Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images

Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images

The Associated Press has confirmed that music has lost one of its Gods. Prince Rogers Nelson, more affectionately known globally as Prince was found dead in his suburban Minnesota home early Thursday morning. He was 57. The official confirmation came from his publicist as the singer and rock star had been battling a serious flu that caused him to cancel a few shows recently.

To describe Prince is to simply use one word: iconoclast. He was the litmus test for creativity in music, for stretching sounds and guitars and wails. To produce sexuality in your face along with some of the most timeless ballads spanning the eras of funk, disco, rock, R&B and more. Prince’s career began in 1975 with the band 94 East before he eventually went solo and crafted a career that not only lasted five decades, it spawned countless hits, imitators and groundbreaking moments.

Known for his personality just as much as his music, Prince had an undeniable aura about him, constantly pushing the envelope in the name of creativity. He feuded with his label, Warner Bros. for decades and had recently returned to the label to release albums with his newest band, 3rdEyeGirl. In later years, he performed at benefit concerts in Baltimore and had sporadically toured in various venues across the country.

In our 2013 review of Prince & A Tribe Called Quest during SXSW, we noted that we were seeing a genius at work, a musician who wanted fans in the audience to enjoy the experience rather than attempt to document it on our phones. Now both Prince & Phife Dawg, two of the key contributors of that night are gone.

Yes, Prince was flanked by a 22-piece band, including Morris Day, Jerome and The Time whose major catalog including “Jungle Love” and more became part of the man’s six, yes SIX encores. Samsung made certain this event was one-of-a-kind, forcing security to block off any access to the venue within 100 yards, letting those who missed out enjoy the concert from West 4th. Given that he rarely tours these days, this was about as rare an occasion as ever to simply marvel at greatness. There were classics (“1999”, “Something In The Water”, “Purple Rain”), there were sultry funk ballads (a cover of Tevin Campbell’s “Shhhh”) and new tunes from his 3rdEyeGirl outfit played. But Prince’s trump card? He covered “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” from Michael Jackson – bridging the 80s greatest musical rivalry in pop/R&B music. Prince was always a renegade – but he was also appreciative of talent.

Counting Prince’s hits would be endless. His contributions to pop culture are just as lengthy from Purple Rain, the 1989 Batman soundtrack and all the way to his recent speech at the 2015 Grammy Awards declaring “Black Lives Matter”. Many singers imitated and patterned their sounds after Prince including The-Dream, Andre 3000’s The Love Below and many more.

Prince’s death joins a lengthy crowd of legends in 2016 including David Bowie, Vanity & others. The sky just got a little more lively and purple now.