For 10 seasons, NBC’s “The Voice” has created an environment where artists from all backgrounds can come and take their shot at fame no matter who they are or what they’ve done, as long as they share a passion for music. Obviously, a show that operates with that attitude toward the business was very affected by the death of musical icon Prince earlier this week.
CNN reports that the famed singer and songwriter died at 57 years old on April 21. At the top of its live performances show Monday, “The Voice” took a break from its usual fanfare and hype in favor of a more somber note about the loss of the “Purple Rain” singer. Carson Daly took the stage, which was adorned in the late artist’s signature color purple, and told the quiet crowd that the show would open by giving each of the four celebrity coaches, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton, a chance to give their own personal eulogy about the life and influence of Prince.
Levine spoke first, having previously shared his thoughts on the matter when he initially heard the news. He opened by confessing that his career was inspired heavily by that of Prince, and heralded his uncompromising artistic vision as one of the big reasons why.
“Probably one of the most profound musical influences on me, personally. The whole world felt his presence always. He did things his way, always, until the end,” Levine says in the video below. “I just have a lot of respect for someone who is able to continue to make creative music and never change anything about who he was. That’s inspiring and I’m going to miss this guy very much.”
Williams took the spotlight next, sharing a story about growing up in Virginia Beach with his aunt, who would get records in the mail. According to him, as soon as the “Purple Rain” album arrived, it was all that played in her apartment complex. It thus became the unofficial soundtrack to Williams’ childhood. He confessed that he was still shocked by the news that Prince is gone, but tried to remind the audience that his legacy will live on.
“It’s a shock. We’re going to miss him, but you know what, every time I see purple, and I know everybody else here too, we’ll definitely be thinking of Prince.”
Aguilera went next, clearly flustered about having to talk about the legendary musician on the live stage. She began by echoing Levine’s sentiments about Prince’s uncompromising artistic vision defining both his career and the music industry in general. However, she went on to add that Prince’s reach expanded beyond music and affected the modern artist as well.
“I loved his passion for artists and artist’s rights and truly staying authentic and genuine to music,” she said. “There was nothing manufactured about what he did and what he stood for and that I appreciate more than anything else about him.”
Shelton closed the segment, being the last in the line of coaches chairs. Few expected the country artist to have any real musical ties to Prince, which he copped to immediately. The coach admitted that he didn’t have the privilege of meeting Prince, so he spoke as a fan, even though there wasn’t much left to say.
“His music, still to this day, can change my day. It changes my mood every time I hear it. He was larger than life and now he’s gone and it’s a shock and upsetting and he’s already missed.”
With that, things shifted back to Daly, who reached out to Prince’s friends, family and fans to tell them that they are all in the thoughts and prayers of those associated with “The Voice.” They’ll all return Tuesday night to read off the live eliminations for the week, but you can watch the coaches pay tribute to Prince during last night’s broadcast in the video below.
We love you, Prince. _https://t.co/D94G1PrA77
— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) April 26, 2016