David Bowie. Merle Haggard. George Martin. Phife. Glenn Frey – 2016 has been exceptionally cruel and brutal in taking away some of our most universally beloved musicians and cultural icons.
This morning, it unfortunately added to its list: After rumors of health problems – and a death scare just days before – Prince died in his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. TMZ first reported the news; the AP shortly after confirmed it. He was just 57 years old. No official cause of death has been reported.
Prince wasn't just a brilliant musician and performer in the worlds of funk/rock/pop/genres of his own making – he was certainly those things, and his mythical, genius music was always leading, rarely following. He was a true individual, unencumbered by expectations or restrictions. He was utterly, completely himself and, as a result, became an inspiration for millions of others to be weird, to be sensual, to be undefinable, to be themselves. Like Bowie, being strange had a sensual swagger with Prince. For so many, he made it cool to be different.
So, so cool.
An image stuck in my head – outside of his incredible career as an artist, on stages and on screen, obviously – is "West Wing" actress Allison Janney freaking out at the 2015 Golden Globes seeing Prince take the stage. The man was so cool, so himself, that he was a celebrity to even celebrities, the brightest star in rooms filled with stars.
And that's not even including his actual performances. The man didn't take the stage or screen; he possessed it and every eyeball and eardrum within distance. He was a force of nature – so much that, when performing with a literal force of nature at the Super Bowl, he was utterly unfazed.
The day of the 2007 Super Bowl, the NFL called Prince to warn him of a downpour in Miami.
His response: '"Can you make it rain harder?" — Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) April 21, 2016
So, in honor of Prince – and to do something other than cry or stare off into the distance and contemplate life – let's share in some great Prince moments gathered up for your enjoyment (the pickings are unfortunately slim due to Prince's copyright diligence). Let's take some time to remember the man – as if we could ever forget him.
Listen to The Current
Minneapolis radio station The Current, beginning at 1 p.m., is going wall-to-wall Prince. If you don't have any songs or records on iTunes-hand, it'd be a good place to get your tribute fix.
The 2007 Super Bowl halftime show
A 2004 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison
Prince performing "Purple Rain"
Prince's 2004 Summerfest show
WISN has dug up some footage from Prince's 2004 gig at Summerfest. Certainly check that out here.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.