Valley music fans mourn death of Prince

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Prince was being remembered by valley fans as an originator, an innovator and a creative artist who changed the music landscape. (KFSN)

The death of music icon Prince has stunned the entertainment world.
Prince was being remembered by valley fans as an originator, an innovator and a creative artist who changed the music landscape.

The music of the man born Prince Rogers Nelson took people back to a time when records were king. At Spinners Records in the Tower District buying vinyl was part of the mourning process. Chris Powers said Prince's death hit valley fans harder than the loss of other artists this year.

Powers said, "We've had some fans come in, I mean you could tell there's a lot of wet eyes. There's been some crying."

Prince played Fresno four times. 2011 his most recent concert here.

Fresno State Africana Studies professor T. Hasan Johnson praised Prince as an innovator.

Johnson explained, "He kept the funk alive in music as well as rock because black artists were no longer associated with rock and roll. They were associated with R&B. You could not do that with Prince. He was clearly rock and roll as much as funk as much as R&B."

Prince was also a fashion icon. In addition to the music, fans looked forward to his ever-changing look.

Johnson said, "He kind of bridged some boundaries on gender that no one was really prepared for. The early 80's in many ways was about androgyny, that kind of thing. He embodied it well. It was masculine and feminine at the same time."

Hard-core fans of Prince have always pointed out his musical talent also set him apart. In some of his early work Prince played every instrument.

In tribute, local radio station Mega 97.9 played nothing but Prince songs until midnight.
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