Atlanta Music Scene

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Prince's birthday a time to remember and celebrate the musician

Prince would have turned 58 today, but as a practicing Jehovah's Witness, he would not have celebrated his birthday.

Still, fans will undoubtedly use the occasion to again remember the singer/musician, who died April 21 from an accidental overdose of painkillers.

The Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, even officially declared June 7 as "Prince Day" in honor of Prince's loyalty to his roots.

The day of his death, I compiled a list of my 10 favorite Prince songs and this seems like a good opportunity to revisit them (below).

In the next few weeks, Atlanta Prince fans will have a few opportunities to relive his music with a couple of tribute shows.

  • At 7 and 9:15 p.m. June 19,  a “Let’s Go Crazy” Prince cover night will be held at Eddie’s Attic. As part of the weekend Amplify Decatur series, several local artists, including Doria Roberts, Rex Hussmann and members of Futurebirds (and some surprise guests, we hear) will perform covers of Prince’s material. Tickets are $15 and available at
  • Next month, The Purple Xperience Prince tribute band led by Doctor Fink of Prince and The Revolution, will perform at 8 p.m. July 22 at Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater in Peachtree City. Tickets are $25-$50 and available at

Here is my list of favorite Prince songs. Please share yours – or any other thoughts about Prince – in the comments section.


“Baby I’m a Star” – I’ll never say anything derogatory about “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” or the title track to “Purple Rain,” but for me, this shimmering slice of melody is the standout track on that iconic soundtrack.

“Nothing Compares 2 U” – Sinead O’ Connor turned it into a monster hit in 1990, but Prince’s version is arguably even more melancholy.

“When U Were Mine” – The inimitable Cyndi Lauper included her version of the song on her 1983 debut, “She’s So Unusual.” But first, Prince unveiled it on 1980’s “Dirty Mind.” In typical Prince fashion, it combines whimsy and heartbreak in a compact funk-pop package.

“Delirious” – The squiggly synths, the bopping beat, the elastic bass line…all hallmarks of Prince’s signature sound. Too bad this one never reached the chart heights of its predecessor, “Little Red Corvette.”

“Sign O’ The Times” – Prince was known as a master showman, a guy who wrote unabashedly about sex, a genius musician. But he often wasn’t given enough credit for his intellect. Buried beneath the knocking rhythm and see-sawing bass is one heck of a social commentary.

“7” – Is a more heavenly chorus found on any other Prince song?

“Batdance” – If any other artist created this sonic mess, it would be immediately dismissed. But somehow, under Prince’s guidance, it’s a throbbing whirlwind of sound.

 “I Wanna Be Your Lover” – Prince could do dirty funk like few others, but he could also churn out a well-varnished splash of aural sunshine.

“Raspberry Beret” – Perhaps the finest example of Prince’s agility with visual imagery.

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Melissa Ruggieri’s Top 10 Prince songs. What are yours?

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About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for Atlanta Music Scene blog on

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