Not everyone is wowed by the internet. Count the late music great Prince among them.
Prince, who died on April 21, 2016, from an accidental drug overdose, left a large legacy of music, including his hits albums “1999” and “Purple Rain” No. 1 hit singles “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy.”
The seven-time Grammy winner, however, was not a fan of the internet. While the internet has opened up various revenue streams for today’s music artists, allowing them to be in more control of the music, he spoke out about the dangers of the internet several times. Here are seven things to know.
Back in 201, Prince didn’t see the need for the internet. In fact he declared it to be “completely over.”
In a 2015 interview with the Guardian, he explained his earlier statement.
According to Prince, there was no substantial money to be made by artists on the internet.
“What I meant was that the internet was over for anyone who wants to get paid, and I was right about that,” he says. “Tell me a musician who’s got rich off digital sales. Apple’s doing pretty good though, right?”
In 2013, Prince did create a website called 20pr1nc3.com, which is now nonexistent. No one really knows why he took the site down.
“As much as Prince famously became known as one of its antagonists, he was also famously one of the Internet’s early adopters. Prince let his fans buy the three-CD set “Crystal Ball” directly from him, over the Internet, in 1997. Instead of traditional liner notes, the album had a webpage,” The Washington Post reported.
In 2015, the artist sang out against technology as a whole during a concert at the Hollywood Palladium concert, he sang: “Put your phone down. You can’t get down with technology in your hand!”
Even though he complained about technology and the internet, in 2015 Prince went all-in with Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal. And he announced that his next album would be streaming exclusively on Tidal, CNet reported.
Although the musician expressed disdain for technology, it seemed to follow him. He was in fact, he was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Webby awards in 2006. The Webbys are for excellence on the Internet presented annually by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
“Prince’s leadership online has transformed the entertainment industry and reshaped the relationship between artist and fan,” the Webbys wrote of Prince.
In 1999, he presented the “Online Pioneer” award to Public Enemy at the Yahoo! Online Music Awards. Prince took the occasion during his speech to sound off about the dangers of the web. He told attendees not to trust the web, Wired reported.
“Don’t be fooled by the Internet,” he advised. “Use the computer — don’t let the computer use you. Y’all all saw The Matrix.”
Prince’s relationship with the internet has been described by several media outlets as “legendarily complicated.” He stressed how dangerous it was, yet he derived praise from fans of the internet.
At the Yahoo! Online Music Awards Prince had more to say. He warned the audience, “There’s a war going on. The battlefield’s in the mind. And the prize is the soul. So just be careful. Be very careful.”
Photo: Prince watches the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, June 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler) / Apple Store in Greenwich, Connecticut (STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2022 8/4/22)