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Prince among men: an explosion of grief from the world's music community

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 22 April 2016, 20:42 IST

If you said that almost no-one has had a greater influence on the music industry as a whole than Prince, people might think you're exaggerating - but barely.

Yesterday, the music world was rocked by the sudden death of the legendary artist at 57 of causes not yet known.

Prince, who passed away at the tender age of 57, was among the top influencers of his generation. Not just for his musical ability but also for his ability to both support and take on the music industry.

That's why the outpouring of grief and loss we've seen in the hours since his death seems so personal.

Like most memorable artists, Prince was provocative - pushing the boundaries on a host of issues of race, gender, and more. He was also passionate about protecting the rights of artists themselves.

"People think I'm a crazy fool for writing 'slave' on my face," Prince said in a 1996 Rolling Stone interview. This was in reference to a feud with Warner Bros three years earlier when the label refused to release his music when he wanted. "But if I can't do what I want to do, what am I? When you stop a man from dreaming, he becomes a slave. That's where I was. I don't own Prince's music. If you don't own your masters, your master owns you."

Fast forward to 2014 when Prince signed a new deal with Warner Bros. This time, the deal gave him full control of his catalog. His life long dream of getting control of his art was achieved.

For the next seven days, SiriusXM has introduced a 24-hour channel dedicated to Prince:

And if you haven't heard Prince's cover of Radiohead's Creep from Coachella 2008, stop everything and get to it now. As Slate says, "Prince's cover of Radiohead's "Creep" is a small, eight-minute miracle".

It's no surprise then that miracle man is revered not just by fans but fellow celebrities from around the world. It's safe to say this man is a hero among heroes.

Something Eric Clapton acknowledged years ago.

Here's some of the love coming the late rockstar's way:

Will Smith

Vishal Dadlani

Duran Duran

Katy Perry

Billy Idol

Justin Timberlake

It was Raspberry Beret. I was 4 years old. Yes, 4. I remember that I instantly loved it. "Mommy, who is that singing?" Seems weird but it's true. More than a "once in a lifetime" artist... Just a ONCE IN FOREVER ARTIST. I'm still in shock as I write this and I feel this overwhelming grief. But, we should all turn away from that and HONOR this musician that changed all of our lives, our perspectives, our feeling, our whole being. From another planet? Probably. Royalty, for sure. Us worthy..? Laughable. They say don't meet your idols... That they let you down. But, some of my greatest, funniest (yes, he was hilarious), and most prolific encounters and conversations about music came from the moments that I spent with him. It would be silly to say that he has inspired our music... It's beyond that. He's somewhere within every song I've ever written. I am sad, but I will smile when I think of every second that I had the fortune of being in his company. We have lost our greatest living musician. But his music will never die. Prince, NOTHING COMPARES... #RIPPrince

A photo posted by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

Spike Lee

I Miss My Brother. Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor.

A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

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He Changed The World!! A True Visionary. What a loss. I'm Devastated.🦄 This is Not A Love Song.

A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on

Lenny Kravitz

The Weeknd

President Obama

First published: 22 April 2016, 20:42 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.