Three years after Prince's death, friends still remember the musician's legacy

By Saleah Blancaflor
October 10, 2019 03:39 PM

The Purple One. His Royal Badness. The Artist. He was known by many names during his electrifying three-decades-long career, including at one point the unpronounceable Love Symbol that only a public personality as iconic as Prince could pull off. Born, raised and long-devoted to Minneapolis, Prince Rogers Nelson was among that city’s greatest gifts to the world, a musical prodigy whose virtuoso guitar licks, often raunchy lyrics and jamming beats provided the funky soundtrack to a global generation.

In a, intimate commemorative issue, Celebrating Prince, PEOPLE reflects on the life and music of the legendary musician. The 96-page book features rare photos and remembrances from his friends, including producer Jimmy Jam who worked closely with Prince and knew him since their childhood.

“I remember when [Prince] came up with wearing the purple trench coat in the ‘80s,” Jam said in his remembrance. “He just always looked like a rock star. He had this big Afro, and even if you didn’t know who he was, you’d just look at him and think, “The kid has to be a star.””

From his early years as a troubled and shy youth to becoming the bold musician he was, this special edition revisits each album from the self-titled Prince to Emancipation. We take a look at some of his greatest performances from his duet with Beyonce at the 2004 Grammy Awards to his 2007 Super Bowl “Purple Rain” performance in the actual pouring rain (because that wasn’t going to stop him!)

US singer Prince performs on October 11, 2009 at the Grand Palais in Paris. Prince has decided to give two extra concerts at the Grand Palais titled "All Day/All Night" after he discovered the exhibition hall during Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel fashion show. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)

Also here is Prince’s film and tv career, which ranged from starring in Purple Rain (and nabbing a Best Song Score Oscar) into a feature film and making cameos in shows like Muppets Tonight and New Girl.

Plus: A look at Prince’s fashion revolution of ruffled blouses, purple suits of the ‘80s, his memorable Afro and funky shades of the ‘10s, and his overall wild wardrobe making him an undisputed king of style.

RELATED: PEOPLE Appreciation: What Prince Meant to Music – and an Entire Generation of Fans

Finally: The loves and legacy he leaves behind. Three years after Prince’s sudden and tragic passing, loved one recall a man who left changed music forever. “When I first started out in this music industry, I was most concerned with freedom,” Prince once said. “I was concerned with freedom. Freedom to produce, freedom to play all the instruments on my records, freedom to say anything I wanted to say.”

PEOPLE’s special issue Celebrating Prince (an updated reissue of a previous edition) is available now on Amazon and wherever magazines are sold.

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