Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The BET Awards: Prince in the House

I watched the BET Awards last night because Prince was on it. As a musician, it's always intriguing to see the best, and Prince is the most talented musician on the planet. His inner groove is beyond belief. He can give you the finished product of a great funk band, just sitting on a barstool strumming an acoustic, as he did last time he was at the Rose Garden. I've seen him in concert 4 times, once with Chaka Khan, whom they were honoring last night. What transpired was the best musical performance on TV that I've seen in a long while. The shot that sticks in my mind was Prince jamming away on his Telecaster, standing right next to Stevie Wonder who was playing his harmonica on that Chaka Khan hit, "I Feel For You." Earlier they had revisited the Rufus song, "Tell Me Something Good", and really tore the place up. It was frankly nice on a generational level to see the young people taking it in from the old guard of soul. Just as an age-group thing it made me proud. I knew Prince would endure because he's got the greatness factor. Yes, he's a star and one hell of an entertainer, but the talent level is what is truly remarkable.
I should mention this 17-year-old singer/dancer named Chris Brown. I don't have a complete read on his voice or music yet, but he's quite a dancer in the Michael Jackson tradition. One sort of amazing moment: The stage was around 4-ft off the ground, and after Chris had done some running gymnastic-style flips across it, he did a flip off the stage, that he said later he just winged out of feeling. I mean he jumped up and flipped but landed 4 ft. below where he started. That's something I never saw before, and I'm glad he didn't kill himself.
Oh well. Music is the best so play on. Or go off with your bad self - whichever way you want to say it.


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