I am hearing people shocked and questioning and unable to process his sudden death. There are lots of questions but his camp has said that he had been suffering from the flu. Now TMZ and some other outlets are reporting that he was supposedly treated in a hospital, not for the flu but a drug overdose and that he received a “safe” shot which are given to people who have overdosed – without specifying what kind of drug. I can’t say that was 100 per cent confirmed but, so far, TMZ has often been right. The question remains, how did he die.
Prince was always very mysterious. My memories of him run the gamut from Sin City to Miami.
I was front and center in Las Vegas when he opened a club there and came on stage saying something like, ‘I love Vegas.’ People were looking at each other, applauding and saying, ‘Wow, Prince talked.’ But he didn’t say another word. He gave a fabulous performance and then walked off to a wave of applause.
Prince liked being enigmatic. It was part teasing, having a little fun with us. He rarely gave anybody, even Oprah Winfrey, straight answers. He didn’t care if people called him weird or strange, not to mention sexy, it amused him. I think behind that persona he created, he felt he was probably more normal then he seemed. He loved his peers from Madonna to Michael Jackson but he was always very competitive.
Which brings me to Miami. I was at his so-called “last concert” in Miami at the Orange Bowl in 1985. I guess few of us thought this was his final performance but it was a great one. This rather small man grew huge when he stepped on stage in front of thousands of people, radiating sexuality.
Of course, his retirement was short-lived. The Superbowl in Miami in the midst of his half-time performance in the rain. People were wondering if the show could go on. Prince made it happen. He said, ‘Let it rain and make it purple.’
I’ve had my own purple moments, when I felt a little outside of the mainstream, and I’ll always have Prince to remind me that you don’t have to be in step with the rest of the band to be out front.
This is from a Billboard interview with Prince from 2006. What a unique talent. He will be missed.
Questions with Prince
By: Tamara Conniffa
Billboard reporter approaches Prince’s table to schedule an interview. Prince smiles and says, “When the time is right, we will talk.” Prince does not like to talk much. He prefers to make music and perform, and if it is very, very important, he will correspond via e-mail, which is how Billboard received this worldwide exclusive.
The likely reason for Prince’s desire to write instead of talk might be so he can use his signature Prince-isms: “2” is “to,” “b” is “be,” “c” is “see,” “eye” is “I” and “nrg” is “energy.”
Q: What do your fans not know about you?
A: There’s a lot that fans don’t know about me. People tend 2 project on2 U whatever they want 2 c.
Q: What are your thoughts on the music business with the advent of mobile and digital?
A: Music is a sound nrg wave that is best xperienced LIVE. Because eye play music, eye have a different perspective on how it should b delivered. That said, eye [am] not so sure a musician would have come up with the idea 2 sell music in the digital realm.
Q: Do you see yourself as an innovator?
A: Innovator? It’s not a word eye use, but we do try 2 introduce new ideas or methods 2 business that more resemble the common-sense principles taught in the Bible.
Q: What inspires you?
A: 2 c someone breaking free from the limitations of the world.
He signs his e-mail: “Thanx 4 granting us this forum 2 holla from. Peace.”
My friend Doris Roberts spoke to the US Senate about aging: “Gentlemen,” she declared, “If you were in show business like I am, you’d be out of a job because you’d be too old.” Even at 90, Doris was full of pep and none of us who knew her expected that she’d leave us anytime soon.
Doris felt she got better as an actress as she added years. Playing the mother, Marie, on “Everybody Loves Raymond” for nine seasons made her a world-wide star. She won four Emmy’s as Ray Romano’s spirited control freak mom. “Everybody knows or has a mother or a mother-in-law like her,” she told me with a smile. “These women are just trying to feel needed. Marie just wants to help and sometimes that makes things better and sometimes she just makes everybody miserable.”
It was important to Doris that even when Marie unleashed her trademark sarcasm there was always a comedic edge. “Otherwise you might not realize how much she loves her family,” Roberts said. “I always thought of her as loveable and so did the audience, even when she was creating mischief.”
Doris always looked great and had a flair for fashion. Her hair was coifed and she loved to wear flashy clothes. She would say, “I’m a role model for women my age. Some actresses say that when you are forty you are finished in this town – at forty I was just getting started.”
When she came to dinner at my home Doris was elegant and a great storyteller. She added sparkle and sharp wit to every occasion. A social animal, she adored parties, travel, and fine food. Romano wrote, “Doris Roberts had an energy and spirit that amazed me. She never stopped. She had a grand love of life and people.”
Ray liked to tease, “Doris was at a castle in France for New Years. I was at a White Castle in Queens.”
Patricia Heaton, her on-screen daughter-in-law, called her “Funny and tough. Nothing gave her greater joy than her three wonderful grandchildren.”
I can tell you that her ziti and meatballs were legendary. She cooked them for me once for a TV segment. “It’s a lot of work, my own marinara sauce, and the meatballs have ricotta cheese and parsley and garlic,” she laughed. “When I make it, Ray slurps. But I twirl my pasta.”
Doris loved to tell the story of making that dish when she was sitting around waiting for her son to be born. “I ate too much and the next morning, sure enough, I went to the hospital and had that baby.”
Doris never denied she loved the attention her celebrity brought her, “I get such a response from people everywhere I go. Affection, and love and smiles – they light up when they see me. It’s just been fabulous. I’m blessed and I realize it. I’m not bitter, I was never mean-spirited no matter what has happened to me. I’ve had such great love. I’m joyous about my life.”
She put so much joy into all of our lives.
I was on Sky News this week discussing the passing of David Gest and the unique legacy he left behind. Things weren’t always rocky between the late Gest and his ex-wife, Liza Minnelli.