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Glowing tribute to music star Prince from Huddersfield music expert

And Huddersfield music expert wonders: Who will follow him?

Who is going to replace the music legend that was Prince?

That was the question posed today by Huddersfield music expert Dr Rupert Till as the world mourned the death of the 57-year-old star, who was found dead at his Minnesota music studio.

Prince’s innovative music spanned rock, funk and jazz. He sold more than 100 million records during his career.

US President Barack Obama said the world had “lost a creative icon”.

Dr Till, reader in music at the University of Huddersfield and author of Pop Cult, which featured the diminutive star, said: “Prince was a highly significant figure within the popular music world.

Prince Rogers Nelson, known by his mononym Prince, who has died at the age of 57 at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota

“Along with Michael Jackson and Madonna, Prince was one of the superstars to emerge in the popular music world in the 1980s. Like his two peers, Prince consciously merged elements of black and white American musical culture.

“He was highly influenced by soul and funk stars like Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown and Stevie Wonder; he mixed these musical influences with the guitar sounds of heavy rock music and the synthesisers common in European new romantic synth pop.

“Always looking immaculate, ever youthful, it seems strange for him to die so young, and one wonders who can replace him.

“True, we no longer have a small number of superstars whose every move is followed by obsessive stars, but his legacy is thousands of musicians who produce their own music in their home studios, using cutting edge music technology to make tunes that mix guitars, dance grooves and electronic sounds.

Dr Rupert Till, Reader in Music at the University of Huddersfield

“Lady Gaga has his style but lacks the production skills to make her own tunes, Dangermouse has the studio chops but lacks that exaggerated style. Calvin Harris knows his way around producing a dance tune, and writes for others as does Mark Ronson, but you won’t see Sam Smith behind a drum kit.

“Prince had it all, did it all and makes them all look like beginners. Sadly Prince has left the building. As he told us, life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.”

He said Prince understood the importance of video and film, at a time when MTV, much like YouTube today, was fusing music and the moving image and the film Purple Rain was a watershed in his career.

Dr Till said Prince realised that he needed to be bigger than reality, to create a legend that surrounded his onstage character.

“His name was Prince. And he was funky.”

After kissing his fingers, a fan touched Prince's star on the wall of First Ave



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