Whether you knew him as Prince or the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, the superstar singer lived a colorful life. He was known as an enigmatic genius and an even bigger diva outside the studio. Prince was as flamboyant as entertainers come. With legions of fans around the world, he’s regarded as a legend of the music industry.
However, many people might not know that Prince was very outspoken and often rubbed other celebrities the wrong way. Here’s a list of the most iconic Prince moments you may not have heard of.
Prince was not one to dole out complimentary remarks about another artist unless he felt they truly deserved it. So, when asked about his opinions on other artists, his answers were brutally honest.
Prince was like a breath of fresh air in an industry that can be so obviously sycophantic at times. While he was renowned for throwing shade at other artists, Prince was somehow more respected for doing stuff like this.
While appearing on the morning talk show, The View, in 2012, Prince was asked what he thought about newer up-and-coming stars of the modern generation. Two of these stars were Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.
Prince’s answer was “different strokes for different folks” and that he “made music”. These subtle words let everyone know that Prince never cared for Lady Gaga’s work as an artist and certainly wasn’t a Belieber. These instances were far from Prince’s only celebrity to celebrity beef.
Keith Richards is a legend himself. As the lead guitarist and secondary vocalist for the Rolling Stones, Richards is an icon. However, in the ’80s, an up-and-coming Prince was opening for them, and his gaudy style and unique flamboyancy caused a split opinion among fans of the Stones and the band members.
Richards, in particular, kept up a decades-long verbal sparring match with Prince. Regardless of the tiff between the pair, when Prince unexpectedly passed away, Richards did acknowledge that Prince was “a unique talent” and “a great guitar player.”
Prince and fellow legendary musician Madonna were once an item. The iconic pair collaborated a few times but were reputed to constantly fallout over creative differences. Both were renowned for being divas.
Both artists’ propensity for drama and wanting to be the lead on every project caused too much friction. Both were said to have resorted to petty name-calling and insults.
One of the most iconic “Prince moments” came at a concert of his at Maddison Square Garden. Prince invited Kim Kardashian up on stage. The socialite, known to be quite the diva also, became unusually starstruck in Prince’s presence.
When she became too stiff when Prince asked her to dance, he did something that only Prince would do and kicked one of the world’s most desired women off his stage. However, this famous moment may have been symptomatic of a larger pet hate of Prince’s.
Zooey Deschanel confirmed that Prince revealed to the crew and cast of her hit show, New Girl, that he did not like the Kardashians. When Prince did a cameo on the show, he was not happy as the script planned to have a cameo by some of the Kardashians at a “Prince Party.”
Prince reportedly said it was unrealistic as he would never invite a Kardashian to one of his parties. Other insiders confirm that Prince could not understand why the Kardashians were even famous, as he believed them to be talentless.
When Justin Timberlake’s career as a solo performer was peaking, Prince once threw some shade at him. Prince attended an afterparty for the Emmys and mocked Justin’s famous song, “Sexy Back,” by telling the crowd, “For whoever is claiming that they are bringing sexy back, sexy never left!”
The pair would go on to trade a few more digs and jibes, but Prince had already made it clear what he thought of the pop star. It wouldn’t be the last time he aimed for famous pop stars.
Prince famously tussled with music moguls often and, in one instance, called them out for trying to shove artists like Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran onto people.
Despite these two artists being major musicians and entertainers in their own right, it clearly takes a lot more to impress Prince. Prince’s artistry infamously made him a lot of enemies among other celebrities but also made him detest other things too.
Prince was often very vocal about not liking other artists doing cover versions of his music. Imitation was clearly not a form of flattery in Prince’s eyes, and he wasn’t afraid to call out other prominent artists on it.
When Maroon 5’s Adam Levine covered one of Prince’s songs, Prince vocally criticized their attempt saying it added “nothing new” to the song. Prince often spoke against cover songs and felt they took away from the original artist’s work.
After signing his first record deal with the Warner Bros. label at eighteen, Prince went on to publicly tussle with the music giant. Prince’s main qualm with the record label and others was his belief that they exploited and used young artists.
Prince, therefore, advocated for artists to own master copies of their work. He was not unlike another musical legend in that regard but also supposedly had quite the personal rivalry with him also.
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? This was the up and down story of Prince’s rivalry with Michael Jackson. The pair did have similarities in style, age, and influence but were also a complete antithesis in other ways.
The rivalry between them came to a boil when Jackson attended a concert of Prince’s in Vegas. During the performance, Prince went up to the end of the stage where Micheal was seated and played his guitar provocatively in Jackson’s face. The incident allegedly upset Jackson a lot.
Rick James and Prince were often compared. The fact that the fellow artists had so many similarities underscored their bitter, decades-long feud. Insiders from both camps have provided many anecdotal stories from both camps.
These included petty things like Prince refusing to sign an autograph for James’s mother. The pair also tried to outdo each other in every way. Sadly, despite the huge rivalry, it seems the only two that couldn’t see how well their styles actually worked together were them.
Prince was known towards the end of his career for having strong religious beliefs. He coupled this with complementary conservatism. However, this wasn’t always Prince’s way. As a style icon, a rock star, and a provocateur in many ways, Prince was renowned as an artist that pushed boundaries with his style and image.
While he was outspoken, not always liked, and sometimes renowned for being a difficult person, he was also loved and respected by fans and other artists. Despite his untimely death, he will never be forgotten.
Aside from his musical genius, unique style, and talent, Prince left behind a legacy of never settling. While some may have thought of him as rude, nasty, or difficult, most knew him to be a generous and deep person.
By refusing to compromise his standards for everyone, he also laid a path for other young artists to follow. A true rock star until the day he died, the world will always remember Prince fondly.