Vatican official pays tribute to Prince: 'A rare gift in the world of pop music'

ReutersPrince performs in a surprise appearance on the 'American Idol' show finale at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California in this May 24, 2006 file photo.

Legendary pop singer and songwriter Prince passed away on Thursday at his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. He was 57.

On Saturday Prince was cremated in a private ceremony attended by his family, friends and musicians.

Countless music lovers and fans mourned his death. A Vatican official even heaped praises on the late singer for his ability to create beautiful music.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, told the Vatican daily L'Osservatore that he was aware that Prince faced a lot of challenges with major music labels and digital music platforms during his lifetime.

"Prince was then boycotted by those who control the pop music market," said Fiorentino, according to the Catholic News Agency.

The cardinal believes this was a great waste because the Prince had real talent that transcended musical genres.

Fiorentino said he expects that Prince's songs such as "Purple Rain" will be played endlessly by different radio stations for a couple of days to honour the late artist.

But after some time, music company labels will "once again prevail over the reasons of true music," he said. "And Prince will be back into obscurity, despite his undeniable talent that led him to a very natural way from rock to funk, from disco to jazz."

"What remains of it – beyond some of the excesses typical of the Eighties – is precisely the genius with which he could move between different genres," Fiorentino said, adding that this is "a rare gift in the world of pop music—that gray world dominated by the labels."

Even though Prince's performances have oftentimes been described as "raunchy," his music has undeniable Christian-inspired overtones.

The musical genius was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist, but he later became a member Jehovah's Witness, according to The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, The New Yorker said Prince actively voiced his opposition against same-sex marriage. In 2008, he even expressed his disdain towards both Republicans and Democrats regarding their stance on the issue. — "Neither of them is getting it right," he said. "God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, 'Enough.'"

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