What would Prince do?

Hints and tips from the legendary Purple Prince of Pop.

1) Call yourself what you want to

Prince’s full name was Prince Rogers Nelson. His childhood name was ‘Skipper’. His pseudo names included: Jamie Star, Camille, Tora Tora and the infamous unpronounceable symbol ‘O(+>’. So call yourself whatever you want to.

2) Take your time

Prince said ‘time is a trick’ and he didn't celebrate birthdays. “The day that we stop counting, we’ll live as long as a tree.” ‘Chelsea Rogers’ (2007). So put away the birthday candles and live in what Prince called “the everlasting now”.

3) Put down that burger

Prince was a vegan for a while. In ‘Animal Kingdom’ (1998) he explained that even clams are ‘souls in progress’. “I don’t eat red meat or white fish. Don’t give me no blue cheese. We’re all members of the animal kingdom. Leave your brothers and sisters in the sea.”

4) Save your relationship by keeping your pants on

In ‘The Ballad of Dorothy Parker’ (1987) Prince is seduced by a waitress who invites him to take a bath. He accepts, but as he is ‘with someone’ he decides to keep his pants on. He repeats the process and this ends up fixing his failing relationship. “I took another bubble bath with my pants on. All the fighting stopped. Next time I knew sooner.” Who needs relationship counselling when you have pants?

5) Choose your own path

It’s 1985. The biggest stars on the planet are assembled to sing the USA for Africa charity single ‘We are the World’. Prince says he “doesn’t want to sing but will gladly write a song instead”. In 2001 Prince releases ‘The Rainbow Children’, a jazz/funk fusion album documenting his journey to becoming a Jehovah’s Witness. Prince did these things because he could. The moral of the story? Do what you want to.

6) Remember that knees can be sexy

In ‘Dead on It’ (1994) Prince tells us that “All the sisters like it when you lick ‘em on the knees”. Who knew?

7) Bigger (and longer) is often better

The extended version of ‘America’ (1985) is 21 minutes long. Prince plays guitar on the extended version of Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’. Prince released an album ‘Emancipation’ (1996) that was exactly three hours long. Prince liked making things long. What’s the rush? Take all the time you need.

8) Rise to a challenge

A band mate suggested Prince couldn’t write a song using just the words ‘la la la, he he hee’. He accepted the challenge. The song was released in 1987. It was wonderful.

9) Go offline

In 2010 Prince said “The internet is completely dead. It’s like a party where everyone is wearing the same clothes.” Go offline. You’ll have more fun in the real world.

Prince Hints and Tips to Live Your Life were written by presenter and journalist Mobeen Azhar.

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