April 21, 2016, when the world lost one of its greats. Prince has moved on to the afterlife. And while some of us (me included) grew up listening to The Kid and are saddened by his passing, the legacy he left will leave a smile on all our faces.
MTV Video Music Awards 1991
When you heard that Prince was performing, you always knew that something special and memorable was about to happen. Prince was a scandalous man with barely a scandal to his name. Anyone who knows about Prince understands that he'd grab the attention of a crowd and hold them in the palm of his hands. While I might have only been nine years old at the time, I remember Prince in the yellow embossed suit and ass-less pants. What song did he sing? I doubt anyone remembers without a Google search, but that wasn't the point. The point was to be remembered, and Prince did just that. Whenever he stepped on stage we knew we were about to be blessed with a moment that wouldn't be forgotten.
Because of this, artists no longer had to be afraid of pushing the envelope when it came to their style choices and how they did things. Musicians now had a muse. Someone they could look at and go: "If Prince can get up there and do it, then there's no reason that I can't do it as well." Without Prince we'd not have artists like Lady Gaga, who admits to being heavily influenced by Prince on her album Born This Way.
Sex sells. If you put a pair of boobs or a hunky guy on a hyperlink image, people will click on it. That's a fact. But making a cursory glance at Prince, you wouldn't think that he would be a man that women wanted and men wanted to be. He was five feet, two inches tall and probably didn't weigh more than 120 pounds, and he wore heels (that he walked in better than some women). But Prince was widely regarded as one of the sexiest men alive.
It wasn't just his looks (even though he was a pretty man). Well, not JUST his looks. Prince had very soft features that generally wouldn't be regarded as sexy by most women. But he had an aura around him. He dressed how he wanted to dress, spoke how he wanted to speak, and despite often singing in a falsetto, he had a deep speaking voice that probably sent chills down a woman's spine. In a world where you have to sometimes look like an adonis to get women in bed, Prince reigned supreme as the epitome of sexy for many years. And all it took was confidence and self-belief. Prince was always full of sexy certainty, regardless of if he wore a woman's blouse, butt-less pants or a crushed-velvet purple suit. Excuse me, I need a towel.
'Batman' Soundtrack And Bridging The Gap
While my parents would skip past certain Prince songs, I was always aware of his voice and knew who he was. My first introduction to him was during the Batman movie with Michael Keaton. The Joker walked into the museum with his goons and a boombox, he hit play and, BOOM! Partyman played. Then there's the classic scene at the end of the movie where Joker is throwing money to the Gotham crowd. That scene would not be as memorable without that Prince song Trust playing during the parade. It fits perfectly with the scene and added so much to the Joker's swagger. After Batman I would never forgot his voice and I'm sure the same could be said for a lot of people.
There are a lot of comic book fans who might not care for Prince, but they love him for that movie. And that was the beauty of what Prince did. He offered a little bit of something for everyone. So while some comic book fans might not have listened to Prince's music, they damn sure respected him for that movie.
Prince will forever be known as one of the greats. He taught himself to play a plethora of instruments including the bass guitar, guitar, keyboard and the drums. He sang his songs live while shredding on the guitar. His performances were the things that will later be told and thought of as myths. Despite the low ratings on IMDb and the average rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Purple Rain is a classic movie that has won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. Prince sold more than 100 million albums, has a library full of classic songs ranging from dance music to babymaking soul, a vault full of unreleased music, and has influenced an endless succession of entertainers from all genres that would not exist if not for Prince. Even when he was known as a symbol or when he found religion, Prince would always be Prince to us. There will never be a performer like him again. So put on "1999," "Let's Go Crazy" — or whatever Prince song was your favorite — close your eyes and let the music of a legend guide your mournful day.