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Opinion:Why Are The #Prince Accomplishments Not Acknowledged?

Prince in universe

It is becoming increasingly clear that the accomplishments of Prince are being grossly overlooked or worse, ignored by those in the position of providing him with the recognition he deserves.

montreux

Prince at Montreux

An example of this is, the fact that, despite the fact he has written so many songs over time, (not just Purple Rain), he has not been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Yet,  Jay-Z , who does not have half the catalog of original, succesful and published songs compared to Prince, has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Prince has 39 albums with his own original compositions, songs which contain beautiful and meaningful lyrics as well as music which is all composed by Prince. Yet, they ignore him as well as the petition which seeks to have him properly honored. https://www.change.org/p/the-songwriters-hall-of-fame-prince-is-music-induct-prince-into-the-songwriters-hall-of-fame

prince holding guitar 25But it is not just the Songwriters Hall of Fame, there are others, including Barack Obama, who, while president, had the opportunity to bestow the ‘Medal of Freedom’ to Prince, but failed to do so. Prince, by far merited the Medal of Freedom equally with persons such as Ellen Degeneres.  People point to “courage” but fail to note the courage it took for Prince to take a stand against the record industry and it’s treatment of artist. That was his livelihood, yet he not only had the courage to take a stand, he also won the fight! Also, he should have been granted the award based upon his philanthropy, activism, and generosity.  Most of his philanthropic actions were performed with the understanding that they would not be publicized. But, after his passing, when those activities were revealed, the amounts of his generosity remain unsurpassed. (You can find the list here: https://www.change.org/p/designate-prince-rogers-nelson-s-paisley-park-as-a-national-historic-landmark/u/17626949) Clearly, this warranted Prince being awarded the Medal of Freedom posthumously.

And then there is the Prince estate. First, it was Bremer, who as administrator for the estate, refused to even meet with the Minnesota Historical Society regarding their attempt to designate Paisley Park and his other properties as a Minnesota Historical sites. And, when contacted by parties who are seeking to make Paisley Park a National Historic Landmark, the response by one of the Bremer reps was: “We’re not marketing it as a Historical Landmark.” Excuse me? Marketing? Seriously? The audacity of that person to use the term “marketing” when approached as to preserving a legacy was not only outrageous, but also unconscionable. Suffice it to say, that, although no longer in charge of the Prince estate, Bremer remains currently embroiled and embattled as to some of the financial choices which were made  during their tenure, but the truth is, that, at no point, did they consider anything which would preserve the legacy of Prince, only that which would earn money.

Then there is Paisley Park, being managed by Graceland Holdings, who only seem to seek to profit from Prince’s legacy, but not to actually preserve Paisley Park.

paisley park 7

Paisley Park

Lastly, there are the heirs, who, instead of trying to bolster and preserve the legacy of their brother, appear to be attempting to create a legacy of their own, based solely upon their relationship to Prince via the music industry and/or covering Prince songs. And yet, they do not have the time to invest in even discussions with those attempting to preserve his legacy via lobbying ‘Kennedy Honors’, Songwriters Hall of Fame’ or those who are attempting to have Paisley Park and other sites  designated as historical landmarks, hence preserving one of his greatest legacies! They appear to only want to increase their personal bottom line and if they will obtain no money, then they have zero interest. We also now know that the alleged shady deals made during the Bremer tenure were, (if not directly), approved to move forward via lack of opposition.  Paisley Park, has always paid for itself, and can continue to do so, if indeed, there is the Prince new 2appropriate and qualified attention to detail and respect that Prince and his fans deserve. After all, Paisley Park is indeed within the hearts of his fans, and it is the fans of Prince who supported him throughout his career who actually paid for Paisley Park.

Yet of course, hats off and much respect to those who are actually attempting to preserve and protect the legacy of Prince Rogers Nelson who warrant mentions such as: PRNAlumni who are focusing on the continuation of Prince’s awesome charitable work;  @PurpleLegacy who continue to persist in their efforts to have Paisley Park designated as a National Historic Landmark; The Minnesota Historical Society, working to name Paisley Park as a Minnesota Historical site; the Prince watchdog group, PurpleOutcry.org, who work tirelessly to make certain that Prince’s legacy retains the respect it deserves,as well as protect that legacy; the Department of the Interior under the Obama administration who worked with Minnesota Historical society; and most of all to the fans of Prince, a really super-smart and loyal group of people who stand as gatekeepers to the memory and legacy of Prince.

So the question remains: Why are the accomplishments of Prince not acknowledged? The question itself is as perplexing as the lack of answers appear to be.

Prince at NPG festival 2011

Prince 2011 at NPG Festival

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Good-night sweet Prince

 

price's piano after last show

Prince’s piano and mic after his last public show

              Prince’s last concert in Atlanta,Georgia, summed up his continuing evolution from the young man with his guitar who was everywhere on the stage – to the mature man on the stage with only his piano. He had nothing left to prove, yet this intimate setting did prove, among other things and that was the fact that all he needed was his beautiful music – his extraordinary musicianship,and his fans.  For those who attended – it was a wonderful experience, and as he gave to them, his audience gave back – singing back to him or with him – as they had always done, even when the stage was filled with a band, vocalists and such.  

             Now, since his passing – the refrain of Purple Rain has echoed all over the world inherent within the sadness which words cannot speak – so the world sings its sadness – as if singing to him, for him, about him and at the same time allowing the sadness and love to  escape into the universe itself.  One must know that, for a couple of nights – this big blue ball we call ‘earth’ – turned purple, witnessed by the international outpouring of grief, including the lighting of landmarks bathed in purple light. The musical tributes fill the air with even ‘The Boss’, (Bruce Springsteen),opening his show with a tribute performance of ‘Purple Rain’,Aretha Franklin singing Purple Rain at the White House;Minnesota Wild bathing the arena in purple light, and so much more.Prince-Purple-1984-BIllboard-650

The truth is that it appears as if each individual thought Prince belonged to them alone – for all those times when dancing to his music, or crying to it, when it was just them and Prince, an intimacy was formed between artist and fan that cannot be compared. Perhaps that personal feeling is what each fan carried within their hearts for his fans had nothing to prove either – Prince was theirs and that was just that.  Commencing with the early years, when it took courage to be a fan – when he was such a different and bad boy. But even then, fans refused to abandon him, while and giving a figurative finger to the ‘establishment’ which had initially tried to ostracize him, and remained fans until his dying day, .  Those fans responded to Prince with voices and record purchases which shouted: “Do you! ” And that is exactly what he did. Prince did Prince – and took us all along for the wonderful ride, and we loved it. And, amazingly, as time moved on, the children and grand children and even great-grandchildren of his first fans were added to his fan base – an artist whose reach actually did span generations.

Prince sitting on purple piano

Although we thought that we knew him – stories are now resurfacing about his beautiful and unselfish generosity. Prince in whiteClearly he did not do the things which he did for the approval of others: paying medical bills for those in need, providing financial support for the family of Lauryn Hill family when she went to jail; reaching out to Van Jones when no one would talk to him; financing Malcolm X  for Spike Lee – proving what his fans knew, intuitively, all along: that he had a good heart and that he was kind, caring and wonderful person.

His fans watched his life – and were happy when he was happy and sad when he was sad. The loss of his child was such a private thing – and it is something which no parent ever gets over. But he suffered in silence – not addressing it publicly. And more recently, the death of Vanity – also suffering in silence. And his silence as to his personal suffering said even more about him – no public pity party for Prince.

English: Prince playing at Coachella 2008.

English: Prince playing at Coachella 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prince playing guitar

Prince playing in rain 2007 NFL halftime performance

Although some were critical of his determination to keep his music off of youtube – only now are we learning that it was not about selfishness at all – but his perfectionism. He could not stand the thought of his music being played via inferior quality such as the grainy videos now surfacing online.  And he was very particular about his lyrics being written – but only because so often they were incorrect. During an interview with Tavis Smiley – he referenced a time when his lyrics to the famous opening line of When Doves Cry “Dig if you will, a picture, you and I engaged in a kiss” as having been written by someone as”Dig if you will a picture, me Marvin Gaye and the kids” or another person he knew who thought the words ‘little red corvette’ were: “pay the rent collect” and when he told these stories, even the crew on the Smiley set could be heard laughing in the background. So he was actually protecting his lyrics – not in a selfish way – but in an artistic way. No one would dare view a Micheal Angelo painting and have the audacity to take a brush with paint and add to it – well Prince felt the same about his music.

As this world moves forward without him in it, we are left not only with music, but happy and exciting memories. The shows and performances which could only be described as “lightning in a bottle”  with music flowing from his entire being. Prince did not just create music. Prince did not just perform music. Prince did not just ‘do’ music. Prince was music. And many will now spend their time in the “wreka stow” looking for that music. He will be so very,very much missed by family,friends and fans.

Rest in the peace within which you lived Prince.

We only wanted to see you laughing.

prince face in purple

           “I only wanted to see you laughing.”

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