The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery recognizes the life and accomplishments of Prince Nelson with a photograph by Lynn Goldsmith. The image was taken in 1993.
Prince’s music fused soul and rock ’n’ roll with incandescent showmanship and virtuoso guitar work. From the unlikely outpost of Minneapolis, his first club hits featured young urban characters seeking sexual redemption from alienation. In the 1980s, he refined a pop sensibility informed by political consciousness, alternating party songs with social protest on 1999 (1982) and Sign o’ the Times (1987). His songs melded James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and P-Funk and also carry the melodic imagination of the Beatles, Miles Davis, and Joni Mitchell.
Prince was one of the great synthesizers, combining influences, genres and identities into a stream of uniquely American sound.