Obituary: Prince 1958-2016

Daniel Curtis pays tribute to the pop icon who died today (Thursday April 21)

Photo credit: Wikipedia

“Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people.”

That was one of Prince’s most powerful quotes – and despite everything, no-one can quite describe what he signified for others. A powerful guitarist. A provocative songwriter. An indomitable rebel. Mere nouns and adjectives fall short.

Instead, celebrate his ability to be a genuine showstopper, someone who could steal the camera lens away from countless stars to unleash untameable vocals, or emotive solos. Someone who played most of the instruments on all of his records through a frankly ridiculous back-catalogue, crowned by his early 70s and 80s run of LPs which essentially brought funk to the masses and made him a veritable pop-culture icon.

Yet despite that, Prince was quietly a writer of some of the famous pop songs of the century under humble, nondescript pseudonyms. ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, ‘Manic Monday’, ‘I Feel For You’ and countless others all bear Prince’s signature dichotomy of romance and seduction.

Celebrate his steadfast desire to be untrammelled by the music industry, leaving behind the name of his birth and the same name which made him famous, while refusing to let the value and worth of music be degraded by modern streaming means which give little reward to the artist.

As ever, Prince himself put it best: “A strong spirit transcends rules.”