By The Numbers

A look at some cultural legends

Janet Nguyen Apr 21, 2016

R.I.P. to a music icon. 

Prince, a legendary musician whose career spanned four decades, was found dead at his Minneapolis estate today. He was 57. The “Purple Rain” singer had been hospitalized in Illinois after exhibiting flu symptoms several days ago.

“One of the greatest stars in rock history, Prince bridged rock and R&B to fuse a ‘Minneapolis Sound’ that helped define the music of the 1980s,” MPR’s The Current wrote.“With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, Prince is one of the best-selling artists of all time, widely cited as an influence by artists from the worlds of pop, R&B, rock, hip-hop and beyond.”

Someone else who has left behind long-lasting cultural legacies: Shakespeare. Marketplace’s Stephen Beard takes a look at the business behind the BardHis birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, attracts more than 5 million visitors a year. That tourism supports 7,000 jobs in a town of 27,000. And Shakespeare’s reach extends beyond things completely unrelated to his literary work. “The Bard figures in more than 100 registered trademarks for products like beer, wine, even gourmet pies,” writes Beard.

In the U.K., there’s another gold mine — literally, hidden underneath London’s streets. Beneath Threadneedle Street reside eight Bank of England gold vaults. Each has gold bars worth  about $200 billion, the BBC reports. London contains about 20 percent of gold held by the world’s governments. The asset, still traded in almost every country on the globe, is a barometer of consumer confidence, with prices rising in uncertain times.      

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