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15 Current Artists You Didn't Realize Were Influenced By Prince


Music fans have suffered several great losses through 2016, and another artist's passing has left the world grieving and wondering "what now." On April 21, TMZ reported that the legendary Prince was found dead in his Minnesota home early in the morning. This loss not only impacts fans of the "Purple Rain" singer, but the music industry as a whole. After all, the singer had a huge impact on the industry and his peers. And if you don't believe me, just look at the long list of current artists you didn't realize were influenced by Prince.

It's no surprise that a slew of singers and songwriters credit their sound to the pop star. In addition to a wide vocal range, Prince covered a variety of genres through his music. From pop to rock to jazz to funk to hip-hop (yes, hip-hop), the singer's music reached a wide variety of aspiring musicians who wanted to have a similar impact on the world. Even the Queen Bey herself credits Prince for making her the musician she is today. In an interview with Billboard, Beyoncé said she listened to a lot of Prince, which inspired a lot of her musical style. Which totally make sense, because the only person who slayed better than Bey was Prince, right?

From the reigning queen to a breakout boy band star to numerous R&B singers, here are some of the singers that credit their sound to Prince.


Beck performs during the Clive Davis & The Recording Academy's 2016 Pre-Grammy Gala show in Beverly Hills, California, February 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON / AFP / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

A instrumentalist who mixes rock with psychedelic, Beck has covered several Prince songs in concert.

2Lenny Kravtiz

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Recording artist Lenny Kravitz performs onstage during the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Lionel Richie at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)

According to MTV, Kravitz cites Prince as an influence on his career. And that makes sense since the duo performed together in the past.

3Lady Gaga

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Recording artist Lady Gaga performs for students as part of the national It's On Us Week of Action with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Cox Pavilion at UNLV on April 7, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The It's On Us initiative was launched by the White House in 2014 to raise awareness about the importance of preventing sexual assaults on college campuses and supporting survivors of sexual assault. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Though Prince probably influenced Lady Gaga's "who gives a f*ck" attitude, she has confirmed that he played a role in her sound. In an interview with NME Gaga said Prince influenced her music, specifically her hit "Born This Way."


Swedish singer Robyn performs at the Oya Festival on August 8, 2014, in Oslo. AFP PHOTO / NTB SCANPIX / AUDUN BRAASTAD ***NORWAY OUT*** (Photo credit should read Audun Braastad/AFP/Getty Images)

In an interview with MTV, the Swedish pop star praised Prince, saying he was her hero. "He is something as rare as a male artist who never made me feel like an object as a woman even though he’s always been very sexual," she told

5St. Vincent

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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: St. Vincent performs during Contemporary Color, Conceived By David Byrne at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on June 27, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

According to Spin, St. Vincent cited Prince as a "prime" influence for her debut album.

6The Weeknd

Singer The Weeknd performs on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON / AFP / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

When discussing his career with Complex, The Weeknd cited Prince as a vocal inspiration. He also added that his infamous lyrics, "when she put it in her mouth, she can’t seem to reach my…" is a subtle tribute to the singer.


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SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Beyonce (R) performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Matt Cowan/Getty Images)

No surprise here, right?

8Frank Ocean

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MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 14: Artist Frank Ocean performs during the 2014 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 14, 2014 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

When he first stepped on the scene, several publications referred to Frank Ocean as the new Prince. Given his talents and love for covering Prince songs, that's not a huge stretch.

9Justin Timberlake

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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: Recording artist Justin Timberlake speaks onstage at the iHeartRadio Music Awards which broadcasted live on TBS, TNT, AND TRUTV from The Forum on April 3, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for iHeartRadio / Turner)

Timberlake's Instagram tribute to Prince proves how much the singer impacted him. In his tribute, Timberlake wrote that Prince is "somewhere within every song I've ever written." Beautiful.

10Janelle Monae

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MIAMI, FL - MARCH 20: Janelle Monae performs onstage at 11th Annual Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival - Day 2 at Sunlife Stadium on March 20, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mychal Watts/Getty Images for Jazz in the Gardens)

The minute she steps onto a stage, it's clear that Monae is inspired by Prince. But in an interview with Billboard, the singer revealed that Prince was a mentor. "It's a beautiful thing to have a friend — someone who cares about your career, and wants to see you go far and to push boundaries and shake up the world — give whatever they possibly can to the cause," she said of the singer.


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LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 24: Miguel performs at adidas Originals NMD Concert at a private location on March 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“There’s no way Prince could not be a musical influence of mine," Miguel told Entertainment Weekly of the singer. "I grew up not only looking up to him as a musician but as an icon, someone who was pushing the boundaries in his art." It probably doesn't hurt that he has been compared to the icon on multiple occasions.

12Andre 3000

Andre Benjamin arrives at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards on February, 21, 2015, in Santa Monica, California. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ (Photo credit should read ADRIAN SANCHEZ- GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Outkast's frontman has been inspired by Prince, telling Vice Sign “O” The Time was one of the greatest album ever made.


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In an interview with OK player, D'Angleo recalled the moment Prince inspired him. "I remember we had the album [I Wanna Be Your Lover], and my brothers were just enamored by this guy," he told the publication. "They told me, “He plays everything, he writes everything, he’s singing everything”, so I was hooked from then on. I learned how to play every song on that album, note for note, at five years old."

14Alicia Keys

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SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 23: Recording artist Alicia Keys performs during the Starbucks Annual Shareholders Meeting on March 23, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. During the meeting the meeting the company introduced a Starbucks Rewards prepaid Visa debit card and a revamped mobile app (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

In an interview with Complex, Keys referred to Prince as a legend and noted the power Purple Rain had on the industry.

15Pharrell Williams

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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: Recording artist Pharrell Williams speaks onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Forum on April 3, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartRadio / Turner)