Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bittersweet Irony: Prince's Purple Rain Anniversary on Michael's Death

Forever and ever, June 25 may be remembered as the day the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, left this plane for the next. However, the date, June 25, 2009, was important to popular music lovers for another reason. It marked the 25th anniversary of Prince's release of Purple Rain. Fellow writer, Prof. Kim, both remarked on the irony of a legend's death and a legend's anniversary.

On Facebook, Professor Kim reminded members of the rivalry between the two superstars, MJ and Prince, that was hyped in the media as Purple Rain made its debut. I've seen long forum debates about who's better, the King of Pop or the Prince of Funk. Actually, their styles are only similar on the surface, so why compare?

I grew up loving Michael Jackson, but in my late teens and beyond became a Prince addict. Later Prince won an Oscar for the song, "Purple Rain," which was the theme of his movie by the same name, and he deserved that Oscar.

Entertainment Weekly asked readers to share their memories of "Purple Rain."
But you tell us, readers. What are your best memories of Purple Rain? The first time you saw the movie, heard the Doves Cry, realized He Would Die 4 U? Did you ever know a more Darling Nikki? Tell it all, below. Cuz honey, I know I know times are changing, that it's time we reach out for something new, but the Purple One is forever, and respect must be paid. (EW)
I remember thinking that Prince was one freaky genius when I heard the music and that he could use some acting lessons when I saw the movie, which had some disturbing scenes. Domestic violence is always disturbing.

Yes, I am a purple hippie, so much so that my own children make fun of me about it. Consequently, I had to acknowledge the 25th anniversary of Purple Rain.


msladydeborah said...


I think that Prince and MJ might of recognized each other's talent the way that game recognizes game.
You see the obvious and it is all good.

The two definitely prallel each other in many ways in terms of their talent and they both have/had some very peculiar ways about them.

btw, my favorite song from Purple Rain is When Doves Cry. I like that cut far better than the title track.

PPR_Scribe said...

That is so wild. I had no idea about this anniversary.

You know, I find it so interesting that the MSM largely pitted these two against each other, forgetting the previous rivalry: The Jacksons and the Osmonds.

That was a far more relevant contrast to me, as it contained such stark racial elements.

As a fellow Prince fan, I have many Purple Rain memories. Perhaps I will do a whole post about them...

Good and plenty said...

Love, Love, Love Prince (and Michael). Purple Rain played at a movie theater near my house and my roommate and I went to see it a few times. I was teaching in a high school at the time and the girls were ga-ga over Prince. I amazed them all when I could do some of Prince's moves and that I knew all of his songs (I was only 30 but to teenagers that's old).
Prince, Michael, James Brown are/were cut from a similar cloth to me in that their talent could not be denied, the were/are lithe, lean, little dervishes, and fanciful. ENTERTAINERS! INNOVATORS! And their music makes you have to move and transcends their specific backgrounds to touch everyone.

Vérité Parlant said...

Thanks for the comments. There was a rumor that Prince was supposed to do a small performance at a MN club on June 26. He didn't show up. If there was any truth to it and he'd intended to do it at first, I think it was a good PR move for him not to do it the day after Michael Jackson's death.

SeeNote said...

Thanks for the insight provided in this post! For Purple rarities, I hope you'll drop by my spot at

Happy Easter with Peace and Love2tha9s,