In the aftermath of Prince’s death on April 21, 2016 there has, of course, been a huge outpouring of grief and sympathy. However, by the look of my Facebook feed, those of us from Generation X took Prince’s death the hardest. This appears to be true in Australia, as well, according to the linked article from Neil McMahon. If we are most touched by music from the year in which we turn 17 then the chart below from FiveThirtyEight shows how Prince was a dominant force in Generation X’s musical life. Those of us born in 1965 turned 17 in 1982, the year Little Red Corvette and 1999 were released. By the time the last of Generation X was getting out of high school (those born in 1980) Prince’s peak chart output was mostly complete. But for most of Generation X’s formative musical years of the 1980s through the mid-’90s, Price was cranking out top ten hits. So, for us Generation Xers it is good see him back on top of the charts and getting a lot of radio airplay, even though the reason for the attention sucks.
Three years ago Touré wrote a book about Prince explaining how he became the iconic figure he is. At the time he also published some articles on the relationship between Prince and Generation X. Worth revisiting now, especially the Salon article for its take on the relationship between late Boomers and Generation X.
I also see that the internet has decided that Price should be the new face of the $20 bill – which should be renamed the $19.99 and/or the bill formerly known as the twenty. I think it is a much better idea from the internet than Boaty McBoatface.