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Prince's style invented the sex symbol

Though the singer reportedly died Thursday morning in Minnesota, at the age of 57, his legacy — especially with style — will be remembered.

It oozed from his every pores: His post-sex tousled waves, the pubic hair he wouldn't hide while wearing ass-less chaps, perfectly personified the lyrics of his music, sung in sensual whispers and orgasm-fueled falsettos. 

In pop culture, his heavy dose of eyeliner, a signature purple jacket and heels for 1984's Purple Rain took him from pop star to icon. 

In an era of the '80s overrun by sexy pop and punk stars like George Michael, Annie Lennox and the late David Bowie, Prince made a name for himself by unabashedly owning his sexuality. 

He was true to his art form and his music. For four decades he wowed audiences around the world with his over-the-top outfits. He turned every stage into an opportunity to showcase his latest fashions – whether ruffled collars, heels or leotards. His catwalk was the show. 

Like than David Bowie, he played to both genders, even going so far as to seduce women with songs like 1987's sleeper single, "If I was your girlfriend." His androgynous looks pushed the conversation of masculinity forward. 

"People say I’m wearing heels because I’m short," he once said to Rolling Stone in 1985. I wear heels because the women like ‘em.”

When he first splashed onto the scene in 1979 with his first album, Prince, the then 19-year-old came onstage in a leotard, bearing chest chair and nipples, his hair blown out in waves. 

Though only a teen, he owned his sexuality onstage and off with singles like "I wanna be your lover," and "I feel for you."

It was his next album the next year in 1980 when he began wearing nothing but scantily clad underwear, his rippling abs his greatest accessory other than, of course, the visible pubic hair.

But of course, it wasn't until Purple Rain that he became a style icon with his signature jheri curl, ruffled shirts, loud blazers and cuban heels. 

The album was so popular, it came with a musical film. Every outfit was as iconic as the last. 

Prince's biggest moment was arguably the '80s, but in his latter years his outfits and talents never disappointed. 

In recent years, the singer sported his natural hair in an afro style, along with printed button-up shirts and tailored jackets. 

Just last November, at the American Music Awards he presented the award for Favorite Soul/R&B. Clad in a gold crocodile leather vest and a gold shirt, he looked every bit the rock star from years before.

The loss of Prince is a big one in many respects, namely, in fashion's self-expression. Prince, after all, is only among a handful who continued to put sex at the forefront of his entire act, making the very act a beautiful display of artistry, rather than one filled with stigma and shame.

Sex wasn't a wink and a nod. With Prince, sex was cool, it was dangerous, it was positive, it pushed culture forward. 

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