The artist everyone knew as Prince died in 2016. But for the decades preceding this (and in the years since), he maintained his status as a hit-maker. Among his most famous works was the hit album Purple Rain, which took him from well-known musician to icon. Did Prince win an Oscar for it?
Prince’s music delighted fans for decades
After beginning his music career in the ’70s, Prince broke out as a pop star in the ’80s. Early albums like Controversy and 1999 brought him Billboard-chart success. The latter’s single, “International Lover,” earned him his first (of many) Grammy nominations, adding further fuel to his star power.
Though the ’80s brought him fame, Prince didn’t slow down. In the decades that followed, he released more than 30 studio albums under his own (occasionally changing) name. Prince collaborated with other artists, won awards across genres, and became a legendary figure in the music industry within his lifetime.
He died in 2016 of an accidental overdose
Prince continued touring up until around the time of his death. He visited doctors and was even hospitalized in April 2016, citing influenza as the cause. However, following his April 21, 2016, death, the medical examiner ruled the cause to be an accidental fentanyl overdose.
Like other notable artists, especially those who died prematurely, Prince was honored by various institutions posthumously. In addition to a tribute at the Grammys, he was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame. A greatest hits album, as well as unreleased songs, debuted in the months and years following his death.
Prince won an Academy Award — but not for acting
Though Prince was known for many hits, few compared to the attention he received for his first massive success: Purple Rain (the album) debuted in June 1984 and was followed by a semi-autobiographical film of the same name starring the musician himself. The single “Purple Rain” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Along with the music’s success on its own, Purple Rain (the movie) won at the Academy Awards. Prince took home the Oscar for Best Original Song Score at the March 1985 event. “This is very unbelievable,” the artist said when he accepted the award. “I could’ve never imagined this in my wildest dreams.”
What other awards did ‘Purple Rain’ win?
The film Purple Rain was beloved for its music and its star, but its other accolades aren’t quite as positive. It was nominated for two Razzie Awards: Worst New Star for Apollonia Kotero and Worst Original Song for “Sex Shooter.” But the album and song of the same name fared better.
The single “When Doves Cry” was nominated for Best Original Song at the Golden Globes for its presence in the film. The album also won Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media at the Grammys. After Prince’s death, Purple Rain was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.