U.S. networks to pay tribute to Prince

MTV, VH1 and OWN will air programming paying tribute to the late musician and cultural icon (pictured).
April 22, 2016

Viacom-owned networks MTV and VH1 are preparing to pay tribute to the late musician and cultural icon, Prince (pictured).

To honor the life and career of the musical legend, MTV, MTV2 and MTV Live aired a dedicated block of his most influential music videos until 7:10 p.m. EST/PST tonight (April 21), followed by Albert Magnoli’s rock musical drama Purple Rain.

The network issued a statement regarding Prince’s passing, which read: “MTV is heartbroken and in utter disbelief at the news that the world has lost Prince Rogers Nelson so suddenly and so before his time. Prince was a once-in-a-lifetime artist who transcended every medium and genre he touched and created music with a passion and individuality that inspired multiple generations. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, friends and millions of fans.”

VH1, meanwhile, will kick off a weekend-long marathon cycle of Purple Rain and dedicated two-hour blocks of Prince music videos. Friday (April 22) and into the weekend, VH1 host Sway will provide news updates with artists’ memories and fan reactions.

Discovery Communications’ OWN, meanwhile, will air an interview with Prince conducted by Oprah Winfrey from 1996 on Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

Prince, 57, was found dead at his Paisley Park home in suburban Minneapolis on Thursday (April 21), his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press.

According to the Carver County Sheriff’s Department, officers found the singer unresponsive in an elevator where he was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. CST after failed attempts to revive him through CPR.

The artist, born Prince Rogers Nelson, had postponed an April 7 concert in Atlanta after coming down with flu-like symptoms before performing at a makeup concert last week as part of his “Piano and a Microphone” tour.

A day after that performance, he tweeted:

Prince, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, had released four albums in the last 18 months, including Art Official Age, Plectrumelectrum, HITnRUN Phase One and HITnRUN Phase Two.

(With files from Barry Walsh)

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.