Prince’s Musical Genius: Elton John on the Legendary Artist’s Impact

Meta Description: Discover why Elton John considered Prince’s musical genius unparalleled. Learn about Prince’s genre-blending talent and his lasting impact on modern music.

There’s usually a dividing line when it comes to different corners of the rock community. Although the genre doesn’t need to differentiate between what constitutes “real rock,” it’s easy to see why you wouldn’t hear an artist like Metallica on the same radio station as The Cars when both bands were in their prime. Where most people see genre lines, Prince just saw many different sonic roads to explore. When he blew up, Elton John was astounded by what he saw.

Elton John’s Reaction to Prince’s Musical Genius

Granted, it takes something major to get someone like John to turn his head. If you look at the number of incredible outfits he wore throughout his career, it’s clear that John knew what it took to get a reaction out of people when he took to the stage, rocking lavish costumes that would make Liberace blush.

Prince was just as prolific with his many different outfits onstage, but that was just set dressing for his music half the time. John’s music had a homespun feeling of singer-songwriters that didn’t fit his style, but Prince was a chameleon onstage, going from one genre to the next across every album.

Prince: The Ultimate Musical Shapeshifter

While David Bowie often gets cited as one of the first real shapeshifters in music, Prince’s ability to combine everything from R&B to soul to rock and roll to jazz under one roof is a talent that takes years to master. Although John had been through some darker days in his solo catalog in the 1970s, he remembered Prince as the kind of artist that comes once every generation.

Elton John’s Tribute to Prince

When performing at a memorial service for Prince, John said that Prince is an essential part of any modern artist’s sound whether they want it to be or not. He stated, “He’s probably the greatest musician I’ve ever seen live onstage without question. There was nothing he couldn’t do. He was a showman, and we all knelt at his feet because if you’re a musician, you know quality when you see it.”

Prince’s Mastery of Live Performances

For all of the great albums Prince made over the course of his career, few have been able to take their masterpieces on tour and make them sound even better than the originals. A song like ‘Purple Rain’ works just fine within the context of the album and accompanying movie, but when you see Prince drenched in sweat during any live footage of the solo, you know you’re witnessing musical perfection.

Prince’s Versatility in Music Styles

But that’s just a power ballad. The real master’s touch comes from when he could strip things back immediately afterward. Anyone with a huge rock album under their belt should be set for life, but Prince was able to turn on a dime and deliver letter-perfect funk music like the horn-dog sex jam ‘Kiss’ and then switch back to swagger with ‘I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.’

Despite John earning his keep with brilliant ballads, some of his rock-tinged moments still couldn’t hold a candle to what Prince did. Considering how many musical styles he cribbed from throughout his career, the fact that Prince pulled every one of them off so well almost doesn’t seem fair to the rest of us.

Prince’s musical genius remains unparalleled, and his ability to transcend genres continues to inspire and influence musicians worldwide.

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