COVER STORY | April 21 will mark 5 years since we lost the extraordinary Prince Rogers Nelson in 2016. The musical genius entered the ancestral plane at age 57, leaving behind a legacy of compositions that moved our bodies, spirits, and our minds. To this day, you can hear, see and feel Prince’s fingerprints throughout Pop, Rhythm and Blues.
In the 90s, some of our favorite artists used their time in the spotlight to give flowers to the legend while he still walked the Earth. Some were lucky enough to even have a song written by the Artist, himself. Journey with Zumble as we take a stroll through Paisley Park to celebrates some of our favorite Prince covers.
TLC – Get It Up (1993)
Originally recorded by The Time, the ladies of TLC delivered a New Jack Swing refresh of the 1981 release penned by Prince. Appearing on the soundtrack for “Poetic Justice” in 1993, the cover maintained the electricity of the original while adding a jolting 16-bars from Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Produced by Dallas Austin with Tim & Bob, “Get It Up” aligned with the trio’s brand of normalizing conversations on safe sex with a fun music video to match!
Mariah Carey – The Beautiful Ones (1997)
Mariah was joined by Dru Hill on her 1997 landmark album, Butterfly, to cover one of the Purple Ones greatest ballads. A turning point in the 1984 soundtrack and film, Purple Rain, the cover is equally pivotal here as one of the best-sung renditions to date, even getting Prince’s seal of approval.
Ginuwine – When Doves Cry (1996)
The Pony-toting bachelor was clearly influenced by Prince’s cool demeanor. He pays homage to one of his idols on his 1996 debut with a cover of the iconic “When Doves Cry” from the Purple Rain soundtrack. Produced by Timbaland, Ginuwine adds his brand of sex appeal to the thumpin’ track that utilizes actual dove calls as instruments. We loved every coo.
TLC – If I Was Your Girlfriend (1994)
Making the list again is TLC who loved the Prince songbook, especially lead vocalist T-Boz. For the trio’s diamond-selling sophomore album, CrazySexyCool, the raspy-voiced chanteuse took on a funky rendition of “If I Was Your Girlfriend”. Prince’s gender-bending 1987 single was presented through a female perspective that still keeps us guessing.
Tevin Campbell – Round and Round (1990)
Prince had done it all musically, except work with a child act. At only 13 years old, Tevin Campbell wrapped his four-octave range around a bouncy up-tempo for the 1990 soundtrack and film for Graffiti Bridge, the sequel to Purple Rain. Quincy Jones ‘wunderkind was steering into his own lane and the groove of “Round and Round” would make shine high beams onto his solo career. The song garnered Campbell a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, proving that there wasn’t a generation that Prince couldn’t touch.
D’Angelo – She’s Always In My Hair (1997)
There’s no denying that Prince was a major influence for Neo-Soul king D’Angelo. The Black Messiah channeled his idol for his addition to 1997’s soundtrack for horror film, Scream 2. Released by Prince and The Revolution in 1985, “She’s Always in my Hair” is a haunting tribute that completely rocks with piercing notes, psychedelic drums and electric guitars that shake the soul, while honoring the Master’s original.
Sinead O’ Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U (1990)
Considered one of the greatest cover versions of all-time, Sinead O’Connor’s evocative rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” crosses the tastebuds of musical genre. Released by O’Connor 5 years after the Prince-penned version by duo The Family, the Irish singer transformed the song of love-lost into a requiem for a lost loved one. It would become the song that always makes us remember the gift of Prince’s presence and his impact on music and our hearts forever. Nothing compares 2 U, Prince.
REST IN PURPLE.