Celebrating the Life of Prince
WHEREAS, Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1958; and
WHEREAS, at the age of 17, Prince followed in his jazz musician father's footsteps and signed a recording contract with Warner Brothers' Records, and would go on to sell over 100 Million albums worldwide; and
WHEREAS, Prince became a household name with his innovative sounds, eccentric dress, and ability to write, arrange, produce and play an estimated 20+ instruments for his songs; and
WHEREAS, in 1984 Prince starred in the blockbuster and loosely autobiographical film Purple Rain and accompanying soundtrack — becoming the first person to simultaneously hold a number one album and film; and
WHEREAS, Prince's music, a combination of funk, R&B, Rock, and gospel created what is known as the "Minneapolis Sound" which influenced other Twin City artists and producers such as Morris Day and the Time, Mint Condition, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis; and
WHEREAS, Prince wrote and produced many songs for noted artists such as Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan, Tevin Campbell, Sheila E., and his songs have been sampled or covered by Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, 2 Pac, Tom Petty, and Madonna; and
WHEREAS, Prince has received numerous awards for his groundbreaking work including NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award for Purple Rain, 7 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and more; and
WHEREAS, Prince's passion extended beyond his artistry to many philanthropic activities and a strong commitment to social justice. He donated his time and wealth to a host of issues that he was passionate about including Environmental Justice, Economic Empowerment, and overall social justice initiatives and campaigns; and
WHEREAS, in 2015 in response to the protests surrounding the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Prince held a benefit concert in the city and donated a portion of the proceeds to the NAACP ACT-SO program; and
WHEREAS, Prince's influence can be heard in countless newer artists including Esperanza Spaulding, Janelle Monaé, Andy Allo, Miguel, and Frank Ocean; and
WHEREAS, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Prince into its esteemed institution in 2004, the first year that he was eligible for induction after more than 25 years in the music industry; and
WHEREAS, on April 21, 2016, Prince passed away at his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. In the days and weeks after his premature passing, family, friends, and millions of adoring fans around the world took to the airwaves and streets to express their grief on this tremendous loss.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the 107th NAACP Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio pauses to celebrate the life and music of Prince and extends its heartfelt and deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans around the world; and,
BEIT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution will be placed in the NAACP archives and given to Prince's family.