tv With All Due Respect MSNBC April 21, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
tonight the world is mourning the loss of pop legend prince. the sudden death of pop legend. prince roger nelson found unresponsive in an elevator in his paisley park estate in suburban minneapolis. the local sheriff investigating the circumstances of his death. the source familiar telling nbc there is no indication of foul play. he had, though, been battling the flu for about three weeks. last week the performer's tour plane made an emergency landing in illinois because he felt ill. he was treated at a hospital in illinois. he was released after three hours. last thursday he performed. performed what would end up being his final official concert. this is a photo from that show
at atlanta's fox theater. he apologized for cancelling his sold out concert a week prior. fans say he did not appear to be sick. they said his voice did crackle a bit when he spoke. it did not impact his singing. he ended with three encores. he didn't perform saturday again at paisley park trying to waive off any concerns about his health. tonight, fans all over the world remembering the singer's expansive legacy. he was just 5'2", but he was a giant in the entertainment world. he released some 39 studio albums. of course, it was this one, 1984's "purple rain" that made him a household name. he was constantly breaking news ground over a career that spanned more than 40 years.
he was a 2004 music hall of famer, a 7 time grammy award winner. he won a golden globe. he won an oscar as well. more than 100 million records sold worldwide. he mentored new artists. he was influenced heavily by the god father of soul, the beetles, jimi hendrix. he was famously private, mysterious. his battles with the record industry was well documented. notably in 1993 when he changed his name to that symbol during the dispute with warner brothers. last year he performed with
stevie wonder. today president obama calling him quote, one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time. as well as a virtuoso instrumentalist and electrifying performer. fans gathering outside paisley park, outside his home there. hugging and it is, we're told, poignantly raining there at paisley mark. a makeshift memorial at that estate. at the apollo, nothing compares to you. the team was reportedly single little red corvette in the clubhouse.
he was the face of mtv and carson, my wife and i were talking earlier about, you know, back in the '80s, prince videos on mtv were cause to stop whatever you were doing and watch and sing along and dance along if you could. he will most sorely be missed. what will you miss, sir? >> i don't know where to begin, craig. like you said in the open, he's 5'2" but he was a giant. my time at mtv with the slogan of "i want my mtv." it was because of people like prince and what he was doing that was the reason you wanted your mtv. we have lost a lot of musicians recently, tragically too. this one is different. how many people can say they really invented a sound and left the sound. that's what he did.
prolifically musical. he played every instrument possible. most guys that did that or artists that did that did it because they couldn't sing. he had one of the greatest voices in music history. if you look at social media, the impact far and wide from kiss to katy perry. everything and genre and age group in between shows the impact. then you throw losing the impact of somebody so globally loved at 57 so quickly, you've got the biggest story in news. >> i've seen a number of live shows. the best live show i have ever seen s seen, hands down. 2004. i was second row. what was just as impressive as you mention the sheer number of
instruments that he played, he had nine or ten costume changes as well. became a fashion icon. >> i mean, he was all of it. he was notoriously late which was typical. he wasn't really around in my era of mtv as pop was exploid explo exploding. prince was on. he showed up one day on trl about two minutes before we went off the air. we were all like, your call time was an hour ago. he said, i don't wear a watch. he doesn't believe in time. that's who he was. he was eclectic. it was on his terms.
that's what made him so special. musically live, there was nobody better. >> before i let you go, i've got to think there's a treasure-trove of unreleased music at paisley park that's going to blow our mind for the next 10, 20 years. do you know anything about that? >> i don't. i believe his autobiography was set to be released next year. i can't confirm this. i can only imagine and heard there was a subsequent sound track, if you will, new music, songs that would go with that autobiography. you'll have that if that should surface. because of his privacy is his house and recording studio, here in days and months to go, i can only imagine there will be that treasure-trove of tracks that will come out and then they'll have to figure out.
he was music in and out. i still hope there's a lot to come out. this is -- people are still in shock here. it's just that's the one thing if you look at twitter feed. i'm in shock. please say it's not true. >> just 57 years old. thanks. i know you're busy. do appreciate you. >> any time, craig. thank you. >> vanessa is editor and chief of essence magazine. james peterson from lehigh university. let's bring them into the conversation. vanessa, let me start with you. are you there? >> yes, i am. >> you know, prince was also one of these artists that transcending race. i remember growing up and there were only, i shouldn't say only, but i listened to two artists growing up. it was michael jackson and it
was prince. >> that's right. prince really was a ground breaker. when you think about all of his music videos. you think about the popularity of them and around the time mtv was becoming extremely popular. he knew how to use that platform in the best of ways to communicate not only his own musical tastes but also to make music that was universally accepted. there was no one really else doing it quite the way he did. >> he was also, vanessa, let's not dance around this. he was unapologetically sexual. he was hyper sexual. in fact, you could argue that prince essentially sung about three things. god, romance and he sung about sex. that was a lot of what prince was. >> he certainly was very provocative. he wasn't afraid to go there in his music, lyrics.
he also and the way he dressed. he wore high heels. he wore thongs. he pressed his hair. it was all a part of his self-expression. just so we could all be comfortable and push the envelope. he wanted to question the conventional wisdom. like why are we afraid to go there with a certain look or why do certain looks give us pause? he wanted us to really question our comfortabilities with certain things. i think that was all a part of his incredible influence. >> james, you would probably say that my previous assessment was a bit shallow. prince's music was about more than just god, romance and sex. >> well, i think, i won't critique you. what i'll say is that when you look at the body of work, it really is a cornucopia of like
black musical sounds. all the -- i'm talking about the musical production itself, and the form the music could take. i think you're right about the content. i might had he also had like narratives of just personal pain and struggle in his music as well. i think what's just as important is to think about the broad range of musical representation. i call it a cornucopia but he works across so many gidifferen genres. he's got a deep voice but almost a perfect falsetto. i think the form of his vocalization are just as important as the content. you and i, a lot of folks around our age, folks younger and older, literally have songs from prince's body of work that helped formulate the sound track of their lives.
songs like "purple rain" or "kiss" or "adore." we can point to those songs and think about specific moments in our own lives. that's what the greatest gift of music, period. prince was exceptionally good at providing those different sound tracks for us. i think a lot of us are still just really wrestling with all this. it's still hard to kind of like wrap your head around it. part of that is because he's been part of our lives. his music has been a part of our lives for decades. >> as my friend and producer pointed out, she's arguably the biggest prince fan in here. she pointed out something in car ride over. she said unlike a lot of artist, every album sounded the same. i think about musicology and that could have passed for a jazz album. some of his earlier works that
was rock and pop and then the r and b. there's not a lot of artists today, yesterday, ever who can say that. >> not a lot of artist who is have the capabilities to express that range. this is why the love symbol error of prince is so important. it's not -- it is about the fact he's fighting the music industry and he's making a very strategic move to work his way out of the warner brothers contract. he records all those albums in a couple of years to give himself to contractual one up. as much fun as people had and made of the artist formerly known as prince or trying to think about how you might pronounce the love symbol. what that really represents, that symbol represents his absolute uniqueness in the world of pop culture and music. i want represents his distinction. he's so good, so gifted, so wide range in his different interests
in terms of music and capacity to perform and produce and sing across musical genres that he knew he would win a battle throughout the history of black music and pop music is unwinnable battle. that love symbol is really an embl emblemmatic moment. it shows us he's distinguished among some of his great peers and his faits and hh and own wo. he knew it would live on and win the day and ultimately it did. >> i should probably apologize to a few folks out there. i received a few messages saying they are the biggest prince fan. i won't use that anymore throughout the hour. vanessa, favorite prince song. >> it's so hard to choose. i mean i love "when doves cry." i love "1999". i could pick one from every album. don't ask me to pick just one. it's too hard. it's too hard. >> james peterson big thanks to
you on this sad day. joe fryer is sandi instandi los angeles. the response from musicians, artists, actors. we heard from the president. the responses have been coming in fast and furiously over the past few hours. >> this is hitting the music world and celebrities especially hard because of the influence he's had on pretty much anyone who has made music in the last 30 plus years. it's really interesting. will smith posted something on facebook saying not only is he stunned and heartbroken but he actually spoke with prince just last night. he says today jade and i mourn with all you have the loss of a beautiful poet, a true inspiration and a magnificent artist. he's not the only one mourning. stevie nicks said my friend is gone. this is what it sounds like when doves cry.
he was my dove. hearing from justin timer bberl who said numb, stunned this can't be real. ma ddonna said he changed the world. what a loss. devastated. this is not a love song. all of these celebrities deeply impacted. i've been spending much offed today working on stories about "purple rain." that was the 1984 movie and sound track that really launched prince into super stardom. it has an influence on so many artists, so many incredible songs came out of that movie, including "let's go crazy." "take me with you," "when doves cry" and "purple rain." i'm from minnesota. that's where prince was born. that's where he spent a good deal of his career. that's where paisley park is. his impact was unbelievable. if you were listening to the radio on minnesota, at least
once an hour if you were listening to any sort of mainstream or pop station, you would hear a prince song. he was that ingrained in the culture of minnesota. i know friends and family there, this is hitting them pretty hard. craig. >> thank you, sir. when we come back, more on the life, more on the legacy. also, more on the philanthropy. also a very, very generous man as well. "the new yorker" just released next week's cover. purple rain. ♪ ♪ baby i could never steal you from another ♪ ♪ it's such a shame our friendship had to end ♪
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welcome back. we want to play you some revealing tape. he didn't do a lot of tv. he had just released the album musicology. let's watch. >> i know you say you've been recording music consistently and playing music over the last couple of years and writing music. most people would say they haven't seen a lot of you in the last couple of years in terms of interviews like this one and in terms of tours. why are you out there now? >> touring or -- >> touring, doing interviews like this. not something you love to do. >> i always did coming talking to you. you're a cool cat. i'm just trying to let people know we got this cd in stores. it's a pop record. it's something that i think
folks that so into our music club stuff could get into. >> some people are saying prince is making a "comeback." how do you feel about that term? >> what am i coming back to? >> have you been away? >> not at all. we've been touring extensively for the past five years really. >> let me ask you about reviews. how much do you pay attention to them? >> i sort of love the concert reviews. i get into those. sometimes they're really funny. >> how about the cd reviews? >> well, i don't get into those so much. they're usually written by popsicle salesman. >> why did you call it musicology, by the way? >> the song musicology was the first one i recorded. it seemed to encompass everything that this album is. it's a return to real music and all that's good and funky in music. >> a statement that you think
the music industry has gotten way from real music in the past especially with some of the newer artists. is that fair? >> i think everybody feels like that. it's pretty obvious. there seems to be a glut of proce processed, pre-packaged, producer driven music out there now. i'm just trying to bring real mu musicians into the scene. >> you said it took me four albums to get on the cover of rolling stones. now it takes only one. there should be some sort of rules. >> i was joking. >> dwroo you think that artists coming up today don't have to pay the dues that you paid 25 years ago? >> i don't focus on that as much as i notice that a lot of these acts are thrust into the spotlight so quickly. they don't have time to hone their craft and, we played this
clubs a lot when we started out. that's where a lot of the freaky pictures come from. it was harder, more adult audience. >> you think they are set up for the rapid raise and set up for the rapid decline as well? >> you have to talk to one of the great keepers for that. i'm just a little old guitar playing man trying to get my thing together. >> april ryan is the washington bureau chief for american radio networks. for the purposes of this conversation a huge prince fan as well. >> huge is it. i gauge people who claim their fans or are fans of prince, pre-purple rain and post-purple rain. i was a fan since eighth grade. i've got the album with me. the prince album. his first album when he was 19 years old. you is see that.
i've got six albums with me. you know, for purposes of politics, one of the albums that i have is prince. this was considered the dirtiest album ever. tippor gore went to congress talking about the music and this album was deemed the dirtiest albums ever. it's one of his earliest albums and a lot of songs are still amazing. i have like six in my collection. i'll tell you something, prince didn't just come on the scene. we talked about this issue with tippor gore. he also had a lot of fans to include fans at the white house, particularly this president and first lady. in june of last year, prince performed for president obama and michelle obama and a crowd of 500 people in a private concert. he even brought stevie wonder on
the stage to jam with some of his songs. the president found out about the death of prince while he was on the plane flying from saudi to london today. he issued a statement talking about how he was an icon and the music and the brand of music that he had and he expressed his sympathies to the family, to the fans and to his band members. you have to remember when you talk about prince, he didn't just span the time with music but he touched politics. he touched some controversial issues in this nation. you had a former first lady was on capitol hill protesting against some of his music. you had this president embrace him. even when president obama was running for president, when he was then senator obama, he and then mrs. michelle obama were at an naacp image award concert where they were rocking out to prince on the image awards.
you could see them in the front row. prince has touched so many people with his music. >> april ryan. thank you. thank you so much for your perspective. i was only able to go to one prince concert in my lifetime. you've been to how many? >> about seven. the last concert i attended was in baltimore. the baltimore concert where he brought the city states attorney on stage. that was a historic concert. i'm from baltimore. i've seen prince in baltimore, new york and washington, d.c. my father took me to my first prince concert in the snow when he used to wear leg warmers and high heels and a trench coat and a scarf and nothing else. >> quick break. more on the music legend of prince who died at the age of 57. you're watching msnbc. ♪ it's been seven hours and 13
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what don't we know about prince? what have we not been talking about today? >> it's hard to know the answer to that because we're all talking about him so much. i think that his -- it's very his willingness to take risks with his work and music. i think that really stands as an inspiration for all the artists that have come out. i think his willingness to experiment with what his art sounded like, what his music sounded like regardless of what other people were going to put up with it. then taking that to the fight on the business side of artists rights and control of your own catalog. >> thank you. msnbc's tremaine lee with me.
he had face-to-face meeting with prince last summer in minneapolis at paisley park. good to be with you. good to see you. what was that like? >> i'll tell you what. first i'd be remiss if i don't recount my earliest recollection of prince. i was eight years old and my sister was 13, 14, she got the purple boots, purple raincoat and purple umbrella. she said she cried all the way home after the radio station played prince song after prince song. i was part of five or six black journalists who were invited back to talk with prince. it was very prince-like. two twins and a tall beautiful statuesque young lady lead us through this maze. we end up at this small studio.
there's prince in this gold blouse shirt. you feel this ethereal kind of warmth. he said it's crowded. let's go upstairs to the office. he said dim the lights for the doves. i'm like prince literally has doves in his house. >> right. >> mind you it gets better. we're being led up the staircase upstairs. it's candle lit. i hear this cooing. there's this 6'2", white, beautifully intricate birdhouse full of white doves. we get back into this big office space and one of the first things i noticed is he had chest boards, five or six of them in different places around the office in mid game. this guy was not only an artist, he was a thinker. when we talked about what he cared about that in that moment in his life, he talked about
freedom and liberation. he said young artists now, the same as when he came into the game, he felt they were being enslaved by the record companies. we remember fight he had warner brothers and he took to wearing slave on his face. he also talked about social justice and racial justice. we heard about when he had that concert in baltimore after freddie gray was killed. you can't go with any cell phone, pen or pads. he said that's the way we live, another generation shouldn't live that like. it's easy to recall prince, this music legend, this icon, this brilliant, brilliant man. he believed deeply in justice and freedom, individual freedom. prince being himself was radical. that kind of androgony. he had this deep voice but a small man with this big
humongous spirit. to be in his prince was something special. >> you heard others who said it today and writers like yourself, in addition to being socially aware, he was also famously generous. we know about the shooting death of trayvon martin, he opened his checkbook and helped that family. we also found out, today, some knew before that when spike lee was making malcolm x many years ago he was having a hard time getting studios to bite. he had to raise money. who stepped up to the plate, it was prince. thank you so much for sharing that fantastic story. we'll have more on the life and legacy of prince. just ahead tributes continue to pour in around this world and out of this world. nasa tweeting this photo of the purple nebula in honor of the pop legend. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the sudden death of prince. let's hear from lisa robinson, contributing editor at vanity fair. we've been talking about his musical genius. the fact he played at least 12 instruments. his voice was unlike any voice i've heard. he's also one of these artists that transcended music all together in so many ways. >> first of all, he was absolutely brand. he was probably the single most talented musician to come out of the '80s. i remember talking to him and also to michael jackson in the '80s. they were in total competition
with each other even though they would never admit it. they kept asking me each of the other one. i was thinking about this because aside from it being a shock, i just wrote something very quickly for the vanity fair website that i just sent in. i remembered how much he talked to me about artists rights. how much he talked to me about ownership of masters. he didn't want his songs to be sampled on rap records because he said he doesn't believe the people who made those records owned them. he resurrected people's careers like mavis staples and george clint clinton. he was so creatively involved with people like morris day and the time. was influenced by james brown and morris day and the time you can see in bruno mars act. he was aware of the whole history of black music and the people he wanted to help.
i could just go on and on. ask me something else. >> what was he like, lisa? i know you spent some time talking to him back in the '80s? >> i spent time talking to him in the '80s, '90s and the 2000s. he had a great sense of humor. he actually was quite shy. he had a very soft speaking voice. he always would say my singing voice is better than my speaking voice. he really didn't want to be taped. he wouldn't let anybody interview him with tape recorder. i always used to say to him, i could i quote you accurately if you won't let me tape you. i said, we were at the negotiating him, i said i'll let you tape me taping you. i said i'll hand you the tapes. barry gordy let me do that.
he would just smile, that way, but he had a really good sense of humor. he was so smart. he was brilliant. people think he was crazy. he wasn't crazy. all of that stuff with the death and the crows and the women, he knew exactly what that was doing. that was all direction and part of his art. >> lisa robinson, vanity fair, thank you. >> thank you. >> c.j. is a columnist with the minneapolis star tribune. what more do we know about this point about the circumstances surrounding his death this morning? >> we don't really know that much more. i wasn't out there. i heard this on the news like you're hearing it. he was found in an elevator and unresponsive. we know that he had the plane
flight that was interrupted because he needed to go to a hospital. i think that was a clue that he might not have been well. >> he was our prince but he was undeniably the king of minneapolis. born there, raised there. father was a musician. mother sang in the band with that father. what did he mean to that city over the years and how much did he do for that city over the years? >> most of the things i know he did he wanted to keep on the quiet. i heard he had helped somebody or sent some money here. one of the caveats to receiving the money is you couldn't say you had gotten money from him. he was adored here. i made the remark with apologies
to bob dylan, this was the greatest musical icon from minnesota. i have received a couple of hostile e-mails from people saying no, no. dylan can't even sing. this guy can sing and play almost any instrument. i think he was a musical genius. i'm going to keep prince above bob dylan, always. >> i would hear from friends, i have a number of friends who live in minneapolis in the st. paul area, they say he would just pop up at venues and perform for an hour or two unannounced. >> he recently did that at the music theater. he just came up on stage and performed a bit. that what he liked about being in the twin cities. i think we accorded him a level of privacy. not to the extent he wanted because we would find out about
these things and write about them. he didn't want anything to get out. i believe it was tape from that. if you talk to the nbc affiliate in the twin citiecities, i thin can get the tape from that. >> thank you for your time. >> you're welcome. >> on sunday afternoon, minneapolis city hall tower, the tower bell will play prince songs in honor of the icon's sweeping contributions. some politicians are adding their voice. he said prince showed us it was okay to be different. congressman paulson calling him a minnesota treasure and former governor, jesse ventura calling his death a huge loss for the state. here is what she said. >> i grew up with prince's music
starting with "little red corvette" when it was the '70s and '80s. we won't forget "purple rain" in minnesota. everyone would point to every spot. he was an amazing performer and music innovator with a fierce belief in the independence of his art. why do so many businesses rely on the us postal service? because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business. that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority: you
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welcome back. mourners and fans continue to gather outside prince's paisley park estate in minnesota. that's where we find nbc's ron mott tonight. set the scene. what's it like and what more can you tell us about the circumstances surrounding his death? >> yeah, hey there. you can see mourners at the fence. a few back there. you'll see a lot of purple on that fence. a lot of balloons and flowers. people have been streaming here all day since word circulated that prince passed away at his home. they have closed off the street to vehicles. people are parks as far away as a quarter mile and walking to pay their respects to this man. we've just learned an autopsy will be performed tomorrow.
the hope, of course, for his family and fans around the world that we can get some sort of official sense of what caused his death. as we know, late last week he took ill after the concert last thursday night in atlanta and on his way back home here to the minneapolis st. paul area where he took ill. she was checked into a hospital in illinois. stayed overnight and released on saturday. in true prince-like fashion threw a release party, a dance party on saturday and told people to not waste their pra r prayers just yet because he felt better. something went wrong here this morning when a call was made at 9:43 local time that he was unresponsive. a lot of these fans are young and there are a will the of older fans here. the one word that a lot of people used to describe him is transcended. we see all sorts of cultures
represented here young and old. black, white, hispanic. folks who took away something from his music. as a kid who grew up in the '80s, it was hard to not be infected by his style of music. there was no one playing music the way he played. i was listening to purple rain last night. it's probably my favorite rock tune. i listened to it on a loop and had no idea i would get this awful news as so many others did today. they will be mourning because they felt like he was one of their own. he stayed here in minneapolis. he could have gone to hollywood but kept this his home. >> transcended race, generations and music. ron mott outside paisley park. thank you. we should note, again, folks tell nbc news there's no reason to believe there was foul play involved in his death. tonight, the i-35 bridge in minnesota not far from where we
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reactions continue to pour in via social media after the sudden death of prince. in a statement alicia keys said prince was a gift, a genius and reminder we have no limits. quincy jones called him a true artist in every sense of the word. she counted herself lucky to have worked with the artist. mick jagger called him one of the most unique and talented artists. steve harvey saying this one hurts like mj. chris rock responding, say it isn't so. director and activist spike lee says he'll be holding a
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sometimes i wish that life was never ending but all things, they say all good things never last. he was my favorite living artist as i said at the top of the hour. his performance in 2004 in columbia, south carolina, i was second row. i had never seen a show like it. before that, i doubt, and the days i have left i will see a show like it again. he was beyond a musical genius. he transcended music. he could sing. he could dance.
he was fashion icon. everything about him was fantastic. he will be sorely missed. sorely missed. thank you smouo much more joini us tonight for the special coverage of the death of the music icon of prince. tonight at 10:00, brian williams will be hosting a special hour long tribute to prince. hardball with chris matthews is up next. ♪ how can you just leave me standing ♪ ♪ maybe i'm just too demanding ♪ maybe i'm just like my father too bold ♪ ♪ maybe i'm just like my mother ♪ ♪ she's never satisfied ♪ why do we scream at each other ♪ ♪ this is what it sounds like when doves cry ♪
♪ ♪ doves cry ♪ will the real donald trump please stand up. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. as trump storms toward the nomination, can question republicans are asking is can he pivot. he boasted about his own polls. can he come across as presidential? according to the wall street, changes are taking place. he will deliver a policy speech on foreign policy. he will start using teleprompters on