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Variety: ‘Purple Rain’ at 30: Why It’s the Musical That Defined the ’80s

Introduction: When it premiered on July 27, 1984, the rock drama “Purple Rain” announced the arrival of a major movie star in Prince Rogers Nelson, a flamboyant 26-year-old musician better known by the royal mononym Prince. Already a multi-platinum recording artist, Prince’s feature debut grossed a whopping $70 million in the U.S., while its Grammy winning soundtrack spent six consecutive months atop the Billboard charts. On the 30th anniversary of its release, here’s why “Purple Rain” remains the crowning musical film of our time.

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