I don’t believe anyone would dispute the unique FUNK stylings of Prince when it comes to his music. Simply a master musician, he’s been categorized as a “Pop / Rock” artist for the most part. His first release, “For You,” was a refreshing contribution to music. It featured songs like “Soft and Wet” and “Crazy You,” which offered a kind of latent hippie sort of vibe. It was the FUNKY rhythm of his first hit, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” from his second self-titled album, that perked up the ears of the R&B community.
The Prince album also featured the song “I Feel for You,” which was later recorded by FUNK diva Chaka Khan on her album of the same name. As time moved forward and the era of FUNK fazed out, Prince got FUNKIER with his releases Dirty Mind through to Purple Rain. Never delivering music that would put him in any one category, along with his success was a clear passion for the color purple, not the movie mind you – the actual color.
Throughout the years, in addition to Khan, several women have recorded Prince’s music. Me’Lisa Morgan did a cover of “Do Me Baby,” which was a huge R&B hit; and Sinead O’Connor released a version of his song “Nothing Compares to You” that topped the pop charts. The Bangles recorded his track “Manic Monday”; Mica Paris did “If I Love U 2nite”; Cyndi Lauper covered “When U Were Mine”; and Tina Turner did a live cover of his fan favorite “Let’s Pretend We’re Married.” He’s worked with and produced songs for Sheena Easton w/ “Sugar Walls,” as well as helmed production on Carmen Electra’s self-titled only musical release. The man from Minneapolis has even done music for the legendary Mavis Staples and Patti LaBelle, who both have gospel roots, and transitioned into the world of secular music.
Stephanie Mills did a version of his B-Side tune “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore,” but it was Alicia Keys’ cover of the song that got his majesty’s attention. Since then, Keys has channeled Prince in her music on a few of her songs. But none of them has been as profound as her recent single “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart.” Some may say that it’s reminiscent of Prince’s music, some may say there’s no similarity at all. What is very clear that confirms his influence in her musical approach, is the color purple. Although some, for whatever reason, may want to deny that Keys is a disciple of Prince. The purple sea in her video for ‘Broken Heart,’ should put any misnomers to rest. The Purple Passion of Alicia Keys is so FUNKALICIOUS!!!! Check the video below:
And that wraps my purple passion report – as always, keep it FUNKY