Prince

Prince for V Magazine Pre Fall 2013 Issue, shot by Inez & Vinoodh.

To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure if I should write about Prince. But I need to.

Prince was, is, and will be forever one of the greatest artists of all time. But he was more than that. He was a humanitarian, he fought for artist’s and musician’s rights, he had a prominent female presence in his supporting band, and he was on the cutting edge of fashion. He was an accomplished musician, once saying that he could play a thousand instruments.

When I was younger, I remember my mom would blast “Let’s Go Crazy” in the car after school. Hearing the words “dearly beloved” meant my mom would start dancing and trying to tell us about Purple Rain. I wish I would have appreciated him more in his time, realized his raw talent and artistry before he had passed. But I will say one thing: even if I didn’t have the full grasp of how important he was in relation to my generation, I knew how respected he was in the generations before me and in pop culture in general. This last year, I saw him show up to present at award shows full of celebrities, celebrities who would give him a standing ovation just for entering the room. I saw the likes of Viola Davis and Allison Janney have their mouths drop to the floor because, even though they maintain their own celebrity status, they were in the presence of Prince.

Just recently, new footage of Prince emerged on the internet: new footage that I had heard of, but never thought I would see. The day after SNL’s 40th anniversary special aired, Jimmy Fallon went live on The Tonight Show to talk about the after party of my dreams. SNL after parties are infamous for being wild and secret, and Fallon spilled the beans on what sounds like the definition of a “crazy night”. He name-dropped every celebrity you could think of, culminating in a surprise performance by Prince which caused the entire party to rush to the stage. Footage of this performance finally made its way onto the internet (thank you, internet!) and I can honestly say I’ve watched it at least five times. It’s amazing to watch him completely and spontaneously own the stage and still captivate everyone in the room. He doesn’t hog the stage, instead sharing it with the multitude of celebrities accompanying him with background vocals and tambourine (shout out to Emma Stone). He just wanted to perform and make music, that’s all.

However, the best video that showcases who Prince was, in my opinion, is the behind the scenes film about his Superbowl Halftime performance in 2007. Rolling Stone called it the best halftime show ever, and I can see why. The end of the video shows his performance of “Purple Rain” and I get chills.. every time. We have lost a legend. RIP Prince.

(P.S. Here is his halftime show in full and his first television appearance from 1980. I have watched his 1980 performance probably more than a dozen times in the last two days, so good.)

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