“Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer. ‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said – and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.” – President Barack Obama.
Some of the best musicians come from the Midwest. In this case, Minneapolis, Minnesota! Prince Rogers Nelson was a musical prodigy that NO one could touch.
He stood for artistic freedom & the ability to make the material you deserved to make and release it when you WANT to. Prince was the KING of almost every music genre, & was a one man show. 🙌🏾👏🏾
Prince is a pioneer of the Minneapolis sound, which was hugely popular in the late 70s & throughout the 80s by Prince, & a lot of his musical peers like The Time, Wendy & Lisa, Vanity 6, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson, Sheila E, Cherrelle, Alexander O’Neal and many more helped Prince make the sound more popular, and put the Midwest on the map near the new millennium!
This appreciation post is dedicated to the purple one, & will give you a glimpse of his musical contributions. ☔️
Prince has such an extensive production catalog, that it would take one whole post to discuss all of the songs he produced and wrote for! I’ll state the most memorable:
Vanity 6’s only album is a masterpiece to me. Their memorable song “Nasty Girl” is an 80s classic, by the way!
Vanity eventually left the group to pursue a solo career, so in game Apollonia 6! She starred alongside Prince in the legendary film “Purple Rain.”
One of my favorite Prince protégés, Sheila is most known for her hits “A Love Bizarre,” & “The Glamorous Life!”
The Time (also known as The Original 7ven,) was formed from the group Flyte Time which had Alexander O’Neal, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis as group members.
Once they met Prince, Morris Day became the lead singer and the rest is history. They are considered one of the most successful groups that have worked with Prince!
His songs have also been covered and sampled by some of the most amazing artists!
Albums Released: For You, Prince.
Prince’s first two albums are beautiful affairs. Signing his contract with Warner Bros at the age of 17, he gave the late 70s immaculate blends of R&B, funk pop & rock. & for him to write, produce and arrange ALL of his music? Fantastic shit!
Albums Released: Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, Lovesexy, Batman.
The 80s belonged to Prince! He released quality work!
However, it was the soundtrack to his 1984 film “Purple Rain…” that transcended him to superstardom!
Purple Rain caused controversy at the time for being to sexually explicit..especially on one of my favorite Prince songs, Daring Nikki.
Darling Nikki is responsible for albums having parental advisory stickers on them because of Tipper Gore’s daughter listening to the record. It’s also on Tipper’s “filthy 15” list.
Prince continued to own the 80s with amazing ballads and bops we still listen to today!
Albums Released: Graffiti Bridge, Diamonds and Pearls, Love Symbol Album, Come, The Black Album, The Gold Experience, Chaos and Disorder, Emancipation, Crystal Ball, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic.
The 90s introduced Prince’s new backing band The New Power Generation (the previous band “The Revolution” disbanded,) and unveiled the “Love Symbol #2” when his label refused to release his catalog at the pace he wanted it to be released!
“The Artist Formerly Known As Prince,” Released some of his best work in the 90s.
Fed up with being a “slave” to Warner Bros., he had the term written on his face and eventually left the label to form his own (NPG).
Album Released: The Rainbow Children, One Nite Alone, Xpectation, N•E•W•S, Musicology, The Chocolate Invasion, The Slaughterhouse, 3121, Planet Earth, Lotusflow3r, MPLSound.
Prince went back to using his name for his studio albums once his contracts with Warner Bros ended. He continued to drop timeless bops in the 2000s. His album “Musicology” is one of my favorites from the 2000s.
His 2004 Grammy performance with the incomparable Beyoncé is one for the books. Simply phenomenal!
In 2007, Prince was the act for the Super Bowl halftime show, & showed the kids how they should’ve done it!
Albums Released: 20Ten, Plectrumelectrum, Art Official Age, HITnRUN Phase One, HITnRUN Phase Two.
During the last decade of his life, Prince continued to stand firm in his beliefs when it came to his music..but blessed his fans with all new music like always.
In 2014, he resigned with Warner Bros., for a remastered deluxe edition of Purple Rain and they gave Prince ownership of all of his recordings with the label.
Also in 2014, he released an album with his new backing band 3rdeyegirl. Plectrumelectrum is an album okay?!
The most important thing you should know about Prince was how much of an activist he was. After the death of Freddie Gray, he released a song titled Baltimore..& held a tribute concert at his Paisley Park estate.
A week after what would be his final tour, Prince passed away on April 21st, 2016. It is still is one one of the saddest days of my life. One of my favorite tributes to Prince was Jazmine Sullivan covering Adore. 🙌🏾
My mom is a huge Prince fan, & eventually I grew to love and appreciate his music as I became older. My first time watching Purple Rain as a teenager, all I could say was wow. He was truly the last of a dying breed.
Prince was one of a kind. He was an artist that many artists aspire to be and still pay homage to. I wish I could go more in depth as to why Prince is the greatest, but I’ll leave that up to you as the reader.
Get into his discography. Watch his live performances. Tour his beloved estate Paisley Park. Watch Interviews. Understand why music and his artistic freedom meant so much to him. Give Prince the flowers he received on earth, & in death. The purple one will always reign supreme. ☔️ –MJ