Prince’s legacy of generosity went far beyond his music

The death of music legend Prince at age 57 sent shock waves radiating from his home state of Minnesota throughout the entire world.

Adaptation of final, enigmatic image of Prince appearing on his Twitter page, April 22, 2016.

LOS ANGELES, April 22, 2016 — The death of music legend Prince at age 57 sent shock waves radiating from his home state of Minnesota throughout the entire world. While details of what ended Prince’s life remain murky, the tributes to the man in purple are unambiguous. Prince was one of the greatest popular musical talents who ever lived.

A string of 1980s hits including “Little Red Corvette,” “1999,” “Kiss,” and “When Doves Cry” turned Prince into a global superstar. Movies including “Purple Rain” and “Graffiti Bridge” added to Prince’s growing legend.

Prince sang, played piano and guitar, and continuously reinvented himself to stay relevant throughout several decades. Early on, Prince wrote sexually explicit songs including “Little Nikki.” He followed that up with “Cream.” But later in his career, Prince became religious and disavowed his earlier raunchy lyrics.

Prince's temporary, unpronounceable logo. (Via Wikipedia entry on the artist)
Prince’s temporary, unpronounceable logo. (Via Wikipedia entry on the artist)

Then there was the middle of his career where he began referring to himself as a symbol due to a dispute with Warner Bros. For a time, he was “The artist formerly known as Prince.”

Eminem paid tribute to Prince’s alter ego in the rap song “Without Me.”

“I’ve been dope, suspenseful with a pencil ever since Prince turned himself into a symbol.”

For all of Prince’s accomplishments before his audience, his real legacy was his dedication to passing on his craft to others. It is one thing to be a great talent. The truly greatest also strive to bring out the talent they see in others. Prince wrote many songs for other entertainers and helped many singers burst onto the scene.

When Sheena Easton wanted to morph from a sweet innocent girl to a sexy woman, Prince was brought in. “The lover in me” allowed Easton to flaunt her appeal.

Prince wrote Sinead O’Connor’s biggest hit, “Nothing compares 2 U.”

From the Revolution’s Wendy and Lisa to Diamond and Pearl, Prince nurtured numerous background singers to stardom. Supermodel Vanity achieved fame when Prince had her sing “Nasty girl.” Thanks to Prince, Sheila E. actually achieved “The Glamorous Life” she sang about. Model Apollonia parlayed her brief role in “Purple Rain” into a recurring role on the hit CBS series “Falcon Crest.” Prince also discovered an aspiring model who turned out to be Carmen Electra.

Prince wrote the song “Manic Monday,” which The Bangles then turned into a major hit.

Prince was indeed helpful to these artists. But helping these previously unknown or little-known women usually benefited him as well. Not surprisingly, his sexual conquests were anything but exaggerated. Women simply loved him, and he loved them.

None of this diminishes the fact that he could have kept his musical talent and genius within. He could have lived the financially wealthy life of a mega-star singer to the hilt and nothing more. instead he chose to help numerous others to become stars in their own right.

Prince’s music was only a part of his story. From Beyoncé to Justin Timberlake, the biggest stars of today credit Prince with playing a major role in their career development.

That is the real Prince story. That is his greatness, and his greatness will last forever.

Prince’s final tweet:

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