Prince, perhaps the greatest musician and showman of his generation, passed away on April 21 at the age of 57. Here’s legendary jazz artist Miles Davis describing his unique appeal:
“James Brown—his father took him 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 stage persona, that’s Charlie Chaplin.”
In his 1989 autobiography, Davis expanded:
Prince is from the school of James Brown … but Prince got some Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix and Sly in him, also, even Little Richard He’s a mixture of all those guys and Duke Ellington. He reminds me, in a way, of Charlie Chaplin, he and Michael Jackson … I think Prince’s music is pointing toward the future.