Minnesota’s music scene lost an icon on Thursday, April 21, 2016.
Popstar, Prince, died at his Chanhassen home at the age of 57. Few details were immediately released about his death.
The singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and actor has been widely acclaimed as one of the most influential musicians of his era with hit songs like “1999”, “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette” and “Purple Rain.” His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop, disco, jazz, and pop.
His loss is felt particularly hard at IPR, where a number of our faculty have had the pleasure of working, playing and touring with him.
Thursday, IPR instructors, Walter Chancellor and Peter Greenlund spoke with media from around the country about their experiences.
As many know, It was hard to know the “real” Prince, but these two men, along with other IPR instructors, worked with the mega talent and felt their working relationship was the best way to understand the man.
“Death is never convenient,” said Walter, “and right now I feel privileged to have been a small part of Prince’s living legacy of music.”
Walter Chancellor earned a platinum record playing saxophone with Prince on “Emancipation” released in 1996. He was frequently called to Paisley Park to add something special to a session in the recording studio.
Peter Greenlund, Live Sound and Show Production program Chair at IPR, worked with Prince during the early years. He provided support and was a sound technician on the 1999 and Love Sexy tours, amongst others. He spent nine years touring with Prince.
“My Prince experience was life changing,” said Peter. “Prince’s work ethic pushed everyone around him to perform their best.” When asked what was most memorable, Peter said that Prince had amazing focus and dedication to excellence. “This is something we carried with us and worked every day to instill in our students at IPR,” he says.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis. He developed an interest in music and wrote his first song at the age of 7. He broke into the music scene in the late 1970s and saw huge success with his albums “1999” and “Purple Rain.”
Prince has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone has ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
He legacy and inspiration will live on and be shared by those who had the privilege of working with him or have been touched by his work.
Hear some more of Walter and Peter’s favorite Prince memories during their interviews with KSTP TV and KCCI- TV in Des Moines, IA.
Written by Rebecca Buller, IPR Dean of Education