DemDaily: Prince, The President & Politics

April 22, 2016  
Music icon, the artist formerly known as Prince was found dead yesterday from undetermined causes, creating an international media storm that actually bumped the presidential off the airwaves.
The death of the legendary artist, singer, songwriter and producer -- who leaves behind an indelible imprint on music and culture worldwide -- drew comments from celebrities, music greats and, of course, politicians.
"Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince. Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent ... He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer." -- President Barack Obama
Although a Jehovah's witness with deep-rooted religious beliefs, Prince supported a wide range of political views, and was not identified with any party.
From The Hill's run-down on Prince's five most political moments:
1. Black Lives Matter
At the 2015 Grammys, one of Prince's more direct comments on social issues: "Albums still matter," he said to the crowd of pop start and music luminaries. "Like books and black lives, albums still matter."
2. Baltimore
Prince recorded and released the song "Baltimore" about Freddie Gray, an African-American man whose death while in police custody set off riots.
3. Secret White House Concert
Prince, who was a very private individual, played a "secret" show at the White House on June 13, 2015, for President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and 500 guests (attendees had to sign non-disclosure forms to stay mum about the concert)
"Prince got his start in a Minneapolis jazz band... His artistry, innovation, and unparalleled presence inspired - and will continue to inspire - millions of people."
--  Senator Al Franken, who represents Prince's home state of Minnesota
4. "Ronnie, Talk to Russia"
The theme of global thermonuclear war is addressed in "1999," suggesting no one was going to make it to 2000, but if so, then have a big party. The 1981 hit, written during the height of U.S. and the Soviet tensions, urged new president Ronald Reagan to get in touch with Leonid Brezhnev.
While much of Prince's music was about love and sex, there also was a sharp focus on inequality and helping the poor.
5.  Political Donations
His only political contribution was $2,000 in 1990 to Minnesota Senator Rudy Boschwitz, a Republican who ended up losing to Democrat Paul Wellstone that year.
The New Orleans Superdome, one of dozens of monuments in cities that lit up in tribute to Prince's trademark color from his 1984 mega-hit album and movie "Purple Rain."
The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. The album sold 13+ million copies/grossed $80+ million in the US, and spent 24 consecutive weeks at No.1 on Billboard.
I will be playing it all night.


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