Prince covers People: ‘A musical genius who defied genre and gender’

Prince takes the cover of People this week. Their story sadly confirms much of the news TMZ has been breaking about how Prince’s estate will be handled and the circumstances surrounding his death. On a superficial note, their cover is beautiful. It captures Prince’s appeal so well. He had that cheeky charisma, that knowing look that came through in his performances and even in still photos like his amazing passport photo.

While no final determination as to cause of death has been made, both People and TMZ have reported that Prince was taking the opiate Percocet to cope with ongoing pain from his hip. According to People, he was in need of a hip replacement but didn’t get the surgery because his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness kept him from having a necessary blood transfusion. (Several of our commenters who are Jehovah’s Witnesses have said that this should not be a deterrent to surgery, however that is how it is being reported.) TMZ reported that Prince “had corrective surgery for his hips around 2010” and was still trying to cope with the pain. TMZ characterizes Prince’s hospitalization prior to his passing as an overdose while People reports that he was dealing with an illness.

However Prince passed, it’s tragic and we lost another legend last week. We’ll know at some point what happened but I doubt it will bring closure to fans.

Multiple outlets are reporting that Prince had no will. His sister, Tyka, has filed a petition for a special administrator to oversee Prince’s estate, valued at about $250 million. Tyka is also a musician and People characterizes Tyka and Prince’s relationship as strained over the years. Tyka is Prince’s only full sibling and he has five additional half siblings who are entitled to a share of his estate under Minnesota law. He lost a child with Mayte Garcia and has no known living children.

Prince made it clear that he did not want his music released online, but I selfishly hope that his estate makes his catalog available. He had so much unreleased work in his vault as well. Hopefully whoever runs the estate will work with those who knew him to make sure that everything is handled respectfully. His family and friends have already shown that they care about fans and want to do the right thing to honor Prince’s memory.




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53 Responses to “Prince covers People: ‘A musical genius who defied genre and gender’”

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  1. LadyMTL says:

    Man, this just made me sad all over again. I still have trouble believing that he’s gone. I would love it if his music was made available online, but I would understand if it wasn’t.

    That said, why wouldn’t he have made a will? That really baffles me.

    • J-Who says:

      I know. There will never be another Prince. ๐Ÿ™

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes, not to be corny, but I haven’t even commented on his death because everything I could think of to say just seemed so empty and lame.

      • Little Darling says:

        It’s mind blowing for sure. I always knew I really loved Prince, but since his passing I have been listening to him non stop, and I realize how many of his songs punctuate some experience I had growing up. I also have so much more respect knowing that he produced every single one of his albums, something nowadays is so uncommon for artists. I also realized that his guitar playing rivaled the great rock and roll guitarists …DAAAAAAAMM. I never really *noticed* because I was too busy just enjoying him, but when you actually realize all of that, how many instruments he played, how he literally spoke the language of music… it’s just CRAZY.

        On top of that, everyone says the same thing. He was kind, he loved his fans, he was respected well loved.

        Watching coverage of his passing on tv the next morning, I was taken aback at how many generations connected to him as well. Matt Lauer absolutely fangirled when Prince told him he liked talking to him because he was a cool cat.

        His reach was impossibly endless. His impact impenetrable. His altruism consistent.


  2. J-Who says:

    How, exactly, did he defy gender?? Prince never once pretended or claimed to be a female and it was a well known fact that he was always very much into women. Where do these “media” outlets get this nonsense?

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I had that same thought initially, but then thought that may refer to his dress? Bolero jackets, ruffles, spandex/glitter. He was, as the song said, a Sexy MF.

      • AtlLady says:

        Prince HAD to use the frills because his raw sexuality was overwhelming. Even with the outfits and make-up, there was absolutely no doubt that he was all male. If that piercing look of his had ever landed on me, well, bring a mop for the puddle.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        I hear your words. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Becky says:

      The way he dressed, wore make-up perhaps?

    • Queenie says:

      So stale trying to drop gender bending into the equation. Of all the things to applaud about Prince… SMH.

      • Colette says:

        Gender bending was a big part of Prince’s persona especially early in his career from the hair,makeup,women’s clothes and shoes.Much like David Bowie.Prince sang songs like”If I was your girlfriend” and lyrics like “I’m not a woman.I’m not a man I’m something that you will never understand”.He used a symbol which was a combination of the male and female.He didn’t conform to gender or genre labels.

      • GingerCrunch says:

        …and back then, it wasn’t something you saw like ya do today! And the way he did it was a master class for anyone who followed.

    • Little Darling says:

      I think he says it perfectly in the song, “when you were mine” where he is talking to his ex
      Girlfriend and says, I let you borrow all of my clothes.” Meaning ruffled blouses and such. He was a pioneer of the Bowie type, his first outfits on stage were a mix of heels,’tiny speedo undies, glitter and makeup. He absolutely defied gender by continuously playing around with gender roles in his music (with his voice as well) and early fashion choices.

      He was at once femininely pretty AND masculinely sexy.

  3. suzanne says:

    As strong as Prince felt about protecting his intellectual property, I am floored there was no will.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      Same here. It’s baffling to me.

    • Tourmaline says:

      I know, it is really confounding. In addition to the issue of his musical property, I also think of the info that has come out about how he quietly supported charities and schools—it is really too bad he did not have an estate plan.

      His sister has good lawyers representing on the estate process and she is nominating a respected bank/trust company as administrator. Hopefully they can keep this from getting too chaotic.

  4. aims says:

    My husband about and I were talking about this last night. It boggles my mind how very wealthy people don’t have a will. If I had Prince money everything to the dime would be accounted for . There would be no question what my wishes are.

  5. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    I did not know that they lost two children. I can only imagine the crushing sadness that bore down on them. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child. So, so sad.

  6. Alex says:

    These losses…they sting in the worst way.

  7. LAK says:

    For once people is honouring a legend properly instead of relegating them to ‘also ran’ ticker tape on the side

  8. Becks says:

    Beautiful tribute, I still can’t believe he’s gone.
    He will be sorely missed. ๐Ÿ˜ข

    • Lauren II says:

      Prince did a concert in London, Ontario about five years ago. Not a large city.
      Prince’s charisma , graciousness, and otherworldly talent overwhelmed me.

      I was the first person to stand up and dance.(dressed in purple) . Prince pointed at me, smiled, laughed and yelled “whooo!” then spun around playing his guitar.

      I will not remember all the scurrilous comments or heartbreaking rumours about Prince’s death. I choose to remember all the magical goodness and talent of a beautiful soul who brought so much joy to the world.

  9. m says:

    This is the only celebrity death that has truly shocked me. His art has meant so much to me over the years and the news of his passing made me numb. I don’t want to believe he’s gone. Instead I’m going to believe he’s at Paisley Park, amidst all of his beautiful things, preening in mirrors and acting scenes from Purple Rain forever…with Wendy and Lisa.

    • m says:

      Oh, why ruin the cover with Beyonce and that Michael Strahan drama crap?

      • Colette says:

        It’s not a People Magazine Tribute they will publish that in a couple of weeks.This is the regular weekly People Magazine so it will cover celebrity news.They did the same thing with Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.They put them on the regular weekly edition cover and then they put out a People Tribute.

  10. GiGi says:

    So about the will… it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out. Tyka filed to be a special administrator, which is a temporary thing. He may have a will that won’t be released until the death certificate is filed, which is probably still a few weeks out.

    In addition, most of his dealings were put together as businesses. So while he may not have a will for his personal effects, I’m sure the businesses were set up with perpetuity in mind. I highly doubt that everything in the Prince empire is just up in the air.

    Now, to cause of death… my dad ended up in a coma and nearly dying of an opioid (prescribed) OD. And if my step mother had not been there, he absolutely would have died before he got to the hospital. People taking opioids often die from constriction of the airway because they’re so out of it, the body doesn’t rouse itself when you can’t breathe. So it’s possible that he had an opioid pass out and then died from suffocation. It’s all still just so heartbreaking.

    It’s interesting to me that Paisley Park had no night cleaning crew or someone in a security booth – especially because I know that Prince had historically been nervous about break ins.

    • GingerCrunch says:

      If something doesn’t change I fear we’re all going to be touched somehow by overdoses, either death or injury, like we’re all touched by cancer. It’s scary. GiGi, I hope your dad is doing ok now. I’m anxious to find out what happened to Prince because I still can’t wrap my head around his death. That passport pic! He looks so vibrant and well! How did he pull it off if he was in that much pain and/or ill too??? And of course, why was he alone like that if his inne circle were worried about him as reported? As much intrigue in death as in life. Major sads.

      • GiGi says:

        Thanks for asking, my dad (who was/is also a prolific musician coincidentally) made a full recovery. We were completely prepared for him to pass. And this weekend when we were talking about Prince, he said he thought the same thing had happened to him.

        If you’ve ever seen someone in an opioid stupor, it’s very shocking. And it’s like just a little too much and the person is completely unresponsive. And for a person of Prince’s size – it wouldn’t take much to get too much onboard. In addition, people who regularly take opioids are very prone to pneumonia, so there’s that factor, too.

        In my tinfoil theory – I wonder if he wasn’t being poisoned. Many close to him and fans who saw him with regularity have stated that they saw a real decline in him over the last 18 months. And he had trouble on the stairs at PP the week before he died. IDK. Like I said – tin foil hat.

        Some are saying he died of a blood clot, though…

      • GingerCrunch says:

        Glad to hear he recovered! I wouldn’t be shocked if it turned out Prince was really sick with god-knows-what. Breaks my heart to think that someone tried to live with that much pain for so long. I know that lots do. But what he accomplished even though! Recording is one thing, but to be known as such an amazing LIVE artist too? Mind blowing.

      • Tourmaline says:

        @GiGi About his recent decline, there are persistent rumors that he had HIV that was long controlled by medication, but within the past few years had gone off the meds for reasons related to his religious faith. My prediction is that some kind of serious chronic condition, perhaps in conjunction with opiate dependence, led to his premature death.

      • GiGi says:

        @Ginger – Thanks! We’re glad to have him back – it was a long road – 3 months in hospital followed by 6 more in a rehab just to wean him off the trach. And now he’s playing with my kids – crazy!

        @Tourmaline – I know that rumor, but it would seem that one of his family/friends/associates would have informed the ME? IDK. JW’s only medical restriction is no blood transfusions, so there would not have been a religious issue with any kind of medications or therapies. If he was positive, it might have coincided with his becoming a Jehovah’s Witness and being less… mmm.. promiscuous? Like it seems that in the last 5+ years he’s had a lot of lady friends, but there’s been mostly talk of “cuddling” which is strange. I know that if I’d been close enough, there’d have been a lot more than some snuggling happening, lol! I did hear that the reason staff went to look for him was that he missed an early morning holistic health appointment… but that could be for anything.

      • Christin says:

        Not that it changes the ending, but I am puzzled by his possible cause of death. He seemed so up and down that final week (performing, emergency treatment, hosting at PP, etc.). Possibly just ran himself too hard with something such as an infection taxing his system, with whatever meds thrown in the mix???

        The supposedly final photo of him in the parking lot is grainy, but you can see his coloring (face and hand) is off. It’s a bit ashy and yellow tinged. This was just hours before he was found. Organs shutting down (sepsis)??? Just grasping as well…

    • Emily C. says:

      Also, opioids mess with your memory big time. It is SO easy to forget you’ve taken your dose, and the margin for error is not large. Plus percocet is one of the very worst. I do not think it should ever be given outside of a hospital setting, and even then there are better options.

  11. Eleonor says:

    One of my first though about his death, was : he is not with us anymore, but at least he is with his two sons.
    I’ve always had the feeling that that tragedy might have had a great role in his religious choice.

  12. Colette says:

    Two sons? When did they say the child she miscarried was a boy? I know they lost one son Gregory who lived about a week and she had a miscarriage.

    • GiGi says:

      They didn’t. Mayte has only said she miscarried, but didn’t frame a time… although I think she was pregnant pretty shortly after Boy Gregory’s death.

    • Tough Cookie says:

      one of the news shows I watched last week, maybe CNN?, reported regarding the miscarriage she was far enough along that they could tell it was a boy. For some reason 5 months along sticks in my head.

  13. kri says:

    I love the cover photo. Those eyes of his. SIgh. I will miss him forever. Please Jesus, I hope some of the things in the Vault see the light of day. That is, unless Prince was clear he never wanted that stuff put out.

    • Boxy Lady says:

      I’m sure at least some of it will come out. In more than one interview, he said that the stuff in The Vault would probably be released some day, just maybe not by him.

  14. FingerBinger says:

    Prince did release music online. He released music exclusively on tidal.

  15. NeNe'sWig says:

    I’m still so heartbroken over this. I didn’t even really think I was a fan of his, because I’m a bit younger and wasn’t around for the Purple Rain era. But for some reason I have been in tears over his death since the weekend. I’ve watched some interviews with him on YouTube and he was the most intelligent, charismatic, flat out interesting person I’ve ever seen. I really feel like I’ve lost something hugely significant in my life that I didn’t know was there.

    • GingerCrunch says:

      I can totally relate. I was a fan and listened throughout the 80’s, but then kids, life, other music. My huge regret is not seeing him perform live (except for once) all these years. His music was sort of hit or miss for me recently, but I don’t know if he had an equal as far as his on-stage presence and musicality, not to mention the phenomenal guitar-playing. That’s why I’m so sad, I think. Took him for granted.

    • Andrea says:

      I feel the same way! I have always been a Prince fan but hadn’t listened to his music in a while. Hearing about his death affected me in a way I would never have predicted. It feels like a part of my childhood has died, and like the world has lost something incredibly precious and irreplaceable. I’ve been reading about him non-stop since last Thursday and watching any footage I can find. He was truly an original, a larger than life, unforgettable talent.

      • NeNe'sWig says:

        @Andrea, yes!! I have been reading everything I can about him, all the while kicking myself for never taking an interest before. I never in a million years would have thought I’d be fighting tears while Purple Rain plays over and over in my head, wishing that this all wasn’t true. He was really so unique and a once in a lifetime artist, and we are all poorer for not having had more time with him.

    • GingerCrunch says:

      Just noticed the purple PRINCE tab at the top of the page! Did you guys see??? More reading for our mourning period! Thanks, Celebitchy!!!

    • GiGi says:

      If you all want some more deep reading – check out the forums at… there’s a lot there – decades of threads.

      • GingerCrunch says:

        I’ll have to head over there. Especially when the news dries up. Thanks for the tip.

  16. Tourmaline says:

    National Enquirer’s cover next week, “AIDS Killed Prince”, which is what the Blind Gossip site has been alluding to…

  17. Emily C. says:

    Percocet is incredibly nasty. I was on it for only a couple weeks after throwing out my back, I took less than I was prescribed, and it wrecked me. It took me months to be able to sleep regularly again after going off it. That was over five years ago, yet I still sometimes crave it. And craving percocet is not like craving chocolate or even alcohol. It’s like craving water when you’ve been in the desert for weeks. Vile, horrible stuff.

    My aunt’s a drug addiction counselor and she absolutely hates it too.