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Prince's Best Moments In Pop Culture

Ralph Bristout

 // Apr 21, 2016

Prolific, Prince's silvery pop star spawned notable descriptions on social media today (April 21), including everything from legend to iconoclast, and American hero. But quite frankly, Prince lived through the music. As the world marks the passing of one of music's iconic performers, here, we look back at the many notable moments that Prince presented to pop culture, on and off the stage.

Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show

Headlining the Super Bowl XLI halftime show in 2007, Prince turned the biggest stage in America into a Paisley Park outdoor barbecue. Erupting the Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida in purple bliss, he performed a medley of records such as "Let's Go Crazy," Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower," and the Foo Fighters' "Best of You." But nothing compared to when he closed things out with the iconic "Purple Rain." It was said that a downpour ensued during the performance, but watching Prince bring down the house, it's almost as if his aura barricaded the rain drops from even touching the stage. Since then, no show has come close to this one.

Stealing the Show On "New Girl"

In 2014, Prince made a rare cameo on a Season 3 episode of “New Girl” and completely stole the show. Appearing as himself, the singer played mediator during a disagreement between Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson). What makes this story even better is the fact that Prince appeared on the show because he was a big fan. "He contacted us last season because he's a huge fan," said "New Girl" executive producer Brett Baer to E! News at the time. "He knows everything about the show. He contacted Zooey [Deschanel] and Hannah [Simone] directly and asked to do the show. We couldn't work it out last year. But when the Super Bowl thing was floated, it was perfect timing."

New Girl 3x14 - Jess & Nick meet Prince
Ju Wanna Watch

That "Chappelle's Show" Skit

"Game: Blouses"

As the ultimate television moment, Dave Chappelle brilliantly illustrated Charlie Murphy's retelling of a game of basketball that found him playing against Prince and the Revolution. Prince would later use a photo of Chappelle, dressed as the Purple One, from the sketch as the artwork for his 2013 single, "Breakfast Can Wait." Prince later confirmed the skit was a true story. "I didn't make them, but we did have pancakes after," he admitted.

"Purple Rain, Purple Rain"

In 1984, Prince cemented his musical immortality in the film "Purple Rain" and the soundtrack album of the same name. The pseudo autobiographical film, which was set in the Minneapolis club scene, and hit-laden album shot him straight into the middle of pop culture's radar. Starring in the film, alongside Apollonia, The Time, Clarence Williams III, and his band The Revolution, Prince's masterpiece grossed over $65 million at the box office and the soundtrack album spent 24 weeks atop the album chart and sold over 13 million copies. Ultimately, Purple Rain was Prince’s world and everyone lived in it.

Purple Rain - Trailer
warnervod

Missing “We Are The World”

Music’s biggest stars appeared on the 1985 all-star charity single, “We Are The World.” Everyone appeared, but Prince. As the story goes, Prince didn’t want to sing on the Quincy Jones-produced record, but offered to play guitar instead. Jones, taken aback by Prince’s stance, later responded, “I don’t need him to fucking play guitar!” And so, Prince didn’t show up to the recording session of the song, which featured everyone from Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Bob Dylan, and more. Prince failed to show up to the session, leading several newspapers to speculate on the reason for his absence. Despite not appearing on the song, Prince contributed an exclusive track with The Revolution called “4 the Tears In Your Eyes” for the album. 10 years later, at the 1995 American Music Awards, he gave the ultimate Prince response to Jones.

The Assless Jumpsuit At the 1991 MTV Music Awards

At the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, Prince gave the world a theatrical performance of "Gett Off," a song off 1991's Diamonds and Pearls. Of course, being the artiste that he is, the pop-rock juggernaut did so while sporting a yellow jumpsuit with the back displaced. Giving not a flying f...eel, he blazed the stage and left everyone in awe. Unarguably, the wildest performance televised.

Prince Performs "Gett Off" at the 1991 VMAs | MTV News
MTV News

Speech At the 2000 Soul Train Awards

In 2000, Prince stepped onto the Soul Train Awards stage to receive an honor for his artistic contribution in music, but left with a poignant speech on self-empowerment.

Prince on the Soul Train awards in 2000
Annie Christian

Rivalry With Michael Jackson

During his lifetime, Michael Jackson never really had any formal rival or nemesis. But the most notable that became the industry's worst kept secret was Prince. Throughout the 1980s, these two went head-to-head behind the scenes. However, neither artists have ever confirmed it. In a famous interview with Chris Rock in 1997, Prince denied the rumors. "Not to me," he told the comedian in regards to the rumored rivalry. Once again fanning the rumors, in a separate interview he told an audience during a press conference, "We should chill, because [MJ] may know something that you don't know."

PRINCE talks about MICHAEL JACKSON in a box ring
Harrison Garrett

2004 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction

He performed with Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards earlier in the year, but months later at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of George Harrison, Prince joined Tom Petty, Steve Winwood and Jeff Lynne to perform a powerful cover of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others -- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Sharing Stage With James Brown And Michael Jackson in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Although they were long thought to be rivals (see above), Prince and Michael Jackson joined forces in 1983 for James Brown, who snagged them onstage to perform (not together) during a show at the Beverly Theater in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson, Prince & James Brown
Emma Keis Byrialsen

The Time He Kicked Kim Kardashian Off The Stage

On February 7, 2011, Prince held a concert at Madison Square Garden. As Kim Kardashian watched from the front of the audience, Prince decided to bring her onstage for a little dance session. But when Kim K shied away from two-stepping with His Royal Purpleness, she was kicked off the stage in a mere few seconds. Prince don't play that.

Prince kicks Kim Kardashian off stage FULL VIDEO
Adoratious

"This Could Be Us"

Despite deeming the Internet as "over," Prince, who always exudes cool, revitalized the popular "This Could Be Us" meme for a single off his 37th studio album, Art Official Age. The track, fittingly titled “This Could Be Us,” was released with the viral photo of Prince and "Purple Rain" co-star Apollonia Kotero.

Prince - THIS COULD BE US [OFFICIAL AUDIO]
Warner Bros. Records

The Passport Photo

Enough said here.

The Time He Conducted A Press Conference In Music

Before his headlining gig as halftime show ringleader, Prince held a very special NFL Super Bowl press conference. Just like the actual halftime show, he set the standard for press appearances.

Prince Superbowl Press Conference Performance
Triv Magazine
Video
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