Today (April 21) marks the first anniversary of Prince's death at his Paisley Park complex in Minneapolis, at the age of 57 from an overdose of fentanyl.
Fans will be observing the occasion around the world and especially in Minneapolis, where a number of events will be taking place throughout the weekend. Among those taking part will be members of Prince's band the Revolution, who will open a 26-date tour as part of the commemoration.
The group reunited for three shows last year at Minneapolis' First Avenue -- made famous in the film Purple Rain -- and guitarist Wendy Melvoin tells us that the goal of the group's shows is to both celebrate but also publicly mourn Prince's passing:
"In the spirit of full disclosure we're ambivalent but we're compelled to kind of put our feet in the water and see whether or not we can find some kind of place for this grief to land. The thinking around doing some of these shows is that when we did First Avenue there was a real profound sense of shared grief with the fans with us...I always say it felt like a shiva...and we're kind of gonna take it to different areas and see if we can let the fans have a place to kind of taste a little bit of him."
The Revolution tour will feature the five members of the Purple Rain band sharing vocals, along with guest singers who may pop on stage during the tour.
...A remastered version of Purple Rain will be released later this year featuring two discs of unreleased bonus tracks. Two Prince concert films from the vaults are due for release on June 9 as well.
...Meanwhile, Nielsen Music reports that Prince sold more albums than any other artist during 2016, a combined 2.23 million copies of all his titles during the calendar year. During the year since his death he's sold a total of 7.7 million songs and albums, most of which (5.65 million) came during the month after his death.
...A posthumous Prince EP, Deliverance, was to be released today but was pulled after the estate sued; The title track, however, remains online.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.