Today in Black History: July 27, 1984 | this day in black history | national

Prince reached astronomical heights of fame during his film debut in Purple rain, a rock musical drama that hit the box office on July 27, 1984.

The film centers on a young Black Minneapolis native named The Kid, whose talented talents are matched only by growing arrogance. As he becomes famous, the singer faces an abusive father, played by actor Clarence Williams III, and a love interest played by Apollonia Kotero. Musical duo Wendy & Lisa and The Time were also featured in the film.

Purple rain grossed over $ 80 million and garnered huge cult following. While some critics called the film misogynist, young women appeared to be its biggest fans. Prince’s musical talents were also showcased throughout the film in a number of extended concert stages.

In addition to breaking the mold cinematically with its non-commercial aesthetic, Purple rain has also spawned several monster hits, including “When Doves Cry”, “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy”. Critics and audiences alike announced the single soundtrack, which has sold over 10 million copies in the United States and 20 million worldwide.

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(Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

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