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It’s been 8,448 hours and 13 days since you took your love away… One year later, we are still coming to grips with the fact that Prince is no longer with us. Much has come to light since the icon died on April 21, 2016. We’ve learned of his many secret charitable donations, his massive vault of unreleased music and what he was doing in the months leading up to his death.
We’ve heard from artists who were influenced by his music and are seeing the impact his uncompromising attitude toward art had on future generations of musicians.
VOLUME host Alan Light, who penned the Purple Rain biography Let’s Go Crazy, tells us what he has realized in the 365 days since Prince died.
For one, Light realized how despite Prince’s otherworldly, superhuman persona, he was undeniably a human with flesh and bones.
He also talked about the legacy Prince leaves behind.
“What I hope other artists will take from his example is the fearlessness, is the bravery, and is the fact that being an artist means taking chances and it means sometimes disappointing people or at least defying their expectations of you.
As we know, the business side of that kind of dominated so much of the last few decades of his life, but you have to remember this was a guy who before he ever made a record as a teenage kid from Minneapolis was turning down offers from record companies that wouldn’t give him complete creative control.
“What I hope other artists will take from his example is the fearlessness, is the bravery, and is the fact that being an artist means taking chances and it means sometimes disappointing people or at least defying their expectations of you.” — Alan Light
You grew up in the midwest, you’re 16, 17 years old, Columbia Records wants to sign you, and you say, ‘No,’ because you want to be in charge of everything about your music — the assurance and the confidence that comes with that. Even when he made his first record he was offered that Maurice White from Earth, Wind and Fire would produce the record. He sort of modeled his live act on Earth, Wind and Fire. He said, No. I need to produce my record.’ He had never produced a record but said, ‘If I’m going to make one, I have to produce it. I can’t have somebody else do that.’
That was there from the beginning. So the fact that it turned into the struggles with the record company, and the struggle with the Internet, and all of these things, that wasn’t some big change for him. That was who he always was. And as crazy as it sometimes seemed when he would go off about Warner Bros. or when he would write “slave” on his face or the name change or things that people all made fun of him for, the fact is ten years later that’s what the whole record industry is talking about. Who controls the music, who owns it? Who decides when and how it’s released? What is the payment? All of the things that he was talking about, he couldn’t foresee what all of that would mean, but at the heart of that, he was looking at something that became everything about the music business in the years that followed.
So to go back to the beginning of that, what I hope that people will learn from that is: It is that hard, but you have to believe in it. Being an artist means believing in it absolutely. Being willing to fight for that. Being willing to take chances for that. Being able to risk having people laugh at you. If it’s really important, then it’s more important than anything else. And he lived that all the way through.
That’s the thing above anything, above any single piece of music or one record or one thing you can point to, I think that spirit and that approach is what will really survive.”
SiriusXM is honoring Prince this the weekend with special programming on VOLUME (CH. 106). The Groove (Ch. 50) and 80s on 8 (Ch. 8) will both be airing songs from Prince and songs he wrote for other artists as well as special tributes throughout each day.
VOLUME’s Prince Tribute Specials
Feedback & Debatable
Friday 4/21 7-10 am ET/ 4-7 pm ET: Hear guests affiliated with Prince will call in with tributes and memories
The Prince Roundtable
Friday, 4/21 @ 7:00-8:30 PM ET
Saturday 4/22 @ 10:00 AM–11:30 AM ET
Sunday 4/23 @ 1:30-3:00 PM ET
For a free 30-day trial, check out http://www.siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog