What if we could bring back our favorite pop stars and enjoy a visit from them one more time? Well, in a way, we can, each time we play their music. Thus, musicians and actors can achieve a true sort of immortality.
Our loved ones and heroes live on through their work and us. Thus, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy is forever. And, Chadwick Boseman, star of Black Panther, will be saying Wakanda Forever in our hearts.
They say time heals all, and in time, we can enjoy our memories of those we lost again. Thus, we hope you’ll enjoy reliving these quotes from the pop and rock stars we miss.
Once our favorite pop stars and artists are gone, we realize how much their creativity meant to us. May we learn to appreciate them all the more while they are still with us.
Little Richard, December 5, 1932, to May 9, 2020, Age 87
It’s hard to overestimate how big an influence flamboyant Little Richard had on the beginning of rock & roll. From his early beginnings with “Tutti Fruitti” in 1956, he deeply inspired the Beatles, Elvis, and later, Prince. He sometimes seemed to have little modesty, with an outrageous sense of humor, referring to himself as “the bronze Liberace.” He knew he had that “thang.”
“I always did have that thang, I didn’t know what to do with the thang, I had ma own thang I wanted the world to hear,” he once said.
Little Richard knew he had inspired many other artists, like Prince.
“Prince is the Little Richard of his generation,” Richard told Joan Rivers in 1989, before looking at the camera and addressing Prince. “Don’t get mad about that, Prince. I looked just as good as you look today. I was wearing purple before you was wearing it! Shut up!”
Notably, Little Richard wrote the chorus for Tutti Fruitti in 1955 while washing dishes at a Greyhound bus station in Macon, Georgia. Little did he know, “a wop bob alu bob a wop bam boom” would become world-famous. As his music rocketed to fame, he knew his music transcended race, bringing people together.
“Tutti Frutti really started the races being together. From the git-go, my music was accepted by whites,” he told Rolling Stone.
For Little Richard, the world’s nations were like “God’s bouquet,” and he always recognized the strength in unity. He explained in his Rolling Stone interview:
“Who needs a sickness of prejudice in any form? I mean, a black man can be prejudiced, a white man can be prejudiced, and if I’m a militant against a man, I’m prejudiced, and so if I’m prejudiced, I’m sick. You understand we are all God’s bouquet; we all need each other the same as the birds need air.”
Prince, June 7, 1958, to April 21, 2016, Age 57
Although his music defied genres, musical prodigy Prince became a master architect of funk, rock, R&B, and pop. His impressive career spanned four decades, from the 70s until his shocking death in 2016. During that time, he won seven Grammies and numerous Top 10 hits.
Prince wanted to create everything in his own way, playing all the instruments and singing most vocals himself. He was just a teenager when he got his first record deal with Warner Bros. Records, including full creative control.
Thus, when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, he said:
“When I first started out in the music industry, I was most concerned with freedom. Freedom to produce, freedom to play all the instruments on my records, freedom to say anything I wanted to,” said Prince.
However his contract started; his relationship with the record company famously deteriorated. In 1996, he negotiated his way out of the contract, once again favoring total artistic freedom.
“This is what freedom sounds like. When I saw light at the end of the tunnel, I made a beeline for it. This is the most exciting time of my life,” he sad at the time.
Further explaining why he split with Warner Bros:
“…Artists don’t like business. We like being successful and sharing an experience with an audience. In Mozart’s time, word of mouth built an audience. People found him and heard him play. Then someone came along and said, ‘We can sell this experience.’ Right there, you got trouble. Music comes from the spirit, but where does the guy selling music come from?” he said.
Although Prince was gone too soon, he knew that his music would appreciate and last forever.
“Not to sound cosmic, but I’ve made plans for the next 3,000 years. Before, it was only three days at a time.”
Today, Prince is considered Minnesota’s greatest musician and one of the greatest musicians of all time. He was so productive that many songs from his extensive vault are yet to be released.
George Michael, June 25, 1963, to December 25, 2016, Age 53
Similar to Little Richard, George Michael started out as a dishwasher, only this time at a restaurant owned by his father. Like Prince, George Michael had a struggle with his recording contract, this time with Sony. In 1994, Prince shared a message of support for the fellow pop artist, who referred to his contract as “professional slavery” when he lost his court case.
At the 1994 MTV Music Awards, Prince said, “Peace to George Michael,” in a nod to the case, which had a lasting impact on the music industry.
Today, George Michael’s legacy continues, and not only the music of a pop star. After his death on Christmas Day in 2016, accounts of his generosity to charities continued to emerge for years. He often kept such activities private or anonymous.
For one, he loved Christmas, secretly funding Christmas celebrations called the Highgate’s Fair. Fittingly, Wham’s “Last Christmas” remains a classic, with a new cover from Mary J Blige released November 2020. This year, the film “Last Christmas,” featuring many of George’s songs, reached number one for the first time.
George makes a funny cameo as an Elf on the Shelf while the other half of the Wham! Pop duo, Andrew Ridgeley, appears in a final scene.
George Michael’s True Last Christmas Song
Amazingly, George Michael had another more recent Christmas tune called “December Song” from 2009. If you love “Last Christmas,” it could be the perfect gift to discover this year.
Typical of Michael’s generosity, he made it a free download in 2008, but it hasn’t become well-known. The lyrics reflect the singer’s personal memories about Christmases gone by.
You may hear familiar and haunting sounds from Frank Sinatra’s classic “The Christmas Waltz” introducing and ending the song.
“There was always Christmas time
To wipe the year away
I guess that Mum and Dad decided
That the war would have to wait
There was always Christmas time
Jesus came to stay
I could believe in peace on Earth
And I could watch TV all day
So I dreamed of Christmas”
See the animated video for “December Song” by George Michael below:
Featured image: Prince via YouTube screenshot, Little Richard via YouTube screenshot, George Michael via YouTube screenshot
Martha lives in the Bay Area and is a dedicated reader of romance novels. She runs a yoga studio and taught yoga for many years. She always says that yoga fuels her writing. She’s also a vegetarian and advocate for living a healthy life. Martha has been writing for us for a while now, giving readers a glimpse into her lifestyle and work.
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