*Today would have been Prince‘s 58th birthday, and while the world is still fresh with grief over the loss of Muhammad Ali, Prince was a heavy weight in a league all his own. Few artists had the magnetism, star power, and showmanship that Prince possessed. He was a member of a tiny group of comparable artists, which included James Brown and Michael Jackson. His live shows were epic, and watching his whirlwind performances was an experience like no other.
Prince was a musician’s musician and a performer’s performer. His talent astounded even his peers. On a stage with other artists, he was a show stealer with audiences watching his every move. Prince was the ultimate artist. He was a virtuoso producer, an arranger and a multi-instrumentalist. You could see all of those aspects of his talent on stage performing his diverse and versatile body of work. Despite his size, his presence dominated every stage he ever set foot upon, even when he was accompanying another artist.
From his theatrical stage designs all the way to his intriguing outfits and hairstyles, he never disappointed. Prince incorporated rehearsed movements with spontaneity making him the coolest, smoothest, slickest, and sexiest performer of his era. He would leap atop the piano, do a little dance, then drop to the floor in a split. Or he would be smooth and mellow as he played the piano and sang in his intense piercing falsetto. He was an incomparable performer, and his brilliance showed inside and out.
So many of his performances were absolute show stoppers, but the one that stands out most for me was Prince’s performance a the 2007 Super Bowl. It just so happened that on that show, he also performed his greatest rendition ever of Purple Rain. And like a scene out of a movie, he performed in the drenching rain. I’m surprised it wasn’t purple. Among the many artists and experts in The Anatomy of the Music Industry, we are grateful to have captured music promoter Michael Nixon’s account of Prince’s first in store retail promotion. Much of the savvy used by experts like Michael Nixon are still relevant today and work in perfect tandem with all of the digital advances available to artists and labels from across the spectrum.
Dr. Logan H. Westbrooks and Ascent Publishing salutes artists like Prince and other past, present and future superstars of the music industry.
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