the film Purple Rain) since 1987.
Prince playing with Maceo Parker in the O2
From 2008, Prince was managed by UK-based Kiran Sharma. On April 25, 2008, Prince performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he debuted a new song, “Turn Me Loose”. Days after, he headlined the 2008 Coachella Festival. Prince was paid more than $5 million for his performance at Coachella, according to Reuters. Prince cancelled a concert, planned at Dublin’s Croke Park on June 16, 2008, at 10 days’ notice. In October 2009 promoters MCD Productions went to court to sue Prince for €1.6 million, after paying him $1.5 million, half his agreed fee of $3 million for the concert. MCD claim they had to refund 55,126 tickets purchased and its total losses exceeded $1.66 million. Prince’s lawyers argued the MCD claim was inflated. Prince settled the case out of court in February 2010 for $2.95 million. During the trial, it was said that Prince had been offered $22 million for seven concerts as part of a proposed 2008 European tour”