Prince is dead at 57, prompting a look back at the praise that’s been heaped on the musician over the years:
- There are multiple reports that Eric Clapton was once asked what it was like to be the greatest guitar player alive, and he responded, “I don’t know. Ask Prince.”
- Guitarist Steve Vai reportedly once said that, upon hearing Prince cover one of his most popular songs, “Tender Surrender,” his mind was blown. “I almost died!” he reportedly said.
- Rock critic Robert Christgau, when reviewing Prince’s 1980 album Dirty Mind, wrote that the singer had become “the first commercially viable artist in a decade to claim the visionary high ground of Lennon and Dylan and Hendrix (and Jim Morrison), whose rebel turf has been ceded to such marginal heroes-by-fiat as Patti Smith and John Rotten-Lydon. Brashly lubricious where the typical love man plays the lead in ‘He’s So Shy,’ he specializes here in full-fledged f—book fantasies … Mick Jagger should fold up his penis and go home.”
- Quartz points to an interview in which Miles Davis discussed Prince: “His father took him to see James Brown when he was young, he got on the stage and danced with him. He has that, he has Jimi Hendrix, and Marvin Gaye. … He combines all that, all the time. That’s what he is. And his concept on the stage is like Charlie Chaplin.” Davis later compared Prince to Brown, Gaye, Hendrix, and Chaplin again in his 1989 autobiography, this time adding Sly, Little Richard, and Duke Ellington to the mix. “I think Prince’s music is pointing toward the future,” he wrote.
A 2004 video showcases Prince’s brilliance on guitar.
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