Prince’s Live Performances Remembered
There was no one like Prince.
No matter your opinion of his music, his persona, his art, there is absolutely no denying that there has never been and likely never will be another musician and artist like Prince Rogers Nelson. What it can sometimes be difficult to remember, though, (especially if you're not terribly familiar with his work) is that beyond the gaudy and flamboyant outfits, beyond his persona of aloof weirdness, is the undeniable fact that as a performer Prince was iconic and skilled. There was no style he couldn't adopt, no genre he couldn't effortlessly slide into and make his own mark. He was a pop star, he was a rock god, he was all things and yet above all still and always unmistakably ... Prince.
That diversity of talent and style is in part what defined him so and as such we've found a few videos that showcase just capable the man was whether he was putting his own spin on a Beatles song, a Radiohead number or simply standing toe-to-toe with two other titans of music. Enjoy the videos and be sure to head down to the comments to share with us your own memories of your connection to Prince and his music.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Technically Prince is only playing backup for most of this tribute to George Harrison at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but once it's time for Prince to burn a solo it's hard to say that this performance belongs to anyone but him. That smile he flashes during said solo says it all, doesn't it? Also how awesome would it have been to be the guy who gets paid specifically to stand there and catch Prince's guitar?
Sinead O'Connor famously covered Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U and did such a tremendous job that even Prince himself admitted that she owned the song. And while this isn't quite as strong a cover as Sinead's, there's no denying the power and verve behind Prince's rendition of this Radiohead classic performed at Coachella in 2008.
Purple Rain Live at Super Bowl XLI
"Prince, it's raining."
"Yes, it's raining."
"Are you OK?"
"Can you make it rain harder?"
Only Prince could get away with saying something like that (and actually mean it). What followed was a performance remarkable not just for its serendipity but its audacity and flare. A downpour right as Prince started playing Purple Rain? Perfection.
(We're unable to embed the video but absolutely be sure to click on the link and check it out.)
Live with James Brown and Michael Jackson
At a Los Angeles concert in 1983, James Brown invited Michael Jackson and Prince on stage to jam with him. Somehow Prince manages to upstage both the King of Pop and the King of Soul.