It was one year ago today (April 21st, 2016) that Prince — born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7th, 1958 — died at age 57. Despite the official autopsy report finding the legend dying of an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl, there are still many associates, family and friends, who claim that they never saw Prince ingest any sort of drug. In the year following his death, the “Purple One’s” catalogue sold a combined 7.7 million copies in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen. Of that 7.7 million, 2.3 million came in the form of traditional album sales, while the remaining 5.4 million were from digital downloads — with Prince, by far, selling more albums than any other artist during the same time period. The closest competition was Adele, who sold an impressive 2.23 million units. Billboard reported the 5.4 million digital song downloads comprise one-third of the 18.64 million downloads of his songs since Nielsen began tracking that info in 2003.
Over the 12 months since his passing, fans have found a number of other ways to celebrate Prince’s life as well. His Paisley Park home/studio complex in suburban Minneapolis has been turned into a museum, with his ashes on display in a glass and ceramic Paisley Park-shaped urn. At least five books examining Prince’s life and legacy have been published recently, including a memoir by his first wife Mayte Garcia.
- According to USA Today, Prince’s death is still an open case and actively investigated by the sheriff’s department in Carver County. It still remains unclear how much his estate is worth and who his heirs will be. Despite that, there are hundreds upon hundreds of hours of unreleased music left behind by Prince. USA Today reported on rumors circulating about a $36 million deal with Universal Music Group, but nothing has been confirmed.
- On Wednesday night (April 19th), a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing Rogue Music Alliance from releasing a six-song EP called Deliverance today (April 21st). The title track has not yet been pulled and is widely available on various online services.
CHECK IT OUT: Prince on January 30th, 1982 performing “I Wanna Be Your Love” live in Passaic, New Jersey:
CHECK IT OUT: Prince on February 26th, 1985 performing “Baby I’m A Star” live on the Grammy Awards:
CHECK IT OUT: Prince on September 2nd, 1990 rehearsing Gershwin’s “Summertime” live in Nishinomiya, Japan:
CHECK IT OUT: Prince on February 4th, 2007 performing “Purple Rain” live at the Super Bowl: