Prince Remembered

Prince Remembered

Prince Rogers Nelson left this universe behind on April 21, 2016, leaving fans worldwide in mourning. Maybe nowhere in the world has felt this loss as profoundly than Prince's home state of Minnesota. And to The Current, a radio station from Minnesota Public Radio, Prince was more than an artist, he was our friend. That's why, in memory of the Purple One, we’re sharing the many conversations we’ve had with musicians, critics, reporters and more about Prince: his life, his music and his legacy.

Episodes

January 7, 2020 11 min
Taja Sevelle was one of the first artists on the Paisley Park record label. She recorded the Prince-penned "Wouldn't You Love To Love Me?" (on her self-titled 1987 release); Prince's version was on the recently released Prince 'Originals' album. Sevelle, whose birthday is today, January 7, spoke with The Current's Andrea Swensson about Prince's mentorship and his fervent belief and support in her se...
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Matt Fink - aka Dr. Fink - was one of Prince's first keyboard players and is a member of the Revolution. In conversation with Andrea Swensson, Dr. Fink reflects on performing, recording and touring with Prince. 'He was always transforming himself into something different with every record,' Fink says. 'There was always something new and original and exploratory.'
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Actor, comedian and musician Fred Armisen ('Saturday Night Live'; 'Portlandia'; 'Late Night with Seth Meyers') discovered Prince shortly after the release of '1999.' In a conversation with The Current's Andrea Swensson, Armisen talks about how he discovered Prince and became an instant fan for life. 'Prince really became my favorite artist,' Armisen says. 'I really soaked up every lyr...
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Production and lighting designer LeRoy Bennett began working with Prince in 1980 and continued working with him until 1994. 'I was blessed that I started my life and this career with him,' says Bennett, who has gone on to work with such artists as Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. In conversation with The Current's Andrea Swensson, Bennett reflects on his longtime friendship and working relationship with Prince. 'He push...
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Drummer and guitarist Jellybean Johnson came up as a musician in North Minneapolis, playing with - and competing with - Prince. Johnson is a founding member of The Time, and in this conversation with The Current's Andrea Swensson, Johnson reflects on Prince's influence in shaping the iconic sound and look of bands like the Time, the Revolution, Vanity 6 and more.
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Bobby Z first met Prince in the mid-'70s when the two were teenagers, and Bobby went on to become drummer for the Revolution. In conversation with Andrea Swensson, Bobby Z offers a philosophical look at Prince's incredible life and career. "Prince was hearing all the music in his head like Beethoven or other classical musicians," Bobby Z says. "He was kind of reborn in all these characters throughout the ages.&#...
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Prince's longtime collaborator and keyboard player, Lisa Coleman, joined Prince's band in the early 1980s and became a member of the Revolution. Coleman spoke to The Current's Andrea Swensson about her time working with Prince, both in the studio and on the road. "Hang around Prince, and stuff was going to happen," Coleman recalls. "And it did. I never met anybody that really followed through on everything t...
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Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and musician Nile Rodgers talks to Andrea Swensson about his friendship with and the influence of Prince. 'Prince made such an impression on the world,' Rodgers says, 'that it was one of those magical forces that was undeniable.'
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Over the course of his career, Prince worked with many talented musicians, but one of the closest relationships he had with any of his musicians was with Sheila E. An iconic drummer, singer songwriter and performer Sheila E. has had an incredible career with Prince and on her own.
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Brittany Howard, solo artist and frontwoman of Alabama Shakes, talks to The Current's Andrea Swensson about discovering Prince as a youngster and about how much Prince continues to inspire her work to this day. Howard also tells the story of the time Prince jumped onstage with Alabama Shakes at a show at Paisley Park and played 'the most epic solo.'
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Prince's first guitarist, Dez Dickerson, talks with The Current's Andrea Swensson, taking us back to the early days, into the recording studio, and from the smallest clubs to the biggest stages. "From the very beginning, Prince had a clear idea of what he wanted, how he wanted it, how he wanted us to coalesce as a band, what he wanted to say, and what message that would send," Dickerson says. Listen to the complete ...
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November 27, 2019 52 min
In the early 1980s, Audio Engineer Peggy McCreary contributed significantly to several projects from the massively creative mind of Prince, including Vanity 6's self-titled debut album, The Time's sophomore effort 'What Time is It,' and Prince's '1999,' 'Purple Rain' and 'Parade.' The Current's Andrea Swensson connected with McCreary for a fascinating conversation about McCreary's...
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The Los Angeles Times' music critic Robert Hilburn was the only journalist to interview Prince about the 1999. In fact, Prince would not grant interviews to journalists again for several years after that, making Hilburn one of the last to speak to Prince before a lengthy period of silence from the artist. In researching Prince: The Story of 1999, Andrea Swensson had a chance to talk to Robert Hilburn, who spoke about meeting Pr...
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October 23, 2019 15 min
Film director Albert Magnoli describes the events that led to his first meeting with Prince, and the making of the film 'Purple Rain.'
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September 3, 2019 21 min
Legendary drummer Bobby Z of The Revolution sat down with Jim McGuinn to talk about working for Prince and what made the 1982 album '1999' an essential masterpiece that catapulted Prince to megastardom. Bobby Z also describes the early years getting to know Prince.
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Sharon Smith-Akinsanya managed marketing of the Prince-inspired nightclub Glam Slam at all three of its locations: Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Miami. In 2017, she sat down with Jay Gabler and Andrea Swensson to talk about running the clubs, working with Prince, and remembering the icon's legacy in Minnesota.
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Michael Holtz was one of Paisley Park's house DJs starting in 2014, and he still plays Paisley Park After Dark events. He tells Erianna Jiles about his time at Paisley Park from his first visits in the '90s up through the present.
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Steve Perry, former frontman of the band Journey, tells the story of how Prince wrote to the band to say he may have been inadvertently inspired by the song 'Faithfully'
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Just before the release of her father's posthumous album 'Don't Play With Love,' Prince's half-sister Sharon Nelson tells The Current how she found their dad's old sheet music, who wrote the "Purple Rain" melody, and why Prince's costumes may have resembled a stripper's.
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Robyne Robinson, former TV news anchor and current MSP Airport director of arts and culture, talks with The Current's Jim McGuinn about her working relationship with Prince, including what it was like to receive new music from the artist, to interview the artist, and when it was time to speak truth -- or not -- to Prince.
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