Purple Reign: How Prince Continued to Dominate Pop Culture 1 Year After His Death
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On April 21, 2016, the world suddenly lost Prince Rogers
Nelson and, to be honest, we’ve never quite been the same. From the hilarious faces
the 57-year-old delivered during the BET Awards to kicking
Kim Kardashian off stage to his uncanny ability to blend
social justice and music during pivotal moments like the 2015 Baltimore protests, few superstars remained relevant like Prince. Even one year after his unexpected
death due to an accidental opioid drug overdose in his Minnesota home, Prince’s
influence still reverberates. Here’s a look back at the year since his death
and how his legacy lives on.
April 2016: President Obama, along with the rest of the world, mourned the death of Prince
by calling him “a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an
electrifying performer,” according
to Rolling Stone.
May 2016: Shonda Rhimes used Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Delirious” on two of her hit
ABC shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. The Purple One’s jams were
notoriously hard to clear, but Rhimes gained her green light in just days, she toldRolling Stone. Afterward, he sent her
pictures of himself dressed up saying he was a “gladiator in a suit.”
RELATED: Lenny Kravitz to Perform Prince Tribute at 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony
June 2016: Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Janelle Monae, The Roots, Maxwell, Sheila E. and
more paid tribute to the Purple One during the annual BET Awards, where years
earlier, during his own living tribute in 2010, Prince gave Trey Songz that
withering gaze during his yodel-filled rendition of “Purple Rain” and later held
up Patti LaBelle’s high heel, which she’d kicked off the stage. Don’t you
In 2016, however, everyone kept their shoes on and Bilal was crowned the winner of the tribute for his performance of “The Beautiful Ones” -- panties were thrown.
October 2016: Prince’s family opened
the doors of Paisley Park to tourists and fans, offering a walking tour of his
studios, soundstage and nightclub and most importantly, an opportunity to meet his doves,
Majesty and Divinity.
WATCH: Inside Prince's Paisley Park: Friends and Fans Remember the Late Singer's Enigmatic Estate
December 2016: More proof of Charlie Murphy’s epic story of playing basketball at Prince’s
house and being served pancakes afterward -- which was immortalized on The Chappelle Show -- is revealed by Micki Free and
confirmed by Samuel L. Jackson. According to Jackson, the
Purple One was wearing “church shoes” when he beat Murphy and his friends on
the court. Turns out, Eddie Murphy wanted Prince to hear his 1985 single, “Party All the
Time,” and The Purple One was less than impressed. Unfortunately, Charlie Murphy
recently passed away and 2017 sucks too.
January 2017: Prince becomes the best-selling artist of 2016, moving 2.2 million units,
beating Beyonce and Adele, reportedForbes. At this point, it was unclear
if Tidal, the streaming service most closely identified with Jay Z and where
Prince pledged to keep his music, would be able to maintain sole streaming
rights. TMZ reported
that Jay Z attempted to buy Prince’s unreleased music that was kept in a vault
after his death but was unsuccessful.
WATCH: 7 Times Prince Proved He Was the Coolest Human Being on the Planet
February 2017: Prince’s entire catalog, which had been solely streaming on Tidal since 2015 (when
everyone’s Spotify Prince playlist suddenly disappeared and every search turned
up Michael Jackson… ) became available on iTunes and Spotify. Fans were excited
but also baffled because is this what The Purple One would’ve wanted?
April 2017: Prince’s sought-after unreleased music, a six-track EP entitled Deliverance, was set to be released on the one-year anniversary of his death via Paisley Park audio engineer George Ian Boxill, who recorded the songs with Prince but completed them alone after the star’s death.
However, Comerica Bank & Trust and Paisley Park
Enterprises, which manages Prince’s estate, sued to stop the release, claiming it was "violating the terms of [Boxill's] agreement with Prince 'for his
personal gain at the expense of the Prince Estate,'" reportedThe New York Times. Ultimately, a judge ruled in favor of Prince's estate, stopping the release of the EP, but the pre-released titular single, "Deliverance," is currently available for purchase.
Elsewhere, Prince’s first ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, released her
book about her first love. titled The Most Beautiful, and claimed during an interview that Prince, who died without a will according to his
family, actually did have one? The drama continues.
RELATED: Watch Stars Sing Their Favorite Prince Songs to Celebrate the Singer's Birthday