On Apr. 21, 2016 the world was robbed of one of its greatest artists when Prince was announced dead at the age of 57. He still had so much more to give, but we should embrace the fact we’ve been left with a musical legacy that no musician on this planet could match. So rather than wallow in misery, let’s celebrate what he’s left behind.
“Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” these are just some of the songs recognized universally as the works of Prince — who we sadly lost on Apr. 21 at the age of just 57. His albums have lived on for time, works of genius like “Purple Rain” or “1999” have resonated with all ages, bringing new fans to his shows and showing us how much of a timeless music god he was. That’s exactly why his legacy will never die, even if he’s sadly not with us anymore. Like Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Bob Marley and Kurt Cobain, he will never be forgotten.
Now, rather unconventionally, my first taste of Prince’s music was the soundtrack to the 1989 Batman movie starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. I bought it with my pocket money, aged just 8, on cassette and I must’ve listened to that record 20 times in the first day. I had it on a loop, I couldn’t get enough of it. Every single song on that soundtrack was a winner. Written entirely by Prince, a rarity in today’s world, it showed me how ambitious, talented and confident he was.
After hearing that, I delved into his earlier records, that showcased his incredible and underrated guitar skills and his unique flamboyant style — to me it was like as if David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix had a baby and out came Prince. His music made me want to dance, it made me want to sing and it made me want to pick up the guitar and learn how to play.
I was lucky enough to see Prince live back in London, England in 2007. As part of his Earth Tour, he played 21 sold out dates in shortly over a month at The O2 Arena, with each show lasting roughly 3 hours. It really showed how much he loved playing live. There was one moment, that typified exactly what Prince was about, when he was working his way through a medley of his most well-known hits. He would do 30-45 seconds of each song, then he and his band would break into a different hit. When he stopped playing “Little Red Corvette” after a quick verse and chorus, there was a collective sigh around the arena. Noticing the despondency among his fans, he halted the band immediately and paused for a second. There was silence around the packed arena. He lent towards the microphone and apologized, “Sorry, I’ve just got too many hits.” The crowd screamed with laughter and delight and the band started up again. It was showmanship of the highest order.
Yes, it’s devastating news that another musical master has gone, but we don’t have to be sad about it. Go out today and buy a Prince record. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.
HollywoodLifers, tell us your favorite Prince song and memory in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear what you have to say.