It’s been four years since musician and pop icon Prince Rogers Nelson died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at Paisley Park, his Chanhassen home and recording studio. Singer, actor, musician and filmmaker Prince passed away on April 21, 2016. The multi-instrumentalist and fashion icon sold over 100 million records and fans are reflecting on their most-loved songs from his stellar career spanning over four decades.
Eric Songer grew up a huge pop music enthusiast in the 1980s. “I was an avid chart watcher and fan of the music scene,” Songer said.
His love of music led him to a career teaching at Chaska Middle School West, where he also offers an elective called “Music & the Image.”
With his encyclopedic knowledge of 1980s music, Songer can tell you that Prince’s “Purple Rain” is one of the most popular albums of all time and the third biggest selling soundtrack album ever. He’ll tell you Billboard ranks Prince as the second biggest singles artist of the 1980s, only slightly behind Michael Jackson.
Still, Songer admitted, “Prince was not one of my favorite artists to be honest with you, but I developed a huge respect for him in a very volatile industry. He had staying power. He was extremely creative in both his music and his image. He was a game changer.”
Songer’s students know who Prince is, and they occasionally perform his songs.
“I always found it interesting that there was this contradictory part of his personality — he came across as very cocky and confident in his performances, but he would write songs under fake names (like ‘Manic Monday’ by the Bangles) and donate money to our district’s music program anonymously.”
Songer reflected on Prince’s impact as a pop fan and as a music teacher.
“One Prince story that resonated with me as a child and continues to as a performer and teacher is that Prince learned to play many instruments in middle school and high school,” Songer said. “He would get to school early to practice. His drive and passion for music is something that I emphasize to my middle school students, since a lot of times, middle school students have a passion for music, but they lack the drive to practice. Prince is an example of someone who learned all of this at an early age and that it is possible.”
“Prince will continue to be remembered and have a positive impact in this community,” Songer said.
Adore -Kiss -Raspberry Beret -Scandalous -Purple Rain -I wanna be Your Lover -Little Red Corvette -I Would Die for You -1999 -Do Me Baby -When Doves Cry Make . are some of the songs from the legendary “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”
Fans celebrated his legacy below by naming their favorite Prince songs
It's 1 of his most overlooked body of works. Coming right on the heels of the commercial dominance of PR & not 1 to repeat himself, the shift in musical direction "surprised" some, but not those who were actually LISTENING. Happy 35TH Anniversary to the underappreciated #ATWIAD pic.twitter.com/Ek4ylfTJKO
— Pearl'sBackUp (@ComplxRebel) April 22, 2020
4 years ago today one of my biggest musical hero’s died. I remember hearing the news like it was yesterday. I am so grateful I got to see him live, his music lives on in me and will forever more 💜💜 @prnlegacy #prince #princemusicliveson #legend #4yearsgone pic.twitter.com/YuMNmF92fn
— Clare Anderson (@clarebearmac) April 21, 2020
And finally, remembering the legendary #Prince who passed away on this date in 2016.
His hits include 1999, Purple Rain, Raspberry Beret, Little Red Corvette and many more! pic.twitter.com/dBlgdAMgP2
— Music Legends of Time (@MusicLegendsof1) April 21, 2020
Little red corvette, baby you're much too fast…. pic.twitter.com/HufrSXvZGV
— LoLa (@lolalissaa) April 21, 2020
Too many songs – "My Name is Prince," "The Most Beautiful Girl In the World," "Cream," "Gett Off," "Little Red Corvette," "Batdance," "Partyman," "Black Sweat," "Musicology," "Diamonds and Pearls," "7," "Sometimes It Snows in April," "Adore," "Kiss" https://t.co/d84l8ZTbEf pic.twitter.com/UfTmkWpdRB
— Lboogie305 (@Lboogie3051) April 21, 2020
Can’t believe it’s been 4 years! @saralawrence35
My Prince mix #Prince2Me
— Jess Lawrence (@Jessicarrr1990) April 21, 2020
— tweakatweet (@tweakatweet) April 21, 2020