Newswise — Statement from John Covach, the Director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester, on the death of Prince:
Prince was one of the most important artists in American popular music during the last two decades of the twentieth century. A Minnesota native, Prince Rogers Nelson rose to fame in the 1980s, scoring top albums with 1999 (1982), Purple Rain (1984), and Around the World in a Day (1985) and with the cult-classic film, Purple Rain (1984). He was often compared to Michael Jackson during the 1980s, as both enjoyed enormous commercial success. Prince was a multi-talented and prolific artist, at times writing far more music than was released and often playing all or most instruments on recordings. As a performer, he challenged the limits of sexuality, in many ways paralleling Madonna’s musical exploration of suggestive behaviors and taboo topics during the 1980s. He will be remembered as one of most significant artists in American popular music history.