10 Music Stars We Wouldn't Have Without Prince
Several outlets have dubbed this songwriter and rapper the new, self-made Prince, because of his skill with sexualized lyrics and fresh approach to R&B, but Ocean has never been out for the throne. The Channel Orange artist told GQ that the first time he listened to Prince's "The Beautiful Ones," he knew he wanted to write and perform music.
Aside from her 2013 surprise album, which includes the track "Rocket" – a song that PEOPLE classified as "a Prince-meets-D'Angelo slow jam" – that is heavily influenced by the late singer, Beyoncé has also performed alongside the icon at The Grammys and even belted out a rendition of Prince's "The Beautiful Ones" during a show.
Even more humble than Ocean is R&B singer Miguel, who also earned comparisons to Prince with his 2012 album Kaleidoscope Dream. While Miguel isn't afraid to take vocal and sartorial risks, like Prince, he would never put himself on the same live as the Purple Rain creator – going as far to say that he is "offended" for Prince by the comparisons.
As an eccentric performer, talented at creating her own distinct blend of rock, it's no surprise St. Vincent has earned many comparisons to The Purple One, and these are comparisons that the Grammy winner has admittedly worked for. St. Vincent has shared that she is often inspired by Prince, especially in regards to her fourth album, the vibey, funky and self-titled St. Vincent.
Cool stage costumes aside, the influence Prince had on Monáe is evident in her equally surreal lyrics and crazy compelling stage presence (those moves!).
For his first solo album, Jonas revealed in an interview with Fuse that his new sound – arguably different from the Jonas Brothers' music – was inspired by a slew of his favorite artists, including Prince. "The sound of the album is kind of an alternative pop/RampB feel," the "Jealous" singer explained. "I've got soul as my roots in the vocal space, and then taking Stevie Wonder, Prince and flipping [that sound] on its head with some of its newer influences like The Weeknd and Jhené Aiko and stuff like that that I'm really inspired by."
In a Facebook Q&A, the American Idol veteran wrote of her then-upcoming album Stronger, "This album was influenced by Prince, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow, Radiohead and there's a little bit of a country vibe/influence on a couple of songs." That's an eclectic mix!
The "Loser" singer has said he owes a lot to Prince, with his unique funk masterpieces acting as a major influence on Beck's own creative choices for albums like 1999's Midnite Vultures. The alt-rock artist got to thank Prince in person for his continuing help at the 2015 Grammys, where Prince presented Beck with the award for album of the year.
The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) has said that his smooth, falsetto singing style was majorly influenced by the music of Prince. This is a comparison that the ears can't deny when you listen to the two artists back-to-back.