All Articles Tagged "Prince"

Censored But Not Muted: Musicians Who Have Been Boycotted And Banned

May 9th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Musicians, much like other artists, have been censored by radio stations, universities, libraries and practically any other space you can think of for decades.  Before them, writers who spoke out against atrocities committed by governments the world over had their books burned and banned. Typically, musicians are targeted for censorship because their lyrical content is deemed too risqué or inappropriate.  Or, their music videos are considered sexually suggestive or outright explicit and therefore unfit and unsafe for public consumption.  But censorship and the flat-out banning of songs and videos always seems to work in favor of the artists – earning them more public attention and ultimately more album sales, giving credo to the saying there’s no such thing as bad publicity.  Controversy, whether intended or not, sells, and these artists clearly aren’t afraid to push boundaries or to speak their minds.  Here is but a small list of artists whose music was at one point or another censored, boycotted or banned.

A Prince Hologram Might Be On The Horizon

May 1st, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Prince Rogers Nelson

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The popularity of celebrating late and great musicians via holograms continues to flourish. First, there was the somewhat eerie, digital debut of  Tupac at Coachella in 2012 along Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Then, Michael Jackson rocked the 2014 Billboard Music Awards with killer choreography and more. Recently, there’s been talk of other influential, high-ranking artists like The Notorious B.I.G and Whitney Houston possibly making posthumous appearances with the help of the developing technology, too.

Now, after the shocking passing of icon Prince, there’s buzz that fans and audiences alike may get the chance to relive his musical greatness live. Not even after a week of his death, Hologram USA said that if fans and the estate are interested, they’d be willing to produce a hologram of the artist.

“We are mourning the loss of Prince along with his millions of fans,” Hologram USA CEO Alki David said to The Wrap. “If at some point in the future his estate and the fans feel a hologram performance would be a fitting tribute, we’d be honored to celebrate the Sexy Motherf—er in every way.”

What are your thoughts? Too soon? Or would you be willing to see a posthumous Prince performance?

D’Angelo Performs “Sometimes It Snows in April” For Prince, Gets Choked Up

April 27th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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YouTube

YouTube

Okay, our title may be a little harsh, on second thought. Jazmine Sullivan and Anthony Hamilton and his Hamiltones singing “Adore” was also pretty awesome. And Fantasia and The Color Purple cast’s rendition of “Purple Rain”? They gave us goosebumps. But after watching, you will have to admit that this performance by D’Angelo of “Sometimes It Snows in April” from the Parade album just pulls at the heartstrings like no other. It makes it even more indisputable that Prince truly is no longer here, which just makes one want to cry…

The performance took place last night during Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. D’Angelo, accompanied by Princess, the cover band led by comedian Maya Rudolph, performed enshrouded in purple light. And while the entire performance was moving, perhaps the most poignant moment came when D changed the lyrics near the end to “I often dream of heaven and I know that Prince is there,” and then proceeded to get choked up.

For those who wasted no time giving suggestions for stars to perform in a Prince tribute at the upcoming BET Awards, D’Angelo (along with the likes of Miguel and Janelle Monàe) have always been at the top of our list. The musician has always spoken of the influence Prince’s musical abilities had on him and his desire to be a renaissance man of sorts. As he said about being inspired while working on his debut album, Brown Sugar, “I was one of those guys who read the album credits and I realized that Prince was a true artist. He wrote, produced, and performed, and that’s the way I wanted to do it.”

D’Angelo and The Purple One were friends. And who could forget D’Angelo’s fantastic cover of “She’s Always in My Hair“? With all these things in mind, it only makes sense that he would be called upon to perform and that in the midst of doing so, would be hit with an overwhelming sense of sadness over the loss of his beloved friend and idol. Check out the performance for yourself below, as well as D’Angelo’s impromptu rendition of “Venus De Milo“:

The Best Prince Tributes From Coachella And Beyond

April 25th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Prince Rogers Nelson

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As we continue to mourn the sudden and unexpected death of one of music’s greatest icons, Prince Rogers Nelson, we also celebrate his vast musical legacy.  Tributes to the late icon can be seen worldwide.  Fans have flocked to Paisley Park to pay their respects.  Landmark buildings, monuments, and bridges like the Eiffel Tower, New Orleans Superdome, and Minneapolis’ I-35 bridge were lit in purple.  And at music and arts festival Coachella in Indio, Calif., musicians paid tribute to Prince, singing his songs and wearing the color purple.  The outpouring of love shows how much the legend touched people from every walk of life.  Here are some of the many ways that fellow musicians as well as fans (including celebrity ones) paid their respects.

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Dave Chappelle

The comedian, who famously portrayed Prince on his defunct sketch comedy show, said he nearly canceled his stand-up performance in San Francisco after learning of Prince’s passing.  Like most of us, Chappelle was completely distraught.  He told the audience that Prince’s death “is the Black 9/11.” Instead, he did a four-hour long show where he joked about the musician’s impact on him and pop culture.

We Now Live In A World Without Prince and Michael Jackson. What’s Happening To Our Icons?

April 25th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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WENN

WENN

We now live in a world without Prince and Michael Jackson.  I can not deal.  Nothing about that feels right, and it truly pains me to type those words.

Like millions of fans around the globe, I’m still in a state of shock that Prince Rogers Nelson, one of the greatest and most prolific entertainers to ever walk the earth, died at 57 years young last week.  Since his sudden and unexpected passing, I’ve alternated between fits of denial, anger and sadness.  Rest in peace, gone too soon – neither of these general phrases adequately express the tremendous weight of his loss, just like none of these words seem to encapsulate what Prince and his music meant to me personally, and to the world.  But I’ll try.

A child of the ’80s, the decade both his and Michael’s reigns ruled supreme; Prince is as natural to my existence as the purple birthmark on my tongue and the very air I breathe.  Unapologetic, undeniably sexy, self-aware and woke AF, Prince was equal parts magic and mystery.  Mysterious, not because he was labeled a private person, a word that never seemed to fit, in my opinion, considering how much he put into his music.  The mystery lied more in his ability to make me feel so deeply.  To confuse me when I was old enough to realize that his masculinity was heavily steeped in femininity, a quality that was at odds with society’s traditional standards of Black manhood.

The magic lied in Prince’s blindness to rules that never applied to him.  How could they?  This was a man who defined the word “style” as Ali’s jab.  A man who let only Black people refer to him as Prince after he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol.  The magic also lied in his ability to enthrall completely.  How could one person be so talented?  Prince hit notes that no one should be able to hit.  His compositions brought tears to my eyes, and his clever lyrics married the words carnal and divinity.  They also birthed my writing sensibilities.  Prince’s sheer, remarkable talent was effortless.  The way he commanded the stage – rather, any space he occupied – was nothing short of magic.  Prince entered a room and time stopped.  Heads turned.  Mouths went agape.  Molecules changed.  Screams ensued. That’s exactly how I would describe having seen him at a club years ago in Los Angeles.  He seemed to appear out of nowhere like an apparition.  I was frozen as he glided past me on an ethereal, purple cloud.  It seemed as if spotlights followed him from above and below, like the glowing sidewalk in Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video.  Like Bruce Leroy, Prince had the glow.  And he wasn’t even looking for it.  That sh-t just came naturally.

I had the great fortune of attending three of his concerts.  The first time I saw Prince was at the Staples Center during his Musicology tour.  I remember wanting to live in that moment; to stuff that purple goodness in a bottle and get free on its fumes.  Smelling salts for the soul.  The next two times I saw Prince in concert were much more intimate.  He played at The Forum.  Tickets were only $25, a testament to how much he loved his fans.  Prince was in his element those nights, playing hit after hit.  One of those nights he opened with “D.M.S.R.”  Another night, he closed with “Purple Rain”…only to return 30 minutes later after much of the crowd had left, except for those who never stopped cheering, applauding and calling his name.  “Do you know how many hits we got?” he said while playing that famous purple piano.  Of course, we did.  How could we not?

Prince’s music accentuated my everyday lived experiences.  He was by my side at my brother’s wedding.  “Adore” was the first song he and his wife danced to as newlyweds.  The song “1999” was the theme of my high school prom.  His music has been a constant companion through thick and thin, good and bad.  An icon. And sadly, it seems that more and more of our icons are leaving us, taking with them that nostalgic feeling from our youth, reminding us that we truly don’t know what greatness we have until it’s gone. Who is left?

A consummate creator, an enigmatic, sexy mofo.  Trendsetting king of cool.  He was a Prince for the ages.  My friend Jackie often jokes that it was Prince’s world, and we were just living in it.  She was right.  There will never be another like him.  How lucky for us to have known his greatness.  Thank you, sweet Prince.

Why I Am Upset That We Can’t See Any Of Prince’s Videos

April 22nd, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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Prince Rogers Nelson

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What can you really say about Prince that hasn’t already been said – other than he has gone way to soon?

I mean, I know folks pass away all of the time, but talk about random. And honestly, I haven’t fully accepted the fact that he is no longer here with us anymore. Like, I’m waiting for him to sashay out some secret purple underground enclave hidden deep within Paisley Park and say that it was all a huge misunderstanding. That he isn’t actually dead, but rather, purifying and getting himself reborn in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.

Anyway, like the rest of you, I wanted to mourn the death – as well as celebrate the life and wonderful artistry of one of the best to ever do it – by planning a mix of his tunes. So I headed over to YouTube and Googled “The Best of Prince…” to set adrift on memories bliss.

But alas, a Prince song was nowhere to be found. No “Diamonds and Pearls.” No “Kiss.” Not even a dubstep mix of “Adore.”

Needless to say, my mood went from sad to downright disappointed. Paying homage to our recently departed artists through song and music videos on social media is a huge part of the modern-day grieving process. Yet when I looked around yesterday, I saw a bunch of profiles struggling to compile lists of “our favorites” from sheer memory and coming up short, because obviously, without a primer, you aren’t going to remember them all.

I mean, all of my Prince “albums” are actually on cassette tapes. (Yeah, I know: What are those?)

But according to this article in The Daily Beast, in spite of the discomfort and disappointment, Prince might have wanted it this way.

More specifically:

Last summer, in what would be his final middle finger to an exploitative record industry and last act of badassery in a career devote[sic] to championing artists’ rights, Prince withdrew his music from all streaming services except for Tidal.

One month before vacuuming his content from those free services, Prince retweeted an article from The Daily Beast that championed Taylor Swift’s stand against Apple Music because of the service’s initial policy of not paying artists for streams during customers’ free trials.

In his tweet, Prince took a stand against Spotify, quoting the line, “Spotify is co-owned by record labels, who hold 20 percent of the company’s stocks.”

As most of us already know, Prince had long been a strong advocate for artist rights. In the ’90s, he was involved in a bitter split from Warner Bros. Records over both money and ownership of his music. In protest, he began to appear publicly with the word “Slave” etched on the side of his face.

And as reported last year in The Guardian about his now infamous fight against the label:

His argument was that he was signed to Warner and they, as a result, owned and controlled his name as well as any music released under that name. He changed his name to that of a symbol and was referred to, variously, as “Symbol”, “Squiggle” or “the Artist Formerly Known as Prince”. This coincided with George Michael’s ill-fated attempt to get out of his contract with Sony, which he had termed “professional slavery”, meaning the record labels had a serious PR battle on their hands that they could not afford to lose. Unable to break free completely, Prince fulfilled the terms of his contract with a rapid run of albums, some of which were regarded as a shameless purging of studio tapes and offcuts just to make up the numbers.

It would take 18 years before Prince would regain ownership of his catalog. Since then, he was pretty vigilant about protecting his art. His biggest adversary, of course, was the Internet. And in 2010, he said in an interview with the UK’s Daily Mail (as previously reported by The Guardian), “The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else.”

In 2014, he took his fight with the Internet a step further by removing all of his music from YouTube. And last year, Prince ordered all of his songs and albums removed from every streaming music service and online radio provider, with the exception of Tidal.

It should be noted that the topic of artist ownership and royalties have been a growing concern among many in the entertainment industry. Most notably, Beck, Taylor Swift and The Beatles who over the years have all fought or sought to have their music removed from social streaming sites like Spotify, Apple’s Beats Music, and Rhapsody.

But as noted by writer Josh Constine in this article from last year in Tech Crunch, online music streaming sites often are unfairly blamed for artist’s royalty issues when in fact, it is the record labels themselves who horde all of the money. He also adds, “Basically artists who are mad about streaming should demand better deals from their labels, remember the alternative is getting their work stolen, be patient, and tour. CD sales didn’t get huge overnight either. Once more people realize how amazing it is to be able listen to any song they want, the money will come.”

Of course, that was never an issue for Prince. The man could strum “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on his purple guitar while making weird googly eyes and most of us would have paid top dollar for that. And to be fair, you had to respect not only his business acumen but his desire not to be used and taken advantage of like so many others.

But still, I also feel like we, the fans, got kind of lost in his fight against the industry. And right now, when we need to hear from him the most, there is nothing but silence.

Watch The Color Purple Cast

April 22nd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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First Broadway performance for the revival of The Color Purple and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - Curtain Call. Featuring: Cynthia Erivo Where: New York City, New York, United States When: 10 Nov 2015 Credit: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com

We’re not trying to make you spend the rest of your day crying, reminiscing about Prince but we have to share this video of the cast of The Color Purple musical tributing the Purple One. Turns out, Jennifer Hudson was a personal friend to Prince. And interestingly enough, Prince had invited the entire cast to one of his legendary parties. To honor him they  sang “Purple Rain” at the closing of last night’s show along with Cynthia Erivo, who plays Miss Celie in the production.

It is incredibly soulful and touching.

Have your tissue ready.

Prince’s Ex-Wife, Mayte Garcia, On His Death: “He’s With Our Son Now”

April 22nd, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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WENN/Michael Mcgourty

WENN/Michael Mcgourty

Prince’s ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, is devastated by news of the singer’s sudden death, but she seems to find comfort in knowing that he has been reunited with their son, Boy Gregory, who died just one week after his birth.

“I can’t even think of the words of what I’m feeling,” Garcia said of her ex’s passing in a statement issued to People. “This man was my everything; we had a family. I am beyond deeply saddened and devastated.I loved him then, I love him now and will love him eternally. He’s with our son now.”

The pair met in 1990 at a concert in Spain when she was just 16 years old. Mayte was later invited to tour with the musician as a dancer. Six years later, they tied the knot; Mayte was just 22 years old. Shortly after their nuptials, Mayte learned that she was pregnant with Boy Gregory, who was later born with Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

“It was really sad. I think he was really looking forward to being a father,” Prince’s former dancer Lindsley Allen, told People. “It was very difficult for them, and I don’t think they really recovered from that. I felt a very paternal feeling from him but yet that was something that he never really had known.”

Although the pair divorce in 2000, Allen says that they shared a genuine love.

“They had a great love for each other. They had a twinkle in their eye.” She added: “They definitely loved working together. In the studio, it seemed like they had a great respect for one and other. He loved her as a beautiful dancer and her heart and soul is very genuine and sweet.”

H/t Yahoo

 

Truly Adore You: A Tribute To Prince

April 21st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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A Tribute To Prince

Image Source: WENN

Like so many millions of music fans around the world, I was deeply saddened to learn of Prince’s passing. But still, I assumed that I wouldn’t shed tears over his death. While his music has had an incredible impact on my life and I’ve long regarded him as my very favorite musician, I didn’t know him personally. Having lost people I knew and loved deeply, I assumed that I’d be able to keep my eyes dry.

Then our video producer came in and asked if we wanted to do a breaking news video, announcing the death. I thought about it and figured it might be a nice way to say a few kind words and honor one of our musical legends.

The minute I started thinking about what I would say in the video, how he had personally touched me, how my family bumped his catalog on long road trips, how his music reminded me of home when I was in college, the tears came.

Prince has literally provided the soundtrack to my life, even before my life came to be.

My father, who introduced my immediate family to The Artist, often talked about taking my mother to one of his concerts when they first started dating.

I know I listened to his music in utero. In the home video of my first birthday party, Sheila E’s “A Love Bizarre,” written and vocalized by Prince and Sheila E, was playing in the background.

When I was sixteen years old, my grandmother, my soulmate, passed away. And after living for months under a cloud, it was a Prince’s song “Pink Cashmere” that made me feel like I could and would be happy again.

In my first few years in New York City, when I was still working a temp job, sharing a one bedroom apartment with my sister and cousin and making very little money, my sister and I decided to splurge on tickets to Prince’s Welcome To America concert at Madison Square Garden. Afterward, we recorded our reaction. By the end of the nearly eight minute video, we were both crying, having been entertained, inspired, and spiritually filled by his greatness. And I don’t say that lightly.

This past February, my father celebrated his 60th birthday. And by the grace of God, my mother, sister and I were able to throw him a surprise party. During the middle of the night, the DJ announced that it was time for the Father-Daughter dance. Being that the whole thing was a surprise, my father didn’t know what song we chose and probably assumed that it was going to be some sappy, slow jam.

He looked at us and said, “What song is it? How are we going to do this?”

I responded, “Just do what you feel.”

Then “I Would Die 4 U,” which is something like our family theme song, came blasting through the speakers.

To me, and I’m sure some of you, Prince was so much more than a musician. His music welcomed me into the world, encouraged me when I was down, inspired me when I was just starting out and bonded me to my family in ways I can never fully express. So, in a way, I did know him and I’m truly grateful that he shared his extraordinary contributions to music, with the world and with me.

Singer Prince Dead At 57

April 21st, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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WENN

WENN

Legendary singer Prince Rogers Nelson has passed away at age 57.

The multi-talented artist’s death was confirmed by his publicist, Yvette Noel-Shcure, who spoke with the Associated Press. According to reports, he was found dead inside of his Minneapolis, Minnesota home on Thursday morning.

The singer was rushed to the hospital following an emergency landing earlier this month after experiencing a medical crisis on his private jet; however, he appeared at a concert the following day and told fans that he was okay. According to a statement issued to TMZ by his reps, he was battling the flu at the time.

Prince’s cause of death is unknown at this time. He will be sorely missed.