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.
A instrumentalist who mixes rock with psychedelic, Beck has covered several Prince songs in concert.
2. Lenny Kravtiz
3. Lady Gaga
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."
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 MTV.com
5. St. Vincent
According to Spin, St. Vincent cited Prince as a "prime" influence for her debut album.
6. The Weeknd
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.
No surprise here, right?
8. Frank Ocean
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.
9. Justin Timberlake
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.
10. Janelle Monae
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.
“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.
12. Andre 3000
Outkast's frontman has been inspired by Prince, telling Vice Sign “O” The Time was one of the greatest album ever made.
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."
14. Alicia Keys
In an interview with Complex, Keys referred to Prince as a legend and noted the power Purple Rain had on the industry.
15. Pharrell Williams
According to BET, Pharrell's music is filled with nods to Prince.