The death of the songwriter, singer and music producer Prince drew reactions from the Vatican and praise for his musical talent.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, sent a tweet quoting the artist’s song “Sometimes It Snows In April:”
“Sometimes, sometimes I wish that life was never ending / All good things they say, never last.”
The singer died at his Chanhassen, Minn. home on April 21 at the age of 57, the New York Times reports. His given name was Prince Rogers Nelson.
Prince played guitars, keyboards and drums in multiple music genres since the late 1970s. He won the Grammy award seven times and achieved Top 10 hits like “When Doves Cry” and “1999.” His acclaimed 1984 movie and album “Purple Rain” was about an aspiring musician.
The Italian edition of the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano spoke of the artist’s death in Giuseppe Fiorentino’s article “The Prince and the ‘labels’.”
Fiorentino said Prince had engaged in a long battle with the major music labels and with digital music platforms.
“Prince was then boycotted by those who control the pop music market,” Fiorentino charged.
He predicted an obsessive broadcast of Prince songs like “Purple Rain” that will only last a few days. The music company labels will “once again prevail over the reasons of true music.”
“Prince will be back into obscurity, despite his undeniable talent that led him to a very natural way from rock to funk, from disco to jazz. What remains of it – beyond some of the excesses typical of the Eighties – is precisely the genius with which he could move between different genres.
“A rare gift in the world of pop music, that gray world dominated by the ‘labels’,” he wrote.
While his music and performances were at times raunchy, his music sometimes had Christian-inspired overtones.
Prince was raised a Seventh Day Adventist and later became a Jehovah’s Witness, the Washington Post reports. His conversion became public in 2004 when a hometown newspaper reported that he was offering its publication the Watchtower door-to-door.