Prince Rogers Nelson passed away yesterday at the age of 57. Most famous for his funky, flamboyant image, he can rightly be called a pop icon, having sold more than 100 million albums worldwide over the course of his lifetime. Here at Chordify, we want to take a moment to look back on the career of a great artist who changed the face of pop and who will be sorely missed.
photo: Robert Whitman
His best known album Purple Rain forms the soundtrack to the movie of the same name which also stars Prince as an actor. The album was released in 1984 and sold more than 13 million copies in the US, spending 24 consecutive weeks at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Prince was awarded the Oscar for Best Original Song Score and two Grammys for this album, which is considered by many to be among the greatest in music history.
As well as his awards for Purple Rain, Prince won a Golden Globe and a further five Grammys. He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Throughout his career he has worked and performed with an endless number of celebrated and influential musicians, including Stevie Wonder, George Harrison, Beyonce, George Clinton, Madonna, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle and Sheena Easton, to name just a few.
Check out his awesome guitar solo performing the song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with George Harrison.
Guitars and other instruments
Prince was a multi-instrumentalist. Not only a guitar virtuoso and insanely good singer, he also played bass, piano and drums with a level of skill most people can only dream of. He played all 27 instruments on his debut album and when asked how many different instruments he could play in a TV interview, he simply responded: “Thousands.”
Prince was famous for owning and playing a couple of crazy guitars too. When we visited the NAMM Music Conference in San Francisco a few months ago, we got to see his famous custom-built purple guitar which was on display.
Let’s celebrate his life and music by playing along with a couple of great songs by icon and master architect of funk, rock, R&B and pop.