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Prince was a favorite of mine from 1979 through 1987 when, unlike now, he made outstanding albums. He recently appeared on one of the late night talk shows. In conservative attire, he came across as mature (he just turned 51) and mellowed.

For several years he has been a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and this night he made a point of mentioning that he doesn’t vote. (People in that sect do not believe in voting.)
Well, that’s fine, except for the fact that it came across as him being a bit sanctimonious.

Everybody and everything changes, which is as it should be, but as I listened to the new Prince, I couldn’t help recalling all of the X and R rated things the extraordinarily talented artist said in his earlier songs.

For example, he gleefully sang about his “dirty mind,” celebrated the excitement of “head,” said, “Let’s pretend we’re married and do it all night,” informed us that “sexuality is all you’ll ever need,” and offered to “jack U off.”

Let’s not forget “Darling Nikki” who he “met in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine,” and the time Prince asked a girl if he could kiss her “down there where it counts.”

Mind you, I loved those songs, even though the church I belonged to at the time strongly disapproved of Prince. At one point I even destroyed all of my Prince albums — and then bought them all again a year or so later.

I guess what I am saying is that we all have many sides. On some level Prince is likely to still enjoy his “other songs,” even if they are now guilty pleasures.

FANTASIA BARRINO and Donna Summer were both in the area recently, and we thought you’d like to have a look at the talented ladies in performance. Summer appeared at Caesars Windsor and Fantasia sang at Chene Park. The here-there-everywhere Monica Morgan took the pictures.

Janet Jackson is in the process of writing a book, based on her life and experiences, which should be interesting. That is, if she is completely honest.

Kudos to Jay-Z for the benefit concert he is doing on Sept. 11 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Proceeds will go to the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund. Always good to see a successful, and wealthy, entertainer giving back.

Count me in among those disgusted with certain members of the Jackson family (Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and maybe others). It seems they are just exploiting the death of Michael Jackson for personal financial gain. Reality TV show. Reunion tour. Theme park. It’s sickening.

FRANKIE BEVERLY and Maze are to be congratulated on their 40th anniversary. But when are they going to make a new album? It’s been over 12 years!

However, it has to be a great feeling to consistently be able to draw large crowds even without new product. The fans know they are going to get a good show, and they never tire of hearing the band play “Can’t Get Over You,” “Back In Stride,” “Silky Soul” and all of the others.

No surprise that Wrigley dropped Chris Brown. The gum giant, like any company, does not want its product associated with a felon, in this case a woman beater. But we still wish Brown the best in his quest to regain something resembling normalcy in his personal life and career. I think he has paid enough of a price already.

Smokey Robinson says he has known since about age 5 that he wanted to be a singer. It was in his blood.

Nelly and Ashanti are no longer a couple.

People tend to get Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston’s relationship confused. (I’ve done it myself.) One television show host said they are aunt and niece. Actually, they are first cousins. Their mothers — Lee Drinkard Warrick and Emily Drinkard Houston — are sisters.

Sorry to hear about the passing of Johnny Carter, a member of the legendary Dells since 1960. Before that, he sang with the Flamingos.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that supermodel and TV host Tyra Banks is also a singer.

MEMORIES: “It’s You That I Need” (Enchantment), “1-2-3” (Len Barry), “After the Dance” (Marvin Gaye), “With Open Arms” (Rachelle Ferrell), “(No Matter How High I Get) I’ll Still Be Lookin’ Up to You” (Wilton Felder, featuring Bobby Womack and Altrina Grayson), “Dreamin’” (Vanessa Williams), “Key to the World” (L.J. Reynolds), “Grandma’s Hands” (Bill Withers), “Baby, I’m For Real” (the Originals).

BLESSINGS to Carol Smith Dixon, Walter Godfrey, Khadejah Shelby, Angie Daniels, H. Samuel Kemp, Michelle Jackson, Shirleen Fort, Van Esther Griffin, Pauline Leatherwood and Henry Tyler.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Muhammad Ali: “The person who views the world at 50 the way they did at 20 has wasted 30 years of their life.”

Let the music play!

(Steve Holsey can be reached at Svh517@aol.com and P.O. Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.)

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