to get through all these shows! now are you with me? three, two, one... watchathon! big is back. xfinity watchathon week now until april 24. the greatest collection of shows free with xfinity on demand. okay. come back. sorry. this i joy reid. talking about the death of prince and let's go to sasha frarer jones, write somewhere music critic. tell us what your fondest memory is of prince. >> there are a lot of them. and it's amazing, how long the span is, can start from very early being a kid, going to j&r music world near city hall, buying his album "1999" getting home, it sounds like a guy on
one drum machine, one of the most minimal albums ever recorded and so huge. and then the next thing you knew, he was doing psychedelic records the love sexy tour, madison square garden, performing on a bed, i condition see it i think it was a bed. two years ago, friends we stumbled into city winery, new york city, and he was apparently playing but nobody knew. we thought, this can't be true. and the bouncer was so confused he just let us in. he didn't know what was happening. and we watched the band and it seemed like people who might know prince, and then prince came out. you know, he's permeated our lives so many different ways, you know, you know, shah made o'connor doing "nothing compares to you," frank ocean today, the person who everyone wants to know where the frank record is,
he jumps up and wrote a beautiful letter on tumbler allowed prince to allowed him to express and accept his sexuality. prince is everywhere and memories go on and on and on. >> talk about the sources of the musical collaborations. shauk about sinead o'connor, people didn't realize he was the write somewhere producer for. how did the collaborations come about? >> a period in mid-80s, i don't want to get it wrong, but it's around '86, stretching from '84-88, prolific he kept spinning off groups, vanity, madhouse, maybe one or two other, people playing jazz fusion. there is a family, that's the first place he puts "nothing compares to you" he gave it to them, members of his own band, people in his orbit.
sinead found out on her own, that was a really a thing that he orchestrated himself but later when he played in concert, he was playing her arrangement, which was radically different the way the family did it. he was doing a lot of theth writing at the time. he had a creative streak i don't think anybody's matched. people get into the discussion. in terms of the streak and numbers, beginning '80s to end of '80s, i don't think anyone's ever done what prince did in terms of number. >> indeed. thank you very much. indeed, i think when he went back and redid "nothing compares to you" and performed that song himself, it breathed a new life into that song. one of the greatest songs. let's go to vanessa deluca, editor and chief.
james, i'm going to bring you in here first. talking with toure earlier about prince. sort of relationship to masculinity, how he did change the way that in popular music at that time black men were permitted to perform their sex actual oo sexuality, talk about that. >> this is one of the more ground breaking things he was able to accomplish as an artist. he was very confident in his nongender conforming artistic persona. that confidence and comfort ability i think expanded ways in which people were able to experience black mass cue willty through culture. think about how black music is, hip-hop, r&b, prince took a a unique route, again nongender conforming. he wasn't invest in conforming to the socially constructed ways if which masculinity is presentpresen
presented particularly in the arts. combine that withth sexually explicit nature of his music, willing to take risks, heard little bit of "darling nikki" a powerful, sexy song, able to do two incredibly dissident things. he could critique, deconstruct accepted forms of black masculinity andasculinity and pop culture and push the envelope, being sexually explicit, some of the reviews, wow, if you listen to it now it doesn't sound sexually explicit the impact that prince had in making those songs. the idea he could do both at same time speaks who what everybody's saying, extraordinary artistic difference of prince. >> even the early music that was explicit, he was asserting female sexuality in a way female art ertz weren't doing.
>> he wasn't afraid to push the envelope. think about "controversy" what to people care, whether i'm straight, gay, all of these questions, what i represent. he didn't care. it was kind of full in the face of the conventional wisdom at the time which was conservative, very -- that there was one particular way to be considered male. one particular way to be considered feminine. he press the his hair, wore high heels, showed off his body, he didn't care. that's what we loved about him. he didn't care about conventional wisdom. he challenged the status quo. everybody embraced that, it was something that we felt but didn't feel as free as he did to actually go ahead and do. >> yeah, you know, james, i think about that era, right? he gets his first record deal in 1978, popular in early 1980s, and he kind of did fly in the face of so many different
conventions, whether in he were racial, whether gender, in terms of sexuality, things unheard of in that era. how daring was that at that point in american history? >> i mean, amazing, think about hip-hop emerging, you know, if you think about the rejection within rock music of a certain kind of long hair, stadium rock star. i mean, the popular music industry is moving towards more conventional notions of masculinity. here's what prince is essentially doing. he's not following anyone else ms mold. he's creating a mold for himself. and i think when you think about his film work, especially, see all of the characters that he plays in the films are essentially loners, compelling, enigmatic figures. "purple rain" is a little bit auto biographical but most other films are not but lives and breathes no s those characters s see what his strategy is in the
music world, to blaze a trail. he is influenced by all sorts of folks but as an artist not invested in being like anyone else. as an artist, being the most pro-livic artist he could be aware of. joy, think about this, you're a writer, imagine how accomplished you feel when you have 30 books published. this guy has 30 records. his commitment to craft, i think, matches his individuality in some ways that just produce a sort of iconing graphy. >> not even to say anything of his use of the music video genre. mtv doesn't play music videos anymore. at that time, the music video genre was an artistic expressive medium but only for the artists that knew how to use it.
michael jackson and prince, understand what the capabilities of music videos were. >> absolutely. he was about storytelling. it wasn't about releasing a record and just letting, just standing in front of a mike. he wanted you to understand what the meaning was behind the music. and then he took that a step further. he took it and created "purple rain." he took it and created "under the cherry moon" he wanted to use his music to do more than just be on a record player. he really wanted people to understand that he -- there was emotion and feeling and a message behind everything he was doing. that was extraordinary. >> i want to get both of you in on this, i spoke with reverend al sharpton in the last hour about this issue of hair, because i think particularly for african-americans, it has a special resonance, political meaning. when prince went from the long press the hair that we all grew up knowing that that's what he had, and i'll start with you on
this, vanessa, what was your response when suddenly the prince that we all knew growing up had a big afro? >> oh, i knew this was something major. think about it. remember this is when album come out "sun of the times"s, a symbol of black pride and appreciation for the culture and he was making a statement. everything he did was meth thotd cal. he had a reason behind it. i mean, every single time. think about within he had "slave" written on his face, the record label wasn't allowing him to hold his masters and he's held firm to that. they finally gave him the rights back to his music. he used every bit of his self-expression, his outward appearance, and his music to make sure that he was telling the story that he wanted to tell. >> indeed. we'll talk more about in this after the break and remember prince, great artist, producer, performer extraordinaire and
somebody who could make a huge statement with the way he styled his hair. we'll look outside the apollo theater in harlem where people are dancing to "i would die for you" one of the many hits made by the great and legendary prince. ♪ ♪ would die for you i would die for you♪ ♪ i would die for you don't let dust and allergies get between you
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so you can get back to whatever it is you civilians do when you're not thinking about car insurance. compare.com . legendary first avenue nightclub in minneapolis, minnesota, is going to hold an all night dance party in honor of prince. you can see the tweet there. they tweeted out their plan to honor the great prince at the
♪ one, two, three >> "raspberry beret♪ shocking news, we learned that prince is dead, age 57. we don't have details how he died and waiting for that to come in. as we await more details to explain the inexplicable we are remembering prince this afternoon. dana frank is the owner 0 of first avenue nightclub in minneapolis, minnesota. and that happens to be the venue where the film "purple rain" was shot. dana, thank you very much for being here. >> oh i wish it were under better circumstances. >> indeed. talk about how it came together. how did it happen that first
avenue nightclub became the venue where "purple rain" was shot. >> you know, it just -- in late '70s, early '80s, first avenue was one of the first venues in minneapolis and in the region to host popular movies and music, especially cross all barriers, those racial socioeconomic, genre, et cetera. and it became where prince kind of hung out, where he played, experimented with new music. when he was doing a film he contacted the management and we were able to work out an arrangement to close the club for 25 days and he shot the film here. >> your dad, of course, was the person who would have been instrumental in, whoing with prince and his team to get the film to be shot there. how much of first avenue sort of legend was built by it having
been the place where "purple rain" happened? >> oh, i mean, it's none as prince's house. it always will be, always has been. our patron saint, almost impossible to mention first avenue without mentioning prince. >> talk about prince's legend in terms of minneapolis in the music scene. identified with him and the sound created. how important is prince to the musical legacy of minneapolis? >> oh, he's at the roots, i think, of every musician's inspiration. what was so special about prince and his legacy is his ability to inspire across genres, across male, female, black, white, you know, whatever genre you're creating, prince was, you know, legendary, and inspiration to everyone. >> tell us about the all-night party that you are going to be having. >> i like to think that's what prince would have wanted. he usually didn't take the stage before 3:00 a.m.
we'll honor him and cry and dance and cry some more all night. >> i can imagine, he would take the stage at 3:00 a.m., play a set, you think it's over, and play another set and make sure that everybody's dancing all night. thank you so much. >> i believe the last time he played he went on stage at 3:30 a.m. and cops were in the back, tapping their watches, and so this time, you know, we'll dance all night. >> i'm sure they also enjoyed. got over time out of it as well. thank you. appreciate you being here, from first avenue. let me bring in columnist c.j. from the star tribune. talking about prince's musical legacy in regards to minneapolis. how important is he to the overall legacy of the city? >> well, not just to the city, but to the state, with the apologies to bob dylan, the greatest musical icon in minnesota history, died today. >> and we were sort of all in disbelief, i think, at this point at the fact that prince is
gone, only the age of 57. did you know, what did you know about the state of his health, was he in good health? can you give us any tidbit of information about that? >> i don't know anything personally about his health. he was always very thin. but i thought prince might be sick when he decided to write a memoir. that was -- before that, when he start the wearing the afro, which a lot of people think was a ig and. i don't know if it was or wasn't. i thought he might have been sick then. i heard whatever everybody else did last week about the plane being diverted on the flight from atlanta to minneapolis. there's no reason that he would stop and go to a hospital to call attention to himself. he didn't need the attention, he was clearly not feeling well. and i mean, over the years, i guess the reason, part of the reason, so shocking, apart from his age, how youthful he looked -- we're looking at images of him from decades ago
that could have been yesterday -- he seemed to be a person that lived an incredibly healthy lifestyle. is that an accurate assessment of the prince you covered and knew? >> well, yes. lately he lived a healthy lifestyle. but there were some stories about him and his fondness for twinkies a few years ago. i think, you know, as you get older you try to eat more sensibly and i think that's what he was doing. >> and he was obviously a spiritual person. you know, it's sort of eerie and fascinating and interesting the parallels between prince and michael jackson and so many ways, how driven they were in the artistry, the fact they were both jehovajehovah's witnesses, important was his religion. >> he sampled a lot of different religions. i was surprised he stayed with jehovah witness as long as he did. i believe he was a jehovah witness when i got a tip that he was out knocking on doors, and i
eventually, probably two, three years after i wrote that, i got a tip he was knocking on these people's door and he went to visit people during a football game, vikings were playing, and i remember the wife said she went downstairs and looked in the peephole and saw prince and larry graham, she didn't know who that was, i helped her figure out who that was, she ran upstairs and said prince is at the front door. he said, no. she said, yeah. they went to the front door and he was doing his jehovah witnesses proselytizing, they were
amused and she said two things, one, there's a vikings game on, number two, we are jewish people. we're not going to be converted. >> you know, i was going to ask you what your favorite remembrance of prince was. that might have to qualify as. quov
covering him -- >> he wrote a song about me. >> tell us about that. >> i am someone who -- i want one of those columnists who constantly kissed his rear end all the time. i appealed to him to be a better person and i'm thinking he didn't really appreciate that because he wrote a song about me called "billy jack bitch." >> what prompt had. >> whether if i called you silly names like the ones that you call me. and i'm the one who nicknamed sim symbolina. he was going to be known by this unpronounceab unpronounce gliff. >> people made jokes about it. when he gave up his name, he was striking a blow for the rights of artists in an industry that can be very difficult to even own your persona. >> yes, he was. he was very smart about that. 4 he was someone who -- he realized what the web was be
probably before other musicians did and he realized he could make more money if he sold his music directly to people rather than having a conduit, the studios. >> were there artists, younger artists in minneapolis, that he sort of mentored? we think about james brown, sort of the artist who came up behind him, who saw him as an icon. were there younger artists in minneapolis that looked at prince that way? >> well, everybody worships this guy, so all musicians from the twin cities just love prince. and i suppose he might have mentored some people but there are just as many stories about him dismissing people and having nothing to do with people he had close working relationships. i think -- i think he liked different, creative energy. i think that was one of the reasons, i'm bored with this
person, i'm going to go do this person. i think a little bit of that was going on. he was a creative genius. he needed a lot of stimuli. once he thought he had gotten everything that you could provide him to push him, he was on to the next thing. >> on -- always a great thing. c.j., columnist and inspiration and muse to prince, even if not for positive reasons all of the time. thank you for your insights. great stories. thank you. >> you're welcome. when we
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the most beautiful girl in the world♪ >> as the world remembers the great and legendary prince, that of course the most beautiful girl in the world, one of his many, many hit over 30 albums, career spanned from 1978 all the way until his death at the able of 57. the world, i think, incredibly shocked at loss of prince who was not only a producer and writer, singer, performer, he played maybe a dozen instruments, untold number of songs written for himself and other people but also movies. one of the greatest concert performers in musical history. i'm joined, continued to joined by vanessa deluca, essence magazine and prince's recording engineer from 1987 to 1989. vanessa, in the break, was telling us about getting prince to perform the essence festival
in 2014. i was very happy to be in the fourth row listening to prince and beinged aminu ed ed admoni phones away. >> our senior executive team, myself, we traveled to minneapolis to paisley park because we wanted to talk to him about performing for our 20th anniversary, and so we got there about 1:00 in the morning and they were serving literally tweet gone out, pancakes with prince. there were like tons of people literally in line waiting to get pancakes, served pancakes and have breakfast and the performance starts. the performance must have started 3:30. >> inside paisley park. >> inside paisley park. huge concert hall inside his home. nothing like i've experienced before in my life. i felt so fortunate to be there because he put on a full-on show, played for like an hour and a half, two hours. and then, hinted he was coming back. we weren't sure first, but he
did. he came back literally, i think, two hours later. this must have been, again, 7:00 in the morning, and performed another full set, energy, the -- you know, we were all there for it. the audience was not leaving. we were all standing, cheering, dancing, you know, i mean, enjoying every single minute of it. that just gives you just a taste of what an incredible performer he was. >> yeah. >> he could hold any crowd in rapture for hours and it would feel like it was seconds, honestly. >> the way he'd make you wait for the second encore, you were occupying the building because you weren't leaving until he played "purple rain" and he'd bring the house down with "purple rain" at the end. incredible. >> chuck, talk about his process. genius level minds, you were there to watch how his mind worked. what was his process like in writing and producing a song.
>> definitely agagenius, in the thomas edison word. he worked so much harder than anybody. he'd work ten times harder than any artist in the statute yo. his process was very interesting. he would come in with an idea for a song, he would have lyrics, maybe, and just -- you'd have everything set up, all of the instruments and he'd go, i'm going to play drums, be ready, record, drums are down, something like that, pick up -- something on the drum machine, start there. come up with some other parts. and at the end of the day, you've got several songs. >> he played all of the instruments. >> all of the instruments and sang all of the parts. >> you worked with him during an interesting period, the love sexy period. i have that record, a lot of people had it. was a time he was experimenting with the way the industry was going. hip-hop, rap picking up steam, and he was incorporating that trying to incorporate new things into his music.
what was going on in that process. >> when he started doing the "love sexy album" he had been -- his girlfriend at the timtd, ingrid, talked him out of putting out the album he finished, it was dark "the black album" and turned it around. came up with "love sexy" songs like "positivity" trying to find the light, the way to make his message accessible. with rap, with everything, he saw it as all there for him for the taking because he could understand, use it in away he wanted to make it. it doesn't sound like anything but prince at the end of the day. >> that's the interesting thing. prince -- i asked toure earlier, what was prince. genre, he had a great answer, kind of all of them were his genre. he didn't box himself into just rap or r&b or soul. he blended everything together. >> well, what was great about him, he was adaptable. he read the tea leaves of what
was going on at the time and he was able to adjust and you know mold his music to fit into, in his own way. never to imitate what was the most popular. but making whatever people were listening to at that time, making it his own. that takes an extraordinary artist to do that. there's not a lot of people who can say they can do that. >> did he have a signature, chuck, thing, obviously you have -- go back to hendrix, he had his guitar work. what was the signature to a prince sound? >> i want to say his voice, because sometimes when you're going through those tracks and he's got eight background vocals and each one of them sounds like a totally different person, you think some old man, some old lady singing and put them together, that's a prince record. >> it's incredible he did have an incredible singing voice. that falsetto, quite extraordinary. >> it was. >> was he an easy person to work
with? >> yes, because he was very focused and he was very determined. the thing i miss most about working with prince is that he never second guessed himself. never scratched his head. if somebody came in and they drew attention to some part and he wasn't so sure he wanted that in the song but drew attention, he's like, let's get rid of that, let me start with a hole and see where it takes me. >> he was a collaborator or and who came in with the whole song, written and produced in his head and needed the execution? >> when was recording batman, we had sheena easton come in, they wrote a song, she was describing what owe ryan was and showing pictures and what it meant to her. he was encouraging her, write your own material. they collaborated on that song together and several others that went on various projects. when he was working with somebody else, it was the same as when he was working alone, flow of ideas. >> i think vanessa, one of the
things prince is known for top of mind, but he did write extraordinary amounts of music for other people, he gave some of his best material to others. >> that's right. he wasn't shy about sharing the wealth. he -- you think about the groups even in the movie "purple rain." think about the time, all of these, vanity 6, an polonia, go on and on, sinead o'connor, sheena easton, all of all the artists he was willingly graciously saying i want to work with you so you can actually realize your fullest potential which is a beautiful thing. >> in a lot of ways think about so many just losing them both in the same year, some parallels to david why, collaborations people didn't know, luther vandross. integral to his process and sort of if you think about it, hearen fluen fluences. he had incredible
collaborations. absolutely, yeah. you know, whenever he admired an artist he would talk about them glowingly. it wasn't like he was in a bubble. he knew exactly. the most surprising thing for me, recording a keyboard part, i'm thinking that sounds like -- before i think it, do you like gary newman? he found influences from all over. >> did you get a sense who his favorite artists were? >> he had a lot of favorite artists. there were always people for the reasons that they were incredibly amazing musicians like gave garibaldi, from tower power, he was an amalgam of all of these people he loved so ump in. whenever a knnew artist would ce out, he wanted to hear, may or may not be kind. >> it's brilliant when you can be influenced by another artist but never imitate them. everything he did sounded like
prince. wait a minute, that is prince, i get that. thank you very much, chuck. appreciate you being here. i think vanessa, you'll stay. next, we will have a live report from outside paisley park. but first, little "nothing compares to you." ♪ it's been seven hours 13 days ♪ ♪ sense you took your love away over♪
♪ that is prince playing "will my guitar gently wes" in ensemble at the rock 'n' roll hall of fame induction ceremony 2004. amazing. great singer, producer, performer, prince was, a hell of a guitar player. one of the many instruments prince mastered. amazing, one of the best performances prince ever did. ron mott outside paisley park, prince's estate in chanhassen, minnesota. what can you tell us, first of all? any further information about the cause of death and also give us a sense of what's happening there where you are. >> reporter: hi, joy.
i have not heard any updated information about any potential cause of death here. we know that he fill ill after that concert in atlanta on his way back here to the minneapolis twin cities area on friday morning. had to make an emergency landing in illinois. but as you mentioned, we are at paisley park, studio his home is here. if you can zoom in, we'll see all of the purple, flowers, violet, flowers, balloons and panning further to left, there are reporters and a lot of fans coming out here and a lot of people, the word used to describe prince, the word most agree on is transcendent. his music transcended music, generations. a lot of people bringing families and small children. the root, as you can see, is closed but that hasn't stopped the flow of people coming in here. at this point, 200, 300 people, maybe more and parking cars wherever they can find a spot and walking in some cases good distances to come here to pay
their respects, many bearing flowers and cards and things of that sort. if you were a kid who grew up and came of age in the early '80s like i did, hard not to be infected about i this man's music. he was, in a word, a genius. he had a sense and a unique style that set him apart from just about anybody. i do remember, as a teenager, wondering, who is going to win this battle that seemed to develop between michael jackson and prince in terms of who was sort of the big of the pop star on the planet. and not sure who won that, but both of those artists were unique in their own way. listening to some of his music in the past couple of months, "purple rain," one of fi favorites, listened to it last night, had no idea this was going to happen today. "purple rain" and "diamonds and pearls" and "little red corvette," songs resonant for people who grew up in the '80s, a shock to the system to know this man, 57, still performing, as a few days ago, is no longer with us, joy. >> ron, you mentioned the
michael jackson/prince semi rivalry. it's absolutely true. michael jackson ultimate pop star and prince the dangerous one, right? the more dangerous guy as a kid growing up. in that community where you are there in minnesota, it has to be shocking because he was somebody who did seem to be healthy, he didn't have controversies in terms of never heard things like drug addiction, even to suspect there was any possibility something like this would happen. talk about the level of shock you're hearing in people gathering at paisley park today. >> reporter: well, i think one of the reaps people are hurt by his sudden happen, he was rooted in the community, an anchor for a burgeoning singer/songwriter community in the twin cities. this was the man who blew that up, if you will, and make and put minneapolis and st. paul and the twin cities on the map of artists and music coming out of the area. he anchored himself at audobon and paisley park and have people
come out to tour his studios and home and impromptu parties one point had a nightclub downtown that was very popular and he would occasionally make impromptu visits there. always giving his fans what they wanted. he was accessible but also very reserved, very shy. and it was hard to reconcile those two for someone -- such an introvert to get on stage and just blow all of our socks off with his performances. last season on "snl," remarkable performance, super bowl in '06, halftime show to remember. again, just a shock to the system and the community is hurting because he is an icon of the community but in many respects belonged to the world. >> indeed. ron mott, thank you very much in minnesota. minnesota sports teams are paying tribute to prince as well this evening the twins have turned target field purple. and the vikings tweeted out this image of their logo surrounded by purple rain.
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i can choose any car in the aisle i want- without having to ask anyone. who better to be t boss of you... (patrick 1)than me. i mean, you...us. (vo) go national. go like a pro. ♪ ♪ you don't have to be beautiful ♪ >> one of the great, many great songs in music videos by the artist, prince. he died unexpectedly at age 57. he was found dead at paisley park at his home in minnesota. joining me now on the phone is sway who we all know from mtv. he's the vh1 host of sway in the morning. i want to talk to you
specifically about prince's kicking down the door alongside michael jackson to mtv at a time when black artists were not being played on that network. >> absolutely. by the way, how you doing, joy? >> great to talk to you. bad circumstances but always a pleasure to talk to you. >> i think all music lovers are devastated by the loss of prince. it happened so understand expectedly. we never heard any real news of him being ill. a whole lot of controversy with drugs or anything like that. we're all shocked by it. michael jackson and prince were very instrumental at opening doors at mtv because of the kind of music they made. they made universally liked music. that were able to create a momentum through their music. the early days of prince and michael jackson that was undeniable. it almost became a point where
radio stations or networks like mtv at that time wasn't up on prince, then you kind of didn't have that cool factor that you needed in order to have music channel. and, so, it was inevitable for a guy like prince to break down the doors of mtv. >> it's interesting because prince and michael jackson don't get boxed into this box of black music. he pushed so many envelopes in terms of his presentation and look and pushing lines of gender and boundaries that were revolutionary for a black artist in the early 1980s. talk a bit about that. >> you know, it's always revolutionary when an artist go against the grain and against the status quo. i thought what was revolutionary is a guy like prince could play 27 instruments. >> yes. >> at a time when most artists were contrived and products of
the record company that they were signed to. prince, and michael jackson upheld a tradition of excellence. guys like jimi hendrix and rick james. i'm not sure if it was revolutionary as finally being recognized and acknowledged how great these guys were as artists especially prince. i mean, who do you know that plays 27 instruments, write and compose his own songs and even with the presentation, it was just no boundaries of his creativity. he pushed the envelope. that opened the doors for a lot of artists that we see today like bruno bars or a deangelo or miguel or beyonce. he made it okay for artists to have freedom of expression and not be controlled by record companies as we saw back in the
mid-9'90s when he wrote slave o his face. he was a tremendous musician but also conscious of the business around him and he also was conscious of owning his own and have his own creations. >> absolutely. very well said. i want to bring in the publicists and founder of the brido agency. vanessa is here. talk a bit about that aspect. sway makes a great point. prince pioneered this idea of artists really taking care of their business. >> he pioneered artists become g ing brands. he was a nonconformist in every sense of the word. every artist was inspired by prince. today is a very sad day not only
for music but for what music means to the hearts and souls of people world wide. for me, i believe, that having been exposed to prince's magnificence, his brilliance through my sister cherelle who recorded in minnesota, it's a deep, deep loss and very unexpected. he shattered so many glass ceilings and really paved the way for artists black and white and pushed boundaries that we weren't expected to push. i think that we will likely not see another prince. we will likely not see another creative soul with the depth and with the delibracy that he brought with emverything he did. as i talked to artists prior to coming here that every one of them had a different heart string that was pulled. the gravity of his performance
and his talent runs so, so, so deep. >> you talk about the line between the straight line that goes between a james brown who pioneered a lot of things and prince and took them to another level. it is a bit depressing to say you don't see another artist in that vain. >> i remember seeing him until the studio in minnesota, to sway's point, playing every instrument, singing. there's a level of perfection and he wasn't manufactured. to sway's point, today, artists just see success. they see prince and they want to be that overnight. the sweat equity that it takes to be that, the pedigree that you have to develop to be that is a rarity these days. again, they see success. they see bright lights, grammys, awards. prince didn't care so much about that. he cared about being a wonderful artist and perfecting his craft every single day. >> sway, very briefly, are there artists you see that stamp of
prince in. let me ask you that question, vanessa. >> sway mentioned a couple of people. i think bruno mars is a great example. he brought them on stage. he had a larry graham performing with him. he would have a nile rogers performing with him because he understood in order to be excellent, you have to surround yourself with excellence. i think that's a lesson that a lot of the younger artists would take a page from his book. it's important to know, to understand what it takes to really know your craft, to really build a career, to build a legacy. i think that he was able to do all of that even if 57 years, which is such a short time. >> it's a short time. for a whole generation of us, it does feel like an era has
passed. these artists that are so great, it's a bit frightening to see that going away. >> it is. because, again, it's an anomaly to be that type of artist today. when you look at the whitney's and michael and what they brought to music, we went on a journey with them. it wasn't just about their music, it was about everything around them. the orbit of influence around them. my favorite prince story is when i represented ananda lewis, when that show went away, he called, the founder bob johnson and said i will pay whatever i need to pay because that show is relevant and young people need that show to be on the air. it's that prince that people, you know, really need to know and understand. he used his music as a message vehicle to change the world as many artists of late. i think the artists of today needed to be more collaborative and work together and understand
the togetherness is what makes an impact. that's what so special about michael, prince and some of the artists that we've lost too soon. >> yeah. as people remember prince, we hope they will not just remember the musical icon but the guy who threw that concert the baltimore and the guy who reached out to the family of trayvon martin and his mom to financially support them and emotionally support them and the guy who put the money up for yes we code to make sure young men like trayvon martin could learn to code and app and not just be seen as villains or victims. thank you so much for being here. thank you for hanging out with me in this tough, tough day, a shocking day. one last thing this hour, the new yorker just put out next week's cover and it is purple rain. i'm joy reid. craig melvin picks up our coverage from here.
tonight the world is mourning the loss of pop legend prince. the sudden death of pop legend. prince roger nelson found unresponsive in an elevator in his paisley park estate in suburban minneapolis. the local sheriff investigating the circumstances of his death. the source familiar telling nbc there is no indication of foul play. he had, though, been battling the flu for about three weeks. last week the performer's tour plane made an emergency landing in illinois because he felt ill. he was treated at a hospital in illinois. he was released after three hours. last thursday he performed. performed what would end up being his final official concert. this is a photo from that show