Studying Prince: An Introduction
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The primary responsibility of the scholar is to put in historical, political, and social context that which has not only shaped our thinking about people, places, things, and events, but give meaning to them. For nearly 40 years, Prince was a mainstay in the world of music and pop culture, but there was more to Prince than just music. For Prince, music was a vessel through which he urged listeners to think about matters such as masculinity, spirituality, politics, racial and gender equality, gang violence, sexuality, poverty, disease, and identity. It was not surprising then that when reports of Prince’s death were broadcast on April 21, 2016, the world mourned. Tributes of varying kind were posted all over social media; city halls, bridges, buildings, and skylines around the world were lit up in purple; fans flocked to and gathered outside his residence in Chanhassen, a Minneapolis suburb; scores of artists paid homage to Prince by covering his songs in concerts; even...