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Prince Receives the 1998 Essence Award Highlights and speech. Intro by Chris Rock.



I came here I flew in to give my man awards I get to give this man in the war now you know you meet people who say this brothers about this this system about that well the brother I'm here to honor this evening is all about music he was born Prince Rogers Nelson and by the age of seven he was playing the piano just one of the many instruments he's mastered over the years she's written songs for the most popular singers of the day and has gotten countless awards this is the baddest man around I mean his life is a portrait of an artist and his symbol is synonymous with music now what can I do for you I'm guests starting on the show tonight uh-huh and your name sure this is gonna be fun when the artist formerly known as Prince that's the artists all right the inscrutable musical genius innovator and spiritual quest er who's been at the forefront of change in the pop music world for more than two decades he was a rock he was R&B he was dance he was funky he was alternative before alternative was alternative he is always on the cutting edge he's always out in front of everything he's probably the only artist of the thousands I've met that really does it for himself he doesn't care with you and I like it he does it because it's what's in here and here the artists passion Besant began at an early age when he was a baby the brother cried on beat he would actually skip school at Central and come over to North where I went to school and would always be in the music room either playing performing or creating some kind of music his friends and fellow musicians in Minneapolis knew that the artist was something special but how often do you see a guy that can play everything but not just play at it but play everything good better than you play your instrument that you practice on every day the artists staggering grasp of instrument the musical styles is risque lyrics and energetic performances catapulted him to fame in the eighties it influenced a new generation of performers can you say Rico suave he has the look and the moves that that you go how is he doing all that at one time how can he possibly be singing that amazingly playing playing all that music that he wrote by the way and then have that amazing look going on too and it wasn't that he just made it is that he made records that were totally different than anything else that was out there the artist is one of the most prolific songwriters of the day and his single-minded ambition to make music led him to walk away from a hundred million dollar deal with one above records but don't worry you'll never be the starving artist it's all about freedom for him I was just wondering would you ever consider working with a dummy I already have but in my business they're called executives he had the guts to walk into a record company say if I don't do it all I don't want to be with it whoa that's called confidence are you ready artists have always been interested in new technology to Vinci was and so too is the artist last summer in a groundbreaking marketing move he became the first major artist to release his music solely on the internet now if we can only get the internet in Compton he uses the technology that's available to us whether it be the internet computers whatever but it never overshadows the main thing which is the music the music is the passion he's not concerned with the chart games he's not concerned with others who want to suggest he's a hit or not a hit he's concerned with the creativity in the music you know I'm a musician I live for that I live a plane and creating song ladies and gentlemen is my pleasure to give this essence of words to the baddest man in the land the best live performing the world the best songwriter the man of our time give it up for the artist come on Thank You Evans family thank you Chris Rock very much appreciated once you get all the awards that they can bestow upon you what counts is like so many people that have come up here especially the honorees who said that it really it all really matters that you got to help somebody you know Larry Graham taught me so much Larry could you just stand up that's a one-in-a-million brother right there Larry Graham I learned so much from him musically and then when I met him he taught me so much about the truth and that is what led me to have a heart led me to have a heart open enough to let my ego down and take directions from another one of my musical heroes Chaka Khan and like I say when I get together with my brothers and sisters and we let our egos down and we sit in the room and we just discuss what the truth is these are the things that come forth and like I say when all the awards stop is really about who you help and where what you put in the bank of heaven all right again Susan Taylor and the efforts family thank you very much for Chris Rock forever love brother

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