Prince is a strange cat, isn’t he? I mean, the dude looks about thirty-four years old when he’s really fifty-four. He’s also quite the erratic diva. Not only did he declare the internet to be “dead“ about two years ago, but he’s got a long history of changing his name from “Prince” to “The Artist formerly known as Prince” to some unpronouncable symbol and then back to “Prince” again. Maybe that’s where P. Diddy gets it from, right?
As odd and diva-esque as Prince often shows himself to be, he’s still an institution. I still love listening to his old tunes like “Raspberry Beret,” “Little Red Corvette,” and (my absolute favorite) “When Doves Cry.” Unfortunately, his new tunes aren’t nearly as catchy and are pretty weak. He’s got a new single out, “Screwdriver,” that proves this point. Still, Prince will always be able to sell concert tickets, and this May, he’s going to be honored honored with the 2013 Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards. So he sat down with Billboard for an interview to promote something indefinite. I don’t know what he’s promoting, actually, because his upcoming album neither has a name nor a release date, so I guess he’s just pimping his awful new single. Here are some excerpts:
He’s very paranoid: He remains adamant about not allowing reporters to record their conversations with him. (“Some in the past have taken my voice and sold it,” he says. “I can’t remember the incident that triggered it and it’s probably best that I don’t.”) And he still frowns at the idea of a reporter taking notes. (“That would be just like texting.”)
Why he turned against his record label: “It was always about Madonna. She was getting paid, but at the same time we were selling more records and selling out concerts on multiple nights.”
On Maroon 5′s cover of “Kiss”: “Why do we need to hear another cover of a song someone else did?” he quips in the interview, noting that he has no problem with artists performing covers during live shows. “Art is about building a new foundation, not just laying something on top of what’s already there.”
Madonna and Prince have always disliked each other, and they’re both divas from the same era, so there’s definitely no surprise that they’ll never be friends, and Prince definitely is one to hold a grudge. He’s probably been stewing over their rivalry for quite some time (while Madge probably hasn’t thought of him in years), and now Prince blames her for making him dislike Warner Brothers when everyone remembers how he wrote “slave” on his face to express his true distaste with corporate music. He’s so fickle.
On the Adam Levine/Maroon 5 bit, I’m guessing that Prince isn’t so much offended that someone remade his song as the fact that he didn’t get a cut of the profits. There’s nothing wrong with a well-covered song (lately, I’ve been going crazy after reaquainting myself with Marilyn Manson’s take on The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams”), but I can also see why Maroon 5 would fail to impress Prince.
Here are some photos of Prince performing in France in 2010 and 2011. He’s got a great stage presence even if he is an incorrigible grouch.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and Billboard