Americans were shocked and saddened by the news of recording artist Prince’s death at the age of 57 on Thursday. The legendary singer-songwriter’s death hit airwaves and news outlets faster than you can say, “Diamonds and Pearls.”
LexisNexis Newsdesk reports more than 8,400 articles were published about Prince in the three-and-a-half hours after news of his death broke, almost double the number of articles written about this year’s media darling, the 2016 Presidential Election, in the same time period.
The iconic artist was beloved by many for his funktified and risqué songs like “Little Red Corvette,” “Raspberry Beret,” “When Doves Cry,” and “Kiss.” Even journalists, whose responsibility it is to maintain their objectivity, allowed their admiration of the pop star to shine through in their stories. (One witness from the scene outside Prince’s Paisley Park estate was quoted as saying, “even the journalists are hugging each other.”)
Almost one-third of the coverage published about Prince in the hours after his death expressed positive sentiment. Even coverage of Election 2016 has maintained a modicum of objectivity, with approximately 78 percent of articles remaining neutral in their coverage.
Prince more important than POTUS? If media coverage is any indication, yes…encapsulating an important moment in time in both American pop culture and politics.
I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you
Laughing in the purple rain.
– “Purple Rain” (1984)
The Front Page:
This mornings Wall Street Journal front page, above the fold, carried a 4 column wide picture of Prince. The headline reads “End Of Purpler Rain Brings Flood Of Tributes”
The New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today also paid tribute to Prince on their front pages, as did most every newspaper across the country. Here’s a look at some of the front pages:
The MTV Network
The MTV yesterday began a marathon of Prince music videos. The network has cancelled all regular programming for today (Friday) to continue with the Prince marathon. Many radio stations across the country have done the same.
Prince Tribute Channel Launches on SiriusXM
SiriusXM announced today that it will pay tribute to the legendary artist Prince. The limited-run channel will feature music from Prince’s ground-breaking, iconic and innovative career which spanned over 30 years.
SiriusXM’s The Prince Tribute Channel will feature music from the vast body of artistry from Prince’s entire career, including his earliest recordings through his most recent release HITnRUN Phase One. The special channel will also feature music by artists that Prince was closely linked to, inspired by and collaborated with.
“Prince’s passing is tragic and a true loss for music fans around the world. To honor his legacy and his incredible body of work, SiriusXM will create a special channel that will be devoted to his artistic genius,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.
The Prince Tribute Channel launched on Thursday, April 21 and will run through Friday, April 29 via satellite on channel 50. The Prince Channel will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app. www.siriusxm.com.
AXS TV celebrates the life and legacy of genre-defying music icon Prince with a tribute block on Saturday, April 23, featuring the Prince episode of AXS TV’s ROCK LEGENDS at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, and the television premiere of the acclaimed documentary SLAVE TRADE: HOW PRINCE RE-MADE THE MUSIC BUSINESS at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
With his inimitable style and fearless blending of rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop, disco, pop and more, Prince cemented his position as one of music’s most innovative figures. Prince passed away today, at the age of 57.
Over the course of four decades, Prince enjoyed an unprecedented career that included 40 Billboard Hot 100 Hits, as well as seven GRAMMY® wins, one Golden Globe, and an Oscar® for Best Original Score for his 1984 opus PURPLE RAIN. With over 100 million records sold worldwide, Prince remains one of the best-selling artists of all-time. Now, with the Prince edition of AXS TV’s music series ROCK LEGENDS, viewers can delve even deeper into the legendary artist’s legacy, going behind the scenes with in-depth interviews, rare archive footage, and live performances.
The tribute continues as AXS TV presents the acclaimed 2014 documentary SLAVE TRADE: HOW PRINCE RE-MADE THE MUSIC BUSINESS at 2 p.m. ET. Spanning Prince’s entire career—from his debut album FOR YOU in 1978, through the present day—SLAVE TRADE takes viewers on a twisting journey, detailing Prince’s noted disputes with his then-label Warner Bros., as he fought to be paid more than contemporaries such as Madonna and Michael Jackson.
The ongoing struggle gave birth to an artistic revolution, as Prince took his art into his own hands, cutting ties with the record label and re-branding himself with the iconic hieroglyph symbol. The comprehensive film also covers Prince’s embracing of the digital age, as well as the success of his 28th studio album MUSICOLOGY, and his show-stopping Super Bowl performance in 2007.
The two specials will have subsequent airings with ROCK LEGENDS: PRINCE airing Monday, April 25 at7 p.m. ET and Tuesday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET. SLAVE TRADE: HOW PRINCE RE-MADE THE MUSIC BUSINESS will be broadcast again on Monday, April 25 at 11 p.m. ET and Tuesday, April 26 at 9 p.m. ET.