One night with Prince

Rockin' the limo, boudoir ballads, Prop. 8, Barry White, sex, faith, Pro Tools. Was it a dream?

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It was 11 p.m. on the night before New Year's Eve, and I was doing something I hadn't expected would crown my 2008: sitting in Prince's limousine as the legend lounged beside me, playing unreleased tracks on the stereo. "This is my car for Minneapolis," he said before excusing himself to let me judge a few songs in private. "It's great for listening to music." He laughed. "I don't do drugs or I'd give you a joint. That's what this record is." 

That morning I'd received an e-mail inviting me to preview new music at Prince's mansion in the celebrity-infested estate community of Beverly Park, where he's currently keeping his shoe rack. The summons wasn't entirely unexpected. Prince, who's less reclusive than his reputation would indicate, has spent a year and a half consulting with culture industry leaders and occasionally entertaining media types, with an eye toward taking complete control of his own musical output.

His new mantra is "The gatekeepers must change," and he's refashioned his career to become one of them.

Since beginning his gradual relocation from the Midwest to the Left Coast, Prince has headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and 2007'

Ann Powers Prince
01/08/2009 13:25


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