tv Caught on Camera MSNBC April 23, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
website, at firstname.lastname@example.org. i'm contessa brewer for this edition of "caught on camera." he was precocious from the start. provocative until the end. >> you can't help but be sexy. >> the makeup, the heels, the lace. >> he was dangerous. >> he was about ten people in one. >> already breaking down all the boundaries. >> magical, master full. mysterious. >> you never knew what he was going to get next. >> his last days were filled with mystery. too. >> how can you talk to someone one day and then -- they're gone? >> what was behind his sudden death? >> there are some things regarding this investigation that i will not be able to talk about. >> emotional tributes pour in. and now, revealing stories pour
out. >> we were family. >> would you say he's one of your greatest loves? >> absolutely. >> i said prince, are you okay? and then we talked for nearly three hours. >> these guys sound-tracked every important moment in a generation's life. >> tonight, we remember. >> prince was very quiet. but his music spoke volumes. >> you felt you were on the journey with him. >> you hear that song, boom. ♪ ♪ >> prince, the life and death of an icon. >> good evening and welcome to "dateline," i'm lester holt in los angeles. as his fans pause today to celebrate the life of prince, there are a growing number of questions tonight, about how the singer died. an autopsy was performed today, the results may not be known for
weeks. but we are learning more about how prince spent his last few days alive. here's cynthia mcfadden. >> prince is gone. but the enigma of prince remains, as the world mourned the sudden passing of the intensely private superstar, the first official explanation of his death from the carver county minneso minnesota sheriff prolonged the mystery. >> there are some things about the investigation i will not be able to talk about. >> the sheriff did confirm that prince was found dead in an elevator at his estate thursday morning. >> because this was an unwitnessed death, of a middle-aged adult, the decision was made to process the scene. >> an investigation under way on the cause of death. two things were ruled out today. >> there were no obvious signs of trauma on the body at all. we have no reason to believe at this point that this was a suicide. >> so what did happen in the
30-some hours since the rock star's death? the world has been trying to piece together the last days of his life. the first clue that something might have been wrong came april 7th, more than two weeks ago when he postponed a concert scheduled in atlanta. >> did you make note of that? did that seem odd to you that he canceled? >> no. that happens. sometimes shows get canceled for any number of reasons. >> music journalist torrey wrote a book entitled "i would die 4 u" why prince became an icon. >> especially an artist a little bit older, might get tired, might get sick. that sort of thing happens. ♪ purple rain ♪ purple rain >> last week, prince made good on the postponed concert in atlanta. against his signature backdrop of purple. played two sets, with numerous encores, this video shows him greeting fans, apparently healthy. but hours later, as he was flying home to minnesota,
something seemed to be wrong. at 1:01 a.m., according to flight records obtained by nbc news, prince's plane made a sudden unscheduled diversion, diving 45,000 feet to the airport in mow lien, illinois, in just 17 minutes. a source with direct knowledge of the events says prince became unresponsive on the flight. and just three minutes before landing, the mow lien fire department received a call for emergency help. prince was reportedly taken to a local hospital. nbc news medical contributor and dr. nately azar. >> what would the doctors have looked for first? >> they've got to triage the patient quickly. they're looking to make sure that the patient can breathe, they have to make sure the airway is secure. they have to make sure that the patient has a pulse and a blood pressure. >> in 12 hours, he went back home. in fact, prince protege erin allen kane was text messaging
light-hearted banter to the star after reports that he had been hospitalized. >> you need to tell me that you're okay before i bite all my nails off. i have a problem, i bite my nails when i get real nervous. and he said -- he responded almost like you know, it was really quickly. and he said -- don't eat your nails, eat food instead. everything is wonderful. and he spelled wonderful like 1-derful. >> nbc's tam ron hall was a close friend to prince. she told msnbc in a phone interview later today that she recently touched base with him. >> i emailed him on saturday and i said prince, are you okay? and he immediately wrote back, are you okay? >> she said they talked for three hours. and she didn't hear any sign of illness in his voice. no traces of the flu. >> i didn't press him on what happened. it was clear that he did not want to elaborate on it. and he wanted me to come to
paisley that night. for a fan appreciation concert. and i took the fact that he was hosting something, and wanted me to be there, as a sign that he was okay. >> tamryn didn't end up going. but about 200 people did. scott gregorio was among them. >> he basically posted on his twitter account, saying dance party with a deejay, on saturday night, $10 entrance and it's a celebrate the good weather we're having and to thank fans for all their love and support. >> agree goria told us the crowd was packed with fans. prince appeareded a midnight. >> the first thing he said was don't believe the media, wait two days, i don't want you to have, you know, having to say prayers because of what the media is reporting. >> he showed off a new piano, purple of course. and played a few cheeky bars of "chopsticks."
gregoria who had been to paisley park dance parties before said something was different about the performer. >> he looked a little more pale than normal. and he looked a little weaker. >> the next day, last sunday, prince replied to a fan who attended the atlanta concert. feeling rejuvenated, feeling inspired, feeling loved. then tuesday night he was well enough to sneak in the side door of the dakota jazz club in downtown minneapolis. manager lowell pickett said he had been doing that for years. he even had his own table. >> normally prince always leaves before a show is over. just to make it easier before the lights come up. and he stayed through liz's entire show on tuesday night. >> the owner says he seemed fine. but that prince stayed until the end, which was unusual for him. i mean -- he did enjoy hearing other, especially young artists. >> yeah. yeah. i mean look prince was out and about around minneapolis trying to be aware of who all the
players were. >> the snapshot posted by celebrity entertainment website tmz purportedly shows prince visiting walgreen's on wednesday night. we don't know what he bought there and can't confirm it's him. we do know that prince's staff members told police they dropped prince off at his home that night. next morning when they hadn't heard from him, they went to check on him, that's when they found him, in the elevator on the first floor. >> we need a paramedic, person down, not breathing. >> paramedics tried to revive him. it didn't work. he was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. at today's press conference, the sheriff told reporters not to expect autopsy results for a few weeks. >> bear in mind that this incident happened about 29 hours ago. and continues to be under investigation. thank you very much, everybody. >> veteran forensic pathologist sara weck reacted after today's press conference. >> without engaging in conjecture this has all the earmarks of a drug-related
death. it's highly unlikely he had any kind of an illness which had not been diagnosed and treated before. >> we don't know what happened. if it turns out that drugs were in some way involved, that would be a break in your experience from the rest of his life? >> absolutely. he was super hard worker. he was not about taking drugs. he was not about taking caffeine, so to think that now that would change would be sort of strange and heartbreaking, you know. >> this afternoon in this simple gray van, his body was take ton his family. tonight, whatever the cause, there's plenty of heartbreak to go around. >> coming up, he was the megastar. who never left minneapolis. the prince who threw parties for local fans, as long as you behaved. >> paisley park rules new york city alcohol, no smoking and no swearing.
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born in minneapolis, prince never stopped calling it home. thousands of his most devoted fans poured into the city streets last night, a purple army to honor a hometown hero embraced by the whole world. here's natalie morales. >> thank you for loving him, y'all. and he loved each and every one of you. >> this is where they gathered, paisley park. prince's minnesota home and recording studio, decked out in purple. >> paisley park is a monument. it's a place where you know, so much music was made there. >> sheila e was prince's drummer and the two were briefly engaged. >> it was our life. paisley was our life. and very proud of what he built. and it needs to be a museum.
>> he talked to you about that? >> yeah. what he was doing was for the fans. every room feels very warm and inviting. it feels you know, like someone's living room. each room and you just want to just kind of sit here and hang out. it feels like home. >> home, prince rogers nelson was raise the in the twin cities, his mom was a social worker. his dad, a jazz musician. prince was 13 when he started his first band. ♪ ♪ >> music producer jimmy jam was a childhood friend. >> prince was very quiet. but his music and his musical ability spoke volumes. he had a huge afro. all the girls loved him. he played basketball, right. and he would come up the court and like literally, he would be bouncing the ball up the court and his 'fro would be like in tempo -- and the girls would be in the stands screaming, ah,
prince! it was crazy. >> first at the first avenue nightclub, fans listened to a young prince perform and witnessed the beginnings of his musical genius. >> this was very important to prince. first ave, he felt a real bond with it. >> byron frank helped run the business at first avenue. just as prince was launching his career. byron's daughter dana now owns the club. >> this was his, his lab. >> his lab, to test it out. >> uh-huh. >> the first time the world ever heard "purple rain" was right from that stage. it's pretty transcendent experience. >> he later used the club as a location for the film of the same name. ♪ ♪ >> they call prince, the patron saint of first avenue. and fittingly, the memorial for him here was a dance pty. prince never strayed far from this place, or minnesota. >> i don't really consider
myself a superstar. i live in a small town and i always will. because i can walk around and be me. >> prince would come out to l.a. and he had a couple of houses at various times out here. but no, minneapolis was always roots and always home. being comfortable is very important. it really is. particularly for creativity. >> he could be spotted riding his bicycle around town. or browsing the aisles of a local record store. >> kind of like to think of it as the electric fetus was his hometown record store. >> aaron miring is the owner, he said prince would shop here and was a vocal supporter of not only his store, but the entire arts scene. >> to have such an iconic pop icon -- world-renowned musical legend go and patronize local stores and keep the local vibe --
>> and at chanhassan elementary school, where the children and staff adorned themselves in purple, prince will be remembered for donating $30,000 to their music and arts program. >> he really tried to make the world a better place in small, quiet ways. and it's just -- it's more than a loss of a famous musician. it's really, he was really an amazing human being. >> kerry spelankovich, lived up the road from paisley park. she feels like so many minnesotans, that prince was one of them. >> it's hard to imagine that that's gone now. >> even though prince was very private, he welcomed fans into his home for parties. >> i think paisley park, when he opened that up and did things out there, that was truly a gift he's giving to fans. an opportunity to be within like five, ten feet of him. and walk around with him.
>> prince was a gracious host, says miring, as long as you followed the rules. >> everyone in the twin cities knows like, the paisley park rules. and you know, the staples are, there's no alcohol served there. no smoking. no cell phones, no pictures. and no swearing. either. which it's -- straight-laced. you know it's not like you think of you know you go there to party. you're going there for the music and the experience and to be a fan. >> to the end, prince was quintessential minnesota. martin keller was a local music critic who covered prince for years. >> but i think really deep inside, the way he worked, the way he was, the privacy that he seemed to crave. i think he was still that shy, minneapolis kid. >> this is where he was born. where he created his art. and yesterday, where he died. >> he could have gone anywhere in the world to perform and to live. but yet he really sort of is
that hometown boy who really never could give up minneapolis, right? >> right. i mean and he has traveled the world. but this is home for him. >> in his blood? >> yeah. >> i said why have you always come back here? why have you stayed here? and he said, he without really thinking about it, he said, i think god puts you in a place where you're supposed to be. and that's where you should stay and that's why i'm here. >> coming up, she's our family. and prince was like family to her. >> in my life, the only other person i spoke with more than prince is my mother. >> tamryn hall shares intimate stories of an icon. with hydrogenated oil...
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♪ purple rain ♪ purple rain for someone who lived so much of his life on stage, prince was a famously private person. whatever feelings he shared with us, he did through his music. but there were people with whom he shared much more. and one of them was our colleague from the "today" show and msnbc, tamron hall. earlier today, reminiscing, she offered us a private peek at a cherished friendship. >> this is the new at news nation theme song composed for my team by none other than that music icon, prince.
prince is a news junkie. >> yeah. >> reporter: for tamron hall, it was a gift from one close friend to another. >> prince reached out to me years ago and we just bonded over his interest in news, his interest in family, and it just turned into what was one of the most incredible friendships and relationships of my life. >> reporter: today, she spoke out about her loss and their friendship during a phone call to msnbc. >> in my life, the only other person i spoke with, speak with more than prince is my mother. this is the person i communicated with more than anyone. but i think it's important for people to understand that prince was such a compassionate person. we typically would communicate really late at night. even though i get up early for "the today show".
we could talk on the phone on friday night until 3:00 in the morning. we would go to sleep and then resume the conversation in the afternoon. >> reporter: and talked, they did. >> i send pictures of whatever, you know, outfit or even for special occasions, golden globes, red carpet, prince would always love to give his thoughts, both good and bad on some of the choices. and i'd taken a selfie, i had given him that years ago. and he, he sent me a note -- >> reporter: the note was about a single he was planning to release. a moment that means so much to her now. >> and he said, i'm going to put this on the the single. and of course, you know, i'm thinking, how did i go from being a fan of prince on my school bus in middle school, singing, you know, the tracks from "purple rain," to my friend? >> reporter: tamron's selfie became the cover art for prince's song "if i could get your attention." ♪
>> those are the things that of course are big headlines, but the things that i have in my intimate mind and in my heart because he was so private about his life. you know, those are the things that will warm my heart. >> reporter: then came last weekend, and news of prince's plane making an emergency landing for medical treatment for him. tamron was worried. >> i called and then we talked for nearly three hours, which was not uncommon for us to do. i did not hear anything that sounded like the flu or the cold, but i didn't press him on what happened. it was clear that he did not want to elaborate on it. i never felt the need to ask again what was wrong. monday, i was in restaurant, i videotaped the restaurant ambience music which was one of his songs. and e-mailed him and said you're everywhere. then he wrote back, but nowhere at the same time.
which is again how prince communicate. you're thinking of me because i'm thinking of you too. and i never imagined again that that would be my last correspondence with him. >> reporter: tamron remembers her friend who was busy living life, not worrying about it or how it would end. >> he didn't talk a lot about life and all of these things of death. he didn't look at time and he wasn't conscious of how long he would live and what he had to do next. for him, this was always an ongoing journey. >> some personal reflections from our friend tamron and our thoughts are with her tonight. coming up, diamonds and pearls. he sang about them, he wore them, how prince played with expectations, provoked conversations, and just plain scared our parents. >> michael jackson was nice, sweet, be like him.
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megastar prince's remains have been cremated and a celebration of of his life has been held with a small group of beloved family and friends, this according to a publicist who confirmed to nbc news that it will be at least four weeks before we learn the results of an autopsy. cause of death still unknown. prince's family saying an announcement will be made at a future date for a musical celebration. now back to "prince: life and death of an icon." ♪ dig if you will the picture ♪ of you and i engaged in a kiss ♪ ♪ the sweat of our bodies when it came to x and gender, few people changed the way we saw ourselves as much as prince. and he did it just by sharing with us how he saw himself. here is harry smith. ♪ >> reporter: prince, the master of seduction. ♪
a siren luring us to sin. mascara, check, costume, check, heels, oh yeah. i wear them, he said because women love it. >> you can't help but be sexy. i mean, it is what it is. >> reporter: one of the most sexual artists of all time -- ♪ i think he understood that being sexual, playing with gender norms and gender expectations would get him a lot of attention, and it did. the make-up, the heels, the lace, you know, i mean like, men and women were paying attention to him. he was dangerous, he was the one like, don't let your kids listen to prince because who knows what will happen. >> reporter: songs and album like "dirty mind" lyrics that embraced human pleasure, yes, prince was dangerous. ♪
irresistible to young people, kyrptonite to parents. ♪ for many adults, "purple rain" was pure poison, cut off point. >> i remember parents not letting me see the movie. they let me buy the cassette, but no, you can't go see the movie. and just get how dangerous we thought he was. michael jackson was nice, sweet, you know, loving, be like him. prince was edgy, and sort of, you know, like dragging you down the wrong path. and you wanted to be with him. >> reporter: had his parents listened to that cassette, they might have changed their minds. hear the words of darling nikki, from the movie "purple rain." ♪ i knew a girl named nikki, i guess you could say she was a
sex fiend ♪ ♪ i met her in a hotel lobby ♪ masturbating with a magazine ♪ >> we like sexy music, it comes out that way. and there's nothing really you can do about that. >> reporter: it was all too much for tipper gore, who led the movement to warn parents about the dangers inside those album covers. >> we now propose one jer generic warning label to inform consumers in the marketplace about lyric content. >> reporter: among a group that became known as the filthy 15, prince was public enemy number one. the result, parental warnings on album covers, our guess, that which is forbidden is all the more alluring. >> back then, there was an envelope to push. >> did you like pushing it? >> i just said what i felt. a lot of times i didn't know i was pushing it, the envelope, until later. >> reporter: since, music was not so much dangerous as truthful to human nature.
lust, carnal, though billy idol says prince paved the way. >> we wanted a fresh new world, we wanted a sexualized world. we wanted a world where indrojny an drojny was fine, where you used all your skills, and where you didn't care what other people thought. and you just went ahead and did what you thought was right. that's the vibe prince gave you. that he was doing what he thought was right. >> reporter: anthony decurtis writes for "rolling stone." >> it's about sex. i like it. i like it a lot of different ways. and that's what i'm going to put out there. and it was exhilarating, people really responded to it. >> it's the way that think, it's the way the instruments play off of one another, a lot of times i play all the instruments myself. and if i'm in a sensual mood, then that's going to be the end product. >> reporter: prince was more prophet than profane. listen to the lyrics of
krgs "controversy." ♪ am i black or white ♪ am i straight or gay ♪ do i believe in god? do i believe in me? ♪ taboo, risque, prince went there, lured every line between good and bad, pleasure and pain, male and female. >> he presented himself wearing women's clothes, right? he liked us to think that he was mixed. he liked us to wonder if he was straight or gay. you know, and where he was with the whole cross dressing, sort of thing. >> reporter: prince knew that we knew it was all part of the performance. >> i love your clothes, your wardrobe is different. >> thanks. >> do you own a blazer? >> no. >> do you own a pair of pleated khakis? >> no. >> would you ever wear my shoes? >> hell no. >> for all of the sort of
bravura qualities around him, there was a real vulnerability and a simplicity to him. he had like a kids love for it. the way the kids loved things totally, that's the way he was about music. ♪ act your age not your shoe size ♪ >> reporter: what's missing from pop prince once said was danger. maybe danger was just a base. and it was the music that captured it. ♪ coming up -- ♪ ♪ nothing compares to you nothing compares to him as a talent or as a trail blazer. >> every artist today that controls their own image, they owe an enormous debt of gratitude to prince. ♪ ♪
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waterfall? no, me tarzan, king of ngle. why don't you want to just k somebody? if you're a couple, you fight over directions. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. oh ohhhhh it's what you do. ohhhhhh! do you have to do that right in my ear? ♪ i just want your extra time and your -- kiss ♪ a musician's legacy is usually measured by their music. but prince left the world so much more. they never started pushing himself or us. he knocked down walls, took on the music industry, burst the envelope. who else could do all that wearing purple high heels? here is andrea canning. >> reporter: cities around the world draped themselves in purple. fans gathered to honor the
legacy of the man who set a new standard, as a musician, performer, businessman, and superstar. they gathered at paisley park. at first avenue, the club prince made famous, and on social media. from justin timberlake, prince, nothing compares. and madonna, a true visionary, i'm devastated. lionel richie, i'm in total shock. katy perry tweeted, the world lost a lot of magic. lenny kravitz, my musical brother, the one who showed me the possibilities within myself. and oprah, prince, the dove's really are crying now. ♪ dig if you will the picture ♪ of you and i engaged in a kiss ♪ stars of the voice, christina aguilera and blake shelton. >> quite a talent. so yeah, he'll always be an inspiration. >> i feel like we lost a superhero today.
>> verdeen white of earth, wind and fire. >> one word doesn't describe prince. he was incredible, phenomenal, he was so musical. so talented. all in one. he was about ten people in one. and when he came on the scene, he came, he came like gang busters. >> reporter: what made prince unique? the purple one was a singular artist who sang in many voices. there was the rock of little red corvette. ♪ little red corvette ♪ baby >> reporter: the funk of raspberry beret. ♪ raspberry beret ♪ nothing compares >> reporter: the soul of "nothing compares to you." to you. a hit for o'connor, but pure prince who composed it. ♪
musicians, he really was not in a box. >> prince, there's no such thing as oh this is country music. or this is hip hop. this is soul music. this is reggae. it's just all like music. it's just cool, you know. ♪ you walked in >> reporter: in an era of short-lived pop stars and divas, prince was enduring. and a performer, a showman, and perhaps the best muse sigs of his time. and since 1985, "purple rain" guitar solo demonstrates. ♪ ♪ lifelong friend and music producer, jimmy jam. >> prince was very quiet, but his music and his musical ability spoke volumes. said everything he needed to say. >> reporter: but his legacy went far beyond his own art. prince became a mentor. >> unfortunately a lot of kids didn't learn how to play music.
one of the reasons we're going out on the road and we're titling this tour musicology, is because i really feel a need to school a new generation of musician. >> reporter: he did just that with sheila e, who he encouraged to move to the front of the stage. >> i just didn't like singing without playing. and it just felt weird to me because it was something i wasn't used to. and that was one thing that he encouraged me, he's like you can do it, you do it for everyone else. you do it for yourself. >> reporter: he recently discovered vocalist erin allen king on youtube. >> i released an all-a cappella song called "hollow." he found it i guess on the internet. and he posted it on his twitter. and i flipped out. >> reporter: king says prince took her under his wing empowering her as a musician and inspiring her to be a voice for the next generation. >> for him to say that what i'm doing is important, it was everything. and that just kind of solidified
all the things that i had already thought about him, about him being a generous, beautiful, artist after i met him, it was just -- yeah, he's like an angel, i guess. >> reporter: prince knew music could help. and heal. for decades, he donated time and money to various causes. and after the riots in baltimore, maryland, he collaborated with king on a song, held a benefit concert there, and donated the proceeds. >> he said, as singers, you know, we have to talk about things. we have to be socially awear and talk about the things that are going on around us in that time. it's like our music needs to be kind of like a time capsule. and so, he felt the need to speak on this injustice that he witnessed. >> reporter: but while prince played the lover in songs like "kiss" -- ♪ ♪ you don't have to be rich ♪ to be my girl he was also a fighter. most famously against warner brothers records.
former billboard magazine editor bill worthy. >> prince deeply understood the value of his song writing. prince deeply understood the value of his own work. the whole fight with warner brothers was about wanting to release more music. >> reporter: part of prince's legacy, inspiring artists to take creative control over their work. >> beyonce has the power. jay-z has the power. every artist today that owns their rights, every artist today that controls their own image, their own catalog, they owe an enormous debt of gratitude to prince. >> reporter: and prince ever generous, may still have more to give to his fans. >> for a lot of fans, after recovering from the news, folks minds went towards the vault. right. and the vault, of course, is this basically this bank of thousands and thousands of hours of recording that prince did in paisley park.
and by most accounts, there is an ocean of unreleased prince material. ♪ >> reporter: prince, a star who will continue to shine. ♪ ♪ diamonds and pearls coming up, the days the music died. the many icons who've left us lately. what we lose when the great ones go silent. >> you kind of took for granted these people would be there, and you weep a little bit for your own loss, childhood. ♪ it's intelligent enough to warn of danger from virtually anywhere. it's been smashed and driven. it's perceptive enough to detect other vehicles on the road.
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♪ we have lost so many musical legends this year. david bowie, glenn frey and now prince. and lost with them and their music, a slice of our own youth. and end to good times and bad, we can visit, but never relive. here's josh mankowitz. >> reporter: he did everything too soon. his first song at age seven. his exit from life's stage only 50 years later. ♪ tonight i'm going to party like it's 1999 ♪ prince was in so many ways the sinatra of his time. sexy, dangerous, with lyrics you can't forget, and always pushing the limits with a style all his own.
but if sinatra was the voice of a generation that came of age after world war ii, prince, david bowie, and glenn fry spoke so clearly for and to another time. musician and cultural critic sasha jones says they also correct generations. >> there's a good chance that if people are watching and pulling out their prince albums, maybe it's something their kids know too. >> what's interesting is the artists who do jump the generational fence and prince was one of them. ♪ ♪ sometimes it snowed in april ♪ >> reporter: and so when fans mourn, what are they mourning kpn not just the songs we will now never hear from these artists, but maybe even more so the work they've already given us. bill wordy was editorial director at billboard. >> you know, i feel music so deeply. and both for me personally, bowie and prince, i mean these
are people i wept when i heard this news. you know, i wept for the loss that i know my friends were experiencing, i wept for the loss of more music. you know that i expected to have. you kind of took for granted these people would be there and be your beacon, and of course, you know you weep a little bit for your own lost childhood. >> reporter: hit the buttons on your car radio, and simultaneously enter a time machine. >> you know music is everywhere, and it's easy to revisit. music has this way of kind of tapping you on the shoulder when you least expect it and reminding you of who you were at that moment. ♪ >> reporter: suddenly you're back in the heat of that unforgettable summer. that first job, that first date, that time when you weren't thinking the mortgage, the traffic, the promotion. only about how you felt right then, back then. how young you were.
>> music has an unparalleled ability to touch people in a way that you know, you hear that song, 20 years later, 30 years later, and boom, you're just right back to being 18. right back to being 23. >> reporter: one thing that's set prince, bowie, and fry apart was the extent to which each spoke with their own voice. writing and singing about the world that they saw. >> i think all three of these acts became so big, right, the eagles became so big, giant stadium tours, prince became so big, bowie as this icon, i think people lose track of how proficient and transcendent all three folks were as song writers. ♪ >> reporter: the music wasn't the product of a record company anxious to sell as many units as possible across platforms and nations. especially bowie and prince. according to bill.
kbl. >> i think one of the other legacies, particularly for a bowie and prince that you have to think about is what the pop world would look like if artists were encouraged to be as intelligent and creative as they wanted to be. >> reporter: there are a lot of people on your radio and they sell a lot of records, and the music's sort isn't about anything the way prince's or bowie's was. >> very few people can stack up to prince and or bowie and come out ahead. >> reporter: when so many artists this big leave so close to each other, it really kind you have creates, i'm going to call it a disturbance in the force. >> it does make you feel like, why bother? i have to say that there is, having a year like this where just so many different people kind of go all at once gives you, you know, a chilling effect. what a terrible year. damn. >> as we've seen tonight, prince
was many things, a singer-songwriter, a master musician, and a trail blazer, but more than anything else, he was, as he reminded us time and again, an artist. and so we leave you tonight with an artist and his art. ♪ ♪ black day ♪ stormy night ♪ no love, no hope in sight ♪ don't cry he is coming ♪ don't die without knowing ♪ dove crawls >> i'm a musician, i live for that, i live for playing and creating songs. ♪ ghettos to the left of us ♪ flowers to the right
♪ there'll be great for all of us ♪ ♪ if we can just bear ♪ the cross >> you know, i'm just a little guitar playing man trying to get my thing together. ♪ sweet song of salvation ♪ a pregnant mother sings ♪ she lives in starvation ♪ her children need all that she can bring ♪ >> i just want people to know that i'm very sincere in my beliefs. and i play every night. i pray every night. and i don't ask for much. i just think thank you. ♪ ♪
♪ soon all of our problems ♪ will be taken by ♪ the cross due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. definitely a dangerous individual, especially on the street. you wouldn't want to turn your back on him. >> he shot him six times in the face. >> a gang banker squares off with his victim's family in court. >> i hope you rot in prison the rest of your life. >> and with another inmate in jail. a young woman is arrested for a crime reminiscent of the grinch. >> i took kids' christmas presents, thatha