Popular music historian available to comment on death of Prince

A popular music historian from Western University says that Prince was a consummate showman and one of the most prolific and active musicians of the last half-century.

Norma Coates, currently a Research Fellow at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archives while on sabbatical, is available for media commentary about the death of the music icon Prince.

Coates, a Western professor jointly appointed to the Don Wright Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Media and Information Studies, says, “Prince was a boundary-crosser, mixing-up and celebrating an extraordinary array of genres and influences in his music, danceable and deep at at the same time. He did the same with gender, sexuality, and race, making music that transcended categories and sometimes categorization.

“His early combination of punk and funk opened ears to new sounds. His big hits of the 1980s turned large arenas and small living rooms into dance clubs. Prince was a remarkable musician and a skilled songwriter with songs made memorable by other artists.

“Prince was a consummate showman, and one of the most prolific and active musicians of the last half-century. Prince was also among the first major musicians to confront business as usual in the recording industry and to use the internet to connect directly with his fans. His musical influence is everywhere today. The world of music has suffered a very great loss.”

Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.

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