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20th century creative giant Prince dies at 57

Every now and then you think: I wish I’d been there.

I wish I’d been at the 2008 Grammys when Prince appeared live with Beyonce. Prince died today aged 57.

In some respects he was, indeed, the ‘purple pain,’ but he was also a genius: a peerless performer and songwriter (he wrote Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2U but only recorded it as a duet with Candy Dufler). He brought black soul and funk and rock together in a way that nobody else ever did, not even Jimi Hendrix.

Doubtless there’ll be pieces soon trying to establish a connection between him and advertising.

That’s pointless. Creativity in the late 20th century, in any form, owes a huge amount to Prince.

Isn’t Beyonce great too? Sexy doesn’t come close. And his purpleness allows her her greatest moment.

Irreplaceable.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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