21 April 2016

Goodnight, sweet Prince: ‘Little Red Corvette’ singer dies at 57

So what if Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” wasn’t really about the legendary sports car? In our hearts, we’ll always believe that one American icon was simply singing about another.

Prince, the singer-songwriter who scored four straight No. 1 albums on the Billboard charts, died earlier today (April 21) at the age of 57. According to the Associated Press, he was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms after his plane was forced to make an emergency landing last week. He died at his home near Minneapolis.

“Little Red Corvette” was released in 1983 on Prince’s “1999” album. It was his biggest hit to that point, peaking at No. 6 on Billboard’s Top 100. Although the lyrics of the song contain car metaphors, it wasn’t actually written about a Chevrolet Corvette but a woman. Chevrolet still managed put it to good use.

In 2001, Chevy billboards featured a red 1963 Corvette Sting Ray and the words, “They don’t write songs about Volvos.” And in 2003, a billboard on display behind the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., featured a Corvette, Prince’s logo and a line from the song: “Little Red Corvette, baby ur much 2 fast.”

Prince also put a Honda motorcycle in the spotlight by riding a purple 1981 CB400A Hondamatic in the 1984 movie “Purple Rain.” The Honda, featured on the movie poster and the soundtrack cover, is powered by a 395cc air-cooled twin engine coupled to a two-speed semi-automatic gearbox. Modifications included spoked wheels, custom seats with hot pink velour inserts, custom handlebars and a sissy bar on the rear seat.

The motorcycle was repainted black and gold for Prince’s follow-up film, “Graffiti Bridge.” The bike is on display at his Paisley Park Studios outside of Minneapolis.

During his 35-year musical career, Prince recorded 12 top-10 albums and 19 top-10 singles. His “Purple Rain” album actually beat Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as Favorite Pop/Rock Album at the 1985 American Music Awards. We hope he rests in peace.

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