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Jam of the Day/Prince and The New Power Generation/”Diamonds and Pearls”

If we were to sit back, relax, twist up a music dutch and gets all sorts of up in Prince and his multi-talented New Power Generation‘s ravishing ’91 record Diamonds and Pearls and its whimsical title track, we would truly be here all day. Besides being one fuck of a love jam, it’s a song that still holds its lyrical meaning–“I am here for you/Love is meant for two/Now tell me what you’re gonna do”–along being armed with an incredible instrumental arrangement….that key change!! Also adding to the explosive mix is an accompanying music video that is every bit as shimmering as it was when it was released a quarter-of-a-century (!) ago.

But if there’s one thing to truly remember about this dreamy title track (besides everything, of course), was that this was another moment in Prince’s monumental career that he unabashedly shared his spotlight with another one of the many talents that he linked up with along the way, this time being NPG lead diva, Rosie Gaines, who simply owns our lives while slaying alongside Prince on “Diamonds & Pearls”….sigh….

Although we lost The Purple One yesterday, there’s no denying that he leaves behind a vast legacy of music, performances, and protégés, also including Vanity of Vanity 6 (may she also Rest in Peace), Apollonia (Ms. Purple Rain), drummer Sheila E., Janelle Monae, Sheena Easton, The Time and of course, Ms. Carmen Electra, who first met Prince at the age of 18 when he was forming an all-girl group. Although she wasn’t chosen for his group, he saw something special in her, and signed her to his Paisley Park Records.

Although “Diamonds & Pearls” peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, personally it’s always felt like an underrated Prince groove (mostly because his catalogue is just so enormous), but after being swiftly reminded of its bold, brilliant instrumentations and those vocals, which are musically glued together by a spine tingling intro, it certainly doesn’t feel underrated anymore. It now fits rights into a body of work that will always speak in massive volumes, and it also shows that it’s Prince music moments like this one that make his legacy oh, so special.

“All I can do is just offer you my love,” Prince coos. And that he certainly most did…and then some.

 

 

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Groove of the Day/Vanity 6/”Nasty Girl”

Ahead of last night’s Grammy spectacle, the music world was shocked and saddened to learn the news that Denise Matthews, who as Vanity fronted the group Vanity 6 in 1982, died at a hospital in Fremont, California at the age of 57. 

Born in Canada, Ms. Matthews began her career as a model before going on to make her way as actress, where she landed roles playing mostly sultry characters in the low-budget films, 52 Pick-Up and Action Jackson. It was soon after that she met Prince backstage at the American Music Awards in 1980, and the pair soon sparked both a romantic and creative relationship. 

Vanity made her music debut singing backup on “Free,” a track off The Purple One‘s landmark 1982 album 1999. That same year, she opened her spot as a frontwoman with Vanity 6, which also consisted of fellow divas Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie. The trio’s self-titled LP, whose sexed up track list comprised many songs written by Prince, included the singles “Drive Me Wild” and smash club hit, “Nasty Girl.”

Matthews eventually broke away from Prince in 1984, telling People, “I needed one person to love me, and he needed more.” She had been slated to co-star in Purple Rain but backed out at the end of the relationship, prompting Prince to begin working with a new protégé, Apollonia Kotero, and put her in charge of her own Vanity-styled girl group, Apollonia 6. Prince later used the sound of Vanity moaning, which he’d recorded in the Eighties, for his Come track “Orgasm” in 1994.

 

Since news broke of Matthews death last night, several music celebrities showed their love for the late diva, including Solange Knowles, Billy Idol and former Prince drummer Sheila E, who had these kind words to say about the “Nasty Girl” songstress:

2016 has certainly been a year full of iconic music deaths, as we’ve already said goodbye to Earth Wind & Fire’s Maurice White, The Eagles’ Glenn Frey, Ms. Natalie Cole and Mr. David Bowie. So while we’re all still saddened about Matthews passing, you have to admit that music heaven must be sounding pretty damn good right now. 

Go on, Ms. Vanity. 

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VMA Performance of the Day/Prince/”Gett Off”

Let’s get a little cheek-to-cheek with Mr. Prince on this fine Tuesday morning…

Back in ’91, Prince (or maybe his name was something else back then..could we ever keep up?), was riding high off his Diamonds and Pearls record, so the music world was pretty much his oyster. And judging by his orgasmic VMA performance of D&P hit, “Gett Off,” the self-proclaimed “Purple One” was certainly aware of this.

During a set that lasted nearly seven minutes, the timeless pop icon certainly served up 23 positions in a one-night-stand wearing a ventilated yellow suit that literally left nothing to the imagination. Although he was in the middle of a fiery stage loaded with with musicians and whirling dancers, Prince’s slithery movements and jacked guitar work remained the focus of everyone’s attention that evening…until his ass showed up. After saying the line, “Let me show you, baby, I’m a talented boy,” the “Bat Dance” crooner spun around  to reveal that his oh, so yellow suit had holes in the seat to showcase his Diamonds derriere.

While this certainly wouldn’t be a big deal today, back then, seeing an ass(!) live on T.V.(!) was just so…shocking! But since we were all aware of Prince’s risky reputation, it certainly didn’t surprise his fans as he delivered a VMA performance that would certainly sting our pop culture minds forever. 

Go right here to “Gett Off” with Mr. Prince.