By Stacy M. Brown
In about three minutes, singer Alicia Keys captured the very essence of the late pop megastar, Prince.
Now, over the course of nearly two or more hours, famed movie maker Ava DuVernay will capture the “Purple Rain” hitmaker’s life and career on film. DuVernay confirmed that she’s been tapped to direct a new documentary on the icon, who died in 2016 at the age of 57.
“Prince was a genius, a joy and a jolt to the senses. He was like no other,” DuVernay wrote in a Tweet confirming that she’s working on the documentary for Netflix.
“He shattered preconceived notions, smashed boundaries, and shared his heart through his music. The only way I know how to make this film is with love and great care. I’m honored to do so and grateful,” she said.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His early music career saw the release of the albums, “Prince,” “Dirty Mind,” and “Controversy,” which his biography aptly notes drew attention for their fusion of religious and sexual themes.
He then released the popular, critical and successful albums “1999,” and “Purple Rain,” cementing his superstar status with No. 1 hits like “When Doves Cry,” and “Let's Go Crazy.”
A seven-time Grammy winner, Prince had a prodigious output that included later albums like the seminal “Sign O’ the Times,” “Diamonds and Pearls,” “The Gold Experience,” and “Musicology.”
The latter was released in 2004, the year Prince earned induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“There are many kinds,” Alicia Keys said in a three-minute plus induction speech, as she inducted Prince. “But there is only one Prince. There is only one man who is so loud who makes you soft, so strong he makes you weak, so honest you feel kind of bashful,” she continued.
“So bold, he defies you to be subtle and so super bad he makes you feel so super good.”
When news of Prince’s sudden death in 2016 spread, Outkast’s Andre 3000 was among the millions who paid tribute to Prince.
“Back in the day, entertainers were singers, they were dancers, they had great style, they had great personality,” he said.
“We’ve lost a lot of that today, and so when it comes for me to do music, Prince is most definitely one of my greatest inspirations.”
DuVernay said she and her production crew have paid regular visits to Paisley Park, Prince’s iconic home and music studio in preparation for the film, which is expected to include previously unreleased concert, rehearsal and other footage as well as scores of never-before-heard music.
While the late singer’s estate has agreed to give DuVernay full control of the project, reportedly, Prince himself choose her to make the film.
“Before he passed away, Prince reached out to the ‘Queen Sugar’ creator directly about working together, I’ve learned,” Deadline Hollywood’s Dominic Patten and Dino-Ray Ramos wrote in the publication, which also noted that DuVernay is working on a film about the Central Park Five.
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