April 21 is the fourth anniversary of Prince's death, but his music and spirit is still alive. To honor the funky and frisky and ever-innovative artist, take a deep dive into his many-splendored catalog.
Hoopla's offerings span his entire career, including these standouts:
We encourage you do some multitasking and read these tributes to Prince's life and legacy while listening to his magnificent music.
Sheila E.: “I met Prince when I was a girl who had dreams of the impossible, when he was a boy who was bold, brash and incredible. We became friends, and more than we knew we would ever be, to each other and to the world. We drifted together, apart and forever in a sea of sound and energy that I had never known existed until discovered through the boldness and brashness of the music and a man I came to love, admire and respect. We, all of us who worked, played and created with this Prince, often experienced a certainty that, for a moment or forever, together, we had achieved the impossible and landed upon a foundation that would be everlasting – if not in reality, definitely in our memories.”
James Samuel “Jimmy Jam” Harris III: “The Twin Cities were a great place to grow up, musically. It was a great smorgasbord. There was a vibrant arts scene, and it was very inspiring. And there were people he knew. Prince liked being in a place where he was comfortable, and he was comfortable there. It didn't surprise me that he never left Minnesota. We lived Minneapolis. And he was always very fashionable. I remember when he came up with wearing the purple trench coat in the '80s. He just always looked like a rock star. He had this big Afro, and even if you didn't know who he was, you'd just look at him and think, 'That kid has to be a star.' ”
Andre Cymone (member of Prince's pre-Revolution band): “His legacy? I think his music is his immortality. That sums it up. It’s hard to say; he did so much. He recorded so much music. What I remember most is just his personality. There was just a lot more to him than what people saw. I’ve heard people say it; everybody who really knew him knows he was a funny dude. Very funny. He had a very interesting sense of humor. As kids we had a lot of fun. To be able to do what we loved and be able to actually be successful at it, especially at the age we were at, it was like a dream come true I’m sure for him and definitely for me.”
Neko Case: “Saying that I 'love' Prince just doesn't cover it. Prince was the Bowie of my generation, and they were the best of all generations. Sigh. It makes me shiver when I think of all the people who might not have found the bravery to make art if it weren't for Prince and Bowie...Prince wrote songs re: love + lust + human emotion. Sang TO women, not at them. He valued us. Showed men it was cool to SHOW feelings. HUGE.”
Barack Obama: “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer. 'A strong spirit transcends rules,' Prince once said – and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.”
Stevie Wonder: “Prince's music was so picturesque that even I could see it. I could see his boss Mr. McGee, who thought Prince was never [amount to anything]. I could see Old Man Johnson's farm. I could feel that 'Purple Rain' too. Prince's songs were that vivid, the images were that strong...By following his own path, Prince took music to a whole other place, like the Beatles did. He wanted to change the way things were, like Marvin Gaye did. When you do that, you have to be very sure of yourself.”
Justin Timberlake: “It would be silly to say that he inspired our music...It's beyond that. He's somewhere within every song I've ever written. I am sad, but I will smile when I think of every second that I had the fortune of being in his company. We have lost our greatest living musician. But his music will never die.”
Questlove: “He was singular in his music – he was his own genre – and that same singularity extended to everything in his life...Prince was a great drummer, and he was always marching to his own beat.”
P.S.: On Tuesday, April 21 at 9 pm, CBS will air Let's Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince, featuring Earth, Wind & Fire, Foo Fighters, Beck, and many more.