By Bo Emerson
Atlanta radio honored the revolutionary recording artist, songwriter, bandleader and performer Prince as the news spread Thursday of the Minneapolis musician’s death.
Radio station V-103 played music by Prince while host Ryan Cameron talked with those mourning the artist’s passing. Atlanta musician Ne-Yo became choked up, telling Cameron, “There would be no Ne-Yo without Prince.”
Cameron began his show with “Sometimes it Snows in April,” a Prince song with lyrics that reflect on death in the midst of beauty:
“Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending,
And all good things, they say, never last.”
Longtime Atlanta radio host Mara Davis thanked V-103 for playing Prince’s music Thursday (it was apparently among the few that did) and wrote on Twitter “Every #radio station should be playing non stop #prince. Voice of a generation who broke genre barriers. Major music moment. #RIPPrince.”
Public radio station WABE posted a celebration of Prince that began “The man born Prince Rogers Nelson stood just 5 feet, 2 inches and seemed to summon the most original and compelling sounds at will, whether playing guitar in a flamboyant style that openly drew upon Jimi Hendrix, switching his vocals from a nasally scream to an erotic falsetto or turning out album after album of stunningly original material.”
Prince’s performances April 14 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta were among the last shows of his life. He had been scheduled to perform April 7 but postponed the shows due to illness, rescheduling them for a time just one week later.
Radio personality Celeste Headlee, host of “On Second Thought,” mornings on WGPB, 85.5, described Prince’s final show to People magazine: “He started the concert with an apology. He said he was sorry for canceling the week before. But he gave an incredible performance with at least four encores,” Headlee told People. “There was a tiny bit of gravel in his voice from time to time, but that was the only indication that he’d felt ill the week before.”
Headlee said “He left everything on the stage, like he always did.”
On Twitter, Headlee wrote “What other artist could command the stage like that with just a piano & the power of his voice?”