Tagged with "prince"
Purple Rain - Prince & the Revolution
Category: What's N.E.W.
Tags: purple rain prince revolution word life production video week new quality entertainment

This month we celebrate the life and legacy of Prince Tags: legacy prince celebrate life death word life production new quality entertainment

Prince ( June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

Prince arrived on the scene in the late Seventies, and it didn’t take long for him to upend the music world with his startling music and arresting demeanor. He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties. Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative. His colorful image and revolutionary music made Prince a figure comparable in paradigm-shifting impact to Little RichardJames BrownJimi Hendrix and George Clinton. While 1999Purple Rain and Sign ‘O’ the Times remain Prince’s best-known albums, the artist’s deep discography is full of funky treasure.

To understand Prince, one must appreciate the extent of his musical obsession. He has always been a willing servant of his tireless muse. “There’s not a person around who can stay awake as long as I can,” he claimed in a 1985 interview. “Music is what keeps me awake.” Because he is a workaholic, it’s difficult to keep track of all he’s recorded for himself and others in his orbit. There are reputedly hundreds of unreleased songs in Prince’s vault. In 1998, he unveiled some of these leftovers on the five-CD set, Crystal Ball. That leviathan followed Emancipation (1996), a three-disc set of new material. The single discs Chaos and Disorder (1996) and New Power Soul (1998) also came out during the same time frame. That’s 10 CDs’ worth of music in a three-year period – much more material than most artists manage in a lifetime – and it doesn’t even include albums by Chaka Khan (Come 2 My House) and Graham Central Station (GCS 2000) on which Prince played a major role. Given such prolific output, it doesn’t take long to realize that Prince isn’t just a musician but a force of nature.

One must also accept the fact that Prince is a genuine American eccentric who defiantly marches to the beat of his own funky drummer. Consider that in 1993 he changed his name from Prince to an unpronounceable cipher: a hybrid of the symbols for male and female. He was thereafter referred to (at his own suggestion) as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” or simply “The Artist.”

“I follow what God tells me to do,” Prince explained. “It said, ‘Change your name,’ and I changed my name to a symbol ready for Internet use before I knew anything about the Internet.” In May 2000, he went back to being Prince. Although his motivations may sometimes seem mysterious, Prince is never uninteresting and always capable one more hit record or a return to stardom.

Purple RainAround the World in a DayBatman, and Diamonds and Pearls have sold more than 2 million copies apiece. Purple Rain alone sold 13 million copies and topped the album charts for nearly half a year at the height of Prince’s reign in the mid-Eighties. As Rolling Stone contended in 1989, “Perhaps more than any other artist, Prince called the tune for pop music in the Eighties, imprinting his Minneapolis sound on an entire generation of musicians both black and white.”

Prince Rogers Nelson was born and raised in Minneapolis. He was named after his jazz musician father. The product of a broken home, Prince found refuge in music. By his early teens he’d mastered multiple instruments and was fronting his first band, Grand Central. A demo tape by the young prodigy resulted in major-label interest, and an 18-year-old Prince signed to Warner Bros., insisting on the right to self-produce. His first two albums, For You (1978) and Prince (1979), unveiled a budding genius and one-man band. For You included “Soft and Wet,” an early glimpse at Prince’s uncensored sexuality, while the latter produced Prince’s first hit, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (Number 11). Interest in the youthful rising star was further kindled by Dirty Mind (1980), a provocative and sinuously funky album that appeared like a directional marker at the start of the Eighties. The jittery, New Wavish “When You Were Mine” became a club hit, yet Dirty Mind largely proved too hot to handle for radio. Still, the rising buzz about Prince continued when he opened for the Rolling Stones on their 1980-81 tour. Prince’s fourth album, Controversy (1981), was highlighted by the pulsing title track.

Prince’s breakthrough was 1999 (1982), a self-produced double album made at his home studio. He’d toned down, if not entirely tamed, the hardcore sexuality, and the longish, danceable tracks appealed to disco and New Wave fans alike. Whereas many saw divisions in the culture – in terms of everything from musical preferences to skin color – Prince forged a party-minded unity around the various audiences’ shared interests in “dance, music, sex, romance.” Those were the priorities outlined in “D.M.S.R.,” one of 1999’s key tracks. The album launched three major singles: “Little Red Corvette” (Number Six), “1999” (Number 12) and “Delirious” (Number Eight). As Kurt Loder wrote, “[1999] marked the point at which Prince’s seamless fusion of white rock and roll and black dance-funk became commercially undeniable.” The way had been paved the way for Prince’s stratospheric ascent with the album and movie Purple Rain.

One of the defining releases of the Eighties – along with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. – Purple Rain (1984) elevated Prince from cult hero to superstar. The movie, loosely based on Prince’s life story, was set in Minneapolis and his real-life hangout, the First Avenue & 7th Street Entry Club. Prince wrote the treatment and played the lead role of “The Kid.” The film included electrifying performances by Prince and the Revolution – his racially and sexually integrated band, which included guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboardists Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman, bassist Brown Mark and drummer Bobby Z.  Purple Rain also showcased other acts under his umbrella, most notably The Time, who were fronted by Prince’s extroverted foil, Morris Day. The film grossed $80 million and the album, which won Prince an Oscar for Best Soundtrack, rained hits for a year: “When Doves Cry” (Number One), “Let’s Go Crazy” (Number One), “Purple Rain” (Number Two), “I Would Die 4 U” (Number Eight) and “Take Me With You” (Number 25). Even Prince’s non-LP B sides from the period, such as “17 Days” and “Erotic City,” achieved a certain popularity.

For any other artist Purple Rain would have been a hard act to follow, but Prince already had another album, Around the World in a Day, in the can. A tour de force of psychedelic soul released in 1985, it became his second consecutive Number One album and the first to appear on his own Paisley Park label (a Warner Bros. subsidiary). With Prince-mania in full effect, the album generated two more Top 10 hits: “Raspberry Beret” (Number Two) and “Pop Life” (Number Seven). Even a bad film, Under the Cherry Moon – Prince’s first real miscue – couldn’t halt his momentum, as the accompanying soundtrack, Parade (1986), included the classic “Kiss,” his third Number One single.

Prince hit an artistic peak with Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987), his first album since 1999 not to be co-credited to the Revolution. A double album that was trimmed down from an intended triple, Sign ‘O’ the Times was Prince’s most musically expansive and lyrically incisive album. On the sobering “Sign ‘O’ the Times” (Number Six), Prince enumerated a catalog of social ills (AIDS, crack, gang violence) over a skeletal funk track. Other hits from the album included “U Got the Look” (Number Two), a duet with Sheena Easton, and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” (Number 10). Paisley Park – a 65,000-square-foot multimedia production facility, with three studios and a soundstage – opened for business that same year.

Around this time Prince talked of dueling identities within himself, conjuring characters that represented his good side (“Camille”) and dark side (“Spooky Electric”). The latter had its say on The Black Album, a controversial, hardcore set that was aborted shortly before its intended release. In its place came Lovesexy (1988), which contained the terrific “Alphabet St.” (Number Eight). Commercially, Prince found himself back on top in 1989 with his soundtrack to the first Batman movie. Prince’s dense, tangled funk meshed with film producer Tim Burton’s dark, gothic vision, and his Batman album and “Batdance” single both shot to the top of the charts. A year later, Prince made another of his own movies, Graffiti Bridge. Although it was panned, the double-album soundtrack – with performances by Prince, a reunited Time, Mavis Staple and Tevin Campbell – was compelling, particularly the impassioned “Thieves in the Temple” (Number Six).

In the early Nineties, Prince assembled a backing band, the New Power Generation. They debuted on Diamonds and Pearls (1991), Prince’s most accessible and hit-filled album since Purple Rain. Everything about it was elaborately conceived, including the holographic cover. The album returned Prince to radio with a string of funky, upbeat hits: “Gett Off” (Number 21), “Cream” (Number One), “Diamonds and Pearls” (Number Three) and “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night” (Number 23). It would turn out to be Prince’s biggest album of the Nineties. It was followed in 1992 by an album that marked the first appearance of the symbol that Prince would formally adopt a year later as his name. Ironically, the disc whose title was a symbol – and therefore referred to as The Love Symbol Album - opened with a song called “My Name Is Prince” (Number 36). The numerology-minded “7” peaked at Number Seven, but Prince’s most infectious funk workout, “Sexy MF,” proved too profane for radio.

Still, Prince seemed to be on a roll. In August 1992, he signed a contract extension with Warner Bros. for six more albums (at $10 million apiece), and he acquired the title of vice-president with the label. By mid-decade, however, relations would sour as he began appearing in public with the word “SLAVE” scrawled on his face while agitating to get off the label.

In 1993, Prince’s greatest hits were released in two volumes – The Hits 1 and The Hits 2 – and as a deluxe package that appended a third disc, The B-Sides. All three configurations went platinum, though the three-pack charted highest (Number 19). The artist’s final album as Prince, Come, appeared in 1994, as did (for a limited time) the long-shelved Black Album. That same year, Prince launched an independent label, NPG Records, with a various-artists compilation, 1-800-NEW-FUNK. His next single – “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” (Number Three), which also appeared on NPG – marked a return to hitmaking form.

Meanwhile, relations with Warner Bros., to which he was still contracted, were deteriorating badly. The release of The Gold Experience (1995), which contained “I Hate U” (Number 12), was delayed while he squabbled with the label. Disenchanted with what he saw as an unfairly one-sided relationship between label and artist that rendered the latter a “slave,” Prince was let out of his contract with Warner Bros. in 1996. His last album of new music for the label was Chaos and Disorder (1996). “The problems I had with so-called majors,’ he later said, “were regarding ownership and long-term contracts.” Liberated from such concerns, he quickly resumed his prolific ways. Emancipation (1996), a three-disc set, attested to the artist’s creative explosion after being granted contractual freedom.

Subsequent releases have included New Power Soul (1998), an earthy album credited to New Power Generation; 1999: The New Master, a re-recording of “1999,” plus six remixes; and Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (1999), the most visible of Prince’s later discs. Distributed through a special arrangement with Arista, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic gave Prince the best of both worlds: artistic ownership of his work and major-label distribution. The album was notable for its production credit: Prince, which marked the first time he’d reverted to his old name (and not the unpronounceable symbol) in six years.

It was followed by a series of releases that were largely marketed via Prince’s website, including The Rainbow Children (2001), a mystical and spiritually themed suite, and One Nite Alone Live (2002), a three-disc box set. NEWS (2003), an album of lengthy, jazz-funk instrumentals, garnered a Grammy nomination for the ever-resourceful artist known formerly and forever as Prince.

Prince passed away on April 21, 2016. He was 57.

See more at: https://rockhall.com/inductees/prince/bio/#sthash.4CNEvsFg.dpuf

Source: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Lauryn Hill is beautiful, talented and a true definition of a princess warrior
Category: The Golden Era
Tags: lauryn hill princess warrior talented golden era word life production feature blog

Lauryn Hill was born in South Orange, New Jersey, on May 26, 1975. In 1998, Lauryn Hill released her solo debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and became the first woman or hip-hop artist to win five Grammy Awards—for album of the year, best new artist, best female R&B performance, best R&B song ("Doo Wop (That Thing)") and best R&B album.

Singer-songwriter, producer and actress Lauryn Noelle Hill was born in South Orange, New Jersey, on May 26, 1975, to Valerie Hill, a teacher, and Mal Hill, a computer consultant. After releasing her solo debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, in 1998, Hill became the first woman or hip-hop artist to win five Grammy Awards—for album of the year, best new artist, best female R&B performance, best R&B song ("Doo Wop (That Thing)") and best R&B album.

A natural performer, Lauryn Hill was singing at Harlem's Apollo Theater by the age of 13. Soon after, she met Prakazrel "Pras" Michel and his cousin, Wyclef Jean, and the three formed a band focusing on hip-hop, soul and R&B. First called Tranzlator Crew (later becoming the Fugees), the group began performing in area clubs, with Hill singing lead vocals.

Hill tried her hand at acting at an early age, as well. When she was just a high school sophomore (attending Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey), Hill landed a recurring role on the television soap opera As the World Turns. Soon after, she earned a featured part in the popular film Sister Act II: Back in the Habit, starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Instead of heading to Hollywood, in 1993, Hill enrolled at Columbia University, where she studied for a year before pursuing a performance career. That same year, the Fugees released their first album, Blunted on Reality, which met with mixed reviews. Three years later, the group released a hugely successful second project, The Score (1996). Featuring the hit single "Killing Me Softly," which highlighted Hill's bold and soulful vocals, the album sold 17 million copies—making the Fugees the highest-selling rap group of all time—and garnered two Grammy Awards (best rap album and best R&B performance by a duo or group).

Following The Score's release in 1996, the Fugees have briefly reunited for live performances, but have not worked on another album. In 2003, the group released a Greatest Hits album.

Going Solo

Lauryn Hill's first solo effort, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), established her as a major talent in her own right. The album sold more than 12 million copies and earned the singer-songwriter five Grammys, three American Music Awards, a Billboard Award, a Soul Train Award and an MTV Music Award.

After an extended hiatus, Hill returned in 2002 with MTV Unplugged No. 2.0, a recording of her two-hour acoustic performance on the popular series MTV Unplugged. In October 2005, Hill performed two songs at the Take Back TV concert launching Al Gore's CurrentTV.

Outside of her performance career, Hill is a dedicated activist. She founded an organization dedicated to serving underprivileged urban youth called the Refugee Camp Youth Project; the group raises money to send inner-city children in Hill's native New Jersey to summer camp.

Hill has five children with longtime boyfriend Rohan Marley, the son of legendary reggae singer Bob Marley: Zion (born in August 1997), Selah Louise (born in November 1998),

Joshua (born in January 2002), John (born in 2003) and Sarah (born in January 2008). Hill also has a son from a later relationship, Micah, who was born on July 23, 2011.

Recent News

In May 2013, a 37-year-old Hill made headlines when she was sentenced to three months in prison for not paying federal taxes on approximately $1 million in earnings. The hip-hop singer had pleaded guilty to the tax-evasion charges in 2012. "I needed to be able to earn so I could pay my taxes, without compromising the health and welfare of my children, and I was being denied that," Hill said in a statement, following her sentencing.

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved. http://www.biography.com/people/lauryn-hill-9542643?page=1

Who could forget Xena-Warrior Princess Tags: xena warrior princess classic movies television word life production feature blog

Xena: Warrior Princess is an American television series filmed in New Zealand. The series was aired in syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001.                

The series was created in 1995 by writer-director-producer Robert Tapert under his production tag, Renaissance Pictures with later executive producers being R. J. Stewart (who developed the series along with Tapert) and Sam Raimi. The series narrative follows Xena (played by Lucy Lawless), as an infamous warrior on a quest to seek redemption for her past sins against the innocent by using her formidable fighting skills to now help those who are unable to defend themselves. Xena is accompanied by Gabrielle (played by Renee O'Connor), who during the series changes from a simple farm girl into an Amazon warrior and Xena's comrade-in-arms; her initial naïveté helps to balance Xena and assists her in recognizing and pursuing the "greater good".

The show is a spin-off of the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; the saga began with three episodes in Hercules where Xena was a recurring character originally scheduled to die in her third appearance. Aware that the character of Xena had been very successful among the public, the producers of the series decided to create a spin-off series based on her adventures. Xena was a successful show which has aired in more than 108 countries around the world since 1998. In 2004[citation needed] and 2007, it was ranked #9 and #10 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever and the title character was ranked #100 on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters. Xena's success has led to hundreds of tie-in products, including, comics, books, video games and conventions, realized annually since 1998 in Pasadena, California and London.

The series, which soared past its predecessor in ratings and popularity, has received a strong cult following, attention in fandom, parody, and academia, and has influenced the direction of other television series.        

Xena: Warrior Princess is set primarily in a mythological fantasy version of ancient Greece and was filmed in New Zealand. Some filming locations are confidential, but many scenes were recorded in places such as the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, part of the Auckland Regional parks often credited at the end of the episodes.

The Ancient Greece depicted in the show is largely derived from historical locations and customs, modifying known places and events – battles, trading routes, towns, and so on – to generate an attractive fictional world. The settlements are presented as a mixture of walled villages and rural hamlets set in a lush green, mountainous landscape. They are often seen under attack from warlords, and travelling between them involves frequent encounters with small bands of outlaws. All of the main towns are named after historic towns of Ancient Greece, and exhibit some of their essential characteristics – Amphipolis (birthplace of Xena, Potidaea (birthplace of Gabrielle, Athens (birthplace of Joxer), Corinth, Delphi, and Cirra (birthplace of Callisto) which was burnt to the ground by Xena's army.

As the show progressed, however, events took place throughout more modern times and places, from Cleopatra's Alexandria to Julius Caesar's Rome. The mythology of the show transitioned from that of the Olympian Gods to include Judeo-Christian elements. Eastern religions were touched on as well, with little regard to accurate time-and-place concerns. One episode, "The Way", which loosely interpreted elements of Hinduism as major plot points, generated controversy, requiring the producers to add a disclaimer at the head of the episode and a tag explaining the episode's intentions at its end.

Mythological and supernatural locations are presented as equally real, physical places, often accessed through physical portals hidden in the landscape such as lakes and caves. They include the Elysian Fields, Tartarus, the River Styx, Valhalla, Heaven and Hell. The inhabitants of such places – gods, mythological beings and forces – are for the most part manifested as human characters who can move at will between their domains and the real world. Ares, the Greek God of War, for instance is an egotistical man who wears studded black leather, and Aphrodite Goddess of Love is a California Valley Girl who uses typical Valley Girl slang and dresses in flowing, translucent pink gowns.

Series format

Xena is a historical fantasy set primarily in ancient Greece, although it has a flexible time setting and occasionally features Asian,[15] Egyptian[16] and Medieval[17] elements. The flexible fantasy framework of the show accommodates a considerable range of theatrical styles, from high melodrama to slapstick comedy, from whimsical and musical[18] to all-out action and adventure. While the show is typically set in ancient times, its themes are essentially modern and it investigates the ideas of taking responsibility for past misdeeds, the value of human life, personal liberty and sacrifice, and friendship. The show often addresses ethical dilemmas, such as the morality of pacifism; however, the storylines rarely seek to provide unequivocal solutions.

Xena freely borrows names and themes from various mythologies around the world, primarily the Greek, anachronistically adapting them to suit the demands of the storyline. Historical figures and events from a number of different historical eras and myths make numerous appearances, and the main characters are often credited with resolving important historical situations. These include an encounter with Homer before he was famous, in which Gabrielle encourages his storytelling aspirations;[19] the fall of Troy;[20] and the capture of Caesar by pirates, with Xena cast as the pirate leader.

Competing religions are treated as compatible and co-existent in a henotheistic world, allowing the Greek Pantheon to live side by side with the Norse Gods, Indian Deities, the "God of Love" and others. Each god, or set of gods, controls a different part of the world, and (in the show) survives only while people believe in it. In seasons four and five, the Greek people gradually transfer their faith from the Greek Gods to the "God of Love" over a period of about 25 years, and as their power fades, the Greek Gods are almost all killed off in a climactic battle.

This quirky mix of timelines and the amalgamation of historical and mythological elements fueled the rise of the show to cult status during the 1990s and early 2000s (decade). It was one of the first shows to tap into its Internet following, allowing fans from all over the world to discuss and suggest things related to the show. The Xena fandom is still an active community today.

Casting

Xena: Warrior Princess starred Lucy Lawless as Xena and Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle. The first choice for Xena was the British actress Vanessa Angel,[21] but an illness prevented her from travelling, and the role was offered to another four actresses before the relatively unknown Lawless. Sunny Doench was cast as Gabrielle, but she did not want to leave her boyfriend in the United States, so O'Connor, who had appeared in Hercules in another role, was chosen.

The show features a wide assortment of recurring characters, many of them portrayed by New Zealand actors. Ted Raimi became a core member of the cast from the second season as Joxer. Actor Kevin Tod Smith played popular character Ares, God of War, and Alexandra Tydings played his counterpart Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Other notables included Karl Urban in a variety of roles such as Cupid and Caesar, Hudson Leick as Xena's nemesis Callisto (Leick also played a body-switched Xena in the episode Intimate Stranger[22]), Claire Stansfield as the evil shamaness Alti; and a number of trusted friends – Jennifer Sky as feisty sidekick Amarice, Bruce Campbell as Autolycus King of Thieves, Robert Trebor as dodgy entrepreneur Salmoneus, William Gregory Lee as the warrior-poet Virgil and Tim Omundson as the spiritual healer Eli.

Theme music

Composer Joseph LoDuca wrote the theme music and incidental music, and co-wrote the lyrics for the songs in "The Bitter Suite". The theme music was developed from the traditional Bulgarian folk song "Kaval sviri", sung by the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir. The original "Kaval sviri" can be heard where Xena races into battle in the Hercules episode "Unchained Heart".

The musical score of Xena: Warrior Princess was critically well received and garnered seven Emmy nominations for LoDuca, who won the Emmy award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for the Season 5 episode Fallen Angel in 2000. Most of the series' music was made available on six soundtrack albums. Two of these albums contain the soundtracks from the musical episodes "The Bitter Suite" (Season 3) and "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire" (Season 5).

The series follows Xena and her traveling companion Gabrielle. Xena is on a quest to to redeem herself for her dark past by using her formidable fighting skills to help people. In Hercules, during her two first episodes, Xena was a villain and a powerful warlord, but in her third appearance she joins Hercules to defeat the warlord Darphus, who had taken her army. During her own series, Xena spends almost every episode on a different mission, always trying to do the right thing, fighting for the what she refers to as the "greater good".[23] Xena's trademark weapon is a Chakram, and she also uses a sword. Xena also has to fight her own past; she has never forgiven herself for her crimes, and often has to resist the temptation to return to her evil ways, but she always resists with the help of Gabrielle. Gabrielle is Xena's best friend and also her greatest ally. She is introduced in the first episode, first as a big fan of Xena and her history,[25] but soon becomes a notable character in her own right. As the show progresses she undergoes significant changes in costume and style, evolving from a simple farm girl to a talented bard, and eventually to a formidable warrior. She is initiated into a tribe of Amazons, learns to fight with a staff, and is trained by Xena. In the first season, Xena and Gabrielle meet Joxer, a comic man who styles himself "Joxer the Magnificent", and later "Joxer the Mighty."Joxer's goal is to fight for justice, but unfortunately with no physical know-how of his own, he remains the show's main comic relief. Eventually, he becomes a close friend to Xena and Gabrielle.

Also in the first season, Xena and Gabrielle meet two of their biggest enemies: Callisto (Hudson Leick), a vengeful warrior woman, and Ares (Kevin Tod Smith), the Greek God of War. Callisto is Xena's arch enemy and also a major antagonist over the course of the series; when she was a child, Xena's army burned Callisto's home village of Cirra, causing the death of Callisto's entire family.Callisto, a child at the time, was left traumatized by the attack and eventually went insane and became obsessed with extracting revenge on Xena. She displays (major) signs of both bipolar disorder and psychopathy, manifested in a bizarre brand of sadistic, gleeful, shrieking cruelty towards Xena and her associates.

Suave, charming, witty, yet ruthless and amoral, Ares often represents, especially in the early seasons, the seductive power of war and the dark side. He repeatedly attempts to lure Xena away from her quest for redemption alongside Gabrielle, and to win her over as his Warrior Queen. He offers her huge armies and historic victories, great wealth and great power, and in later seasons his love, offers which she consistently rejects despite being sometimes tempted. Much of Ares' relationship with Xena remains ambiguous, including whether he is at least partly redeemed by his love for Xena, or is in fact her father, or to what extent Xena reciprocates his feelings. He says several times that he "has a thing" for Xena and this seems to prevent him from killing her, even when pitted against her in deadly combat, yet he pursues her sexually and romantically. Likewise, Xena is suggested to have strong feelings for Ares, but over the course of the series, never pursued them.

Other major antagonists of the show include Caesar and Alti, a Roman official and Shamaness respectively. Caesar's first appearance was in the second season episode "Destiny." Caesar's first introduced as a young Roman patrician, and is portrayed as being very arrogant, so much so that when he is captured by Xena and her pirates he is not afraid. When threatened by Xena he tells her "I know what I'm fated to do with my life"He allows Xena to seduce him, when in reality she is the one being seduced. This ultimately leads to both her capture and crucifixion at the hands of Caesar, along with both her legs being broken; an often revisited and referenced moment in Xena's past. This betrayal by Caesar is the direct catalyst for Xena's transition from pirate to ruthless warlord.

Alti is a Northern Amazon shaman driven out of her Siberian tribe by Queen Cyane, because of her hunger for power. She is one of the most influential people whom Xena encountered in her dark days, and possesses various spiritual powers. Alti is probably best known for her trademark stare, which brings up pain and suffering from the target's life and unleashes the torment (in the form of both pain and physical symptoms) once again. Whenever Alti stares at Xena, Xena often feels the pain of when her legs were broken, her back snapped by her Chakram, and multiple barrages of attacks from some of her mortal enemies. However, as Alti grows in power during the series, she is able to conjure up pain and suffering from both a person's future, and from future lives they have yet to experience. This power is what causes Xena to realize that Gabrielle is alive early in Season 4, after Alti shows Xena a vision of her and Gabrielle being crucified together on Mount Amarro. Over the course of the series, viewers were also introduced to various members of both Xena, and Gabrielle's, families. This includes parents and siblings of both women, but most notably featured were their children. Xena gave her first son, Solan to a group of centaurs after the death of his father, Borias, who was killed in combat against a warrior in Xena's employ. Solan never knew that Xena was his mother, however knowing Xena for a long time. While aiding Xena and Boudica to defend Britannia against Caesar, Gabrielle comes into contact with an evil cult that tricks her into killing one of its priestesses, Meridian. Using her, the dark god Dahak impregnates Gabrielle just as Xena rescues her. Over the next few days the child grows inside Gabrielle, and she eventually (and quite dramatically) gives birth to a girl, naming her Hope. Even though she is the seed of an evil deity, Gabrielle tells Xena that she is also a part of her and that there must be some good in her as well. Being the daughter of Dahak, she quickly developed supernatural powers, and kills within hours of being born, proving to Xena that there was no chance of saving her. Hope aged amazingly fast, and, mere months after being drifted down a river by her mother, she appeared to be about 9 years old. Despite Gabrielle's hopes that she would "be good", Hope killed Xena's son Solan before being poisoned by Gabrielle herself.

During the episode "The Ides of March", at the end of season 4, Xena and Gabrielle were crucified by the Romans, as Caesar is betrayed and killed by Brutus. They are later revived by a mystic named Eli with the spiritual aid of Callisto, who by that time had become an angel;[39] Callisto also makes Xena to conceive a daughter after the resurrection, and this child is prophesied to bring about the Twilight of the Olympian gods; this girl was named Eve.[40] To escape the gods' persecution, Xena and Gabrielle fake their deaths, but their plan goes awry when Ares buries them in an ice cave where they sleep for 25 years;[41] during that time, Eve is adopted by the Roman nobleman Octavius and grows up to become Livia, the Champion of Rome, and a ruthless persecutor of Eli's followers. After her return, Xena is able to turn Livia to repentance, and Livia takes back the name Eve and becomes the Messenger of Eli. After Eve's cleansing by baptism, Xena is granted the power to kill gods as long as her daughter lives. In a final confrontation, the Twilight comes to pass when Xena kills most of the gods on Olympus to save her daughter, and is herself saved by Ares when he gives up his immortality to heal the badly injured and dying Eve and Gabrielle.

Spin-offs

There have been numerous Xena spin-offs into various media including films, books, comics and video games.

Movies

In August 1997 Hercules and Xena: The Battle For Mount Olympus a DTV animated movie was released, featuring the voices of a number of actors from both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. The movie plot involves Hercules' mother being kidnapped by Zeus and the release of the Titans. Xena and Gabrielle have supporting roles in the movie, and at one point Xena even bursts into song.

Since the end of the series rumors have circulated that a feature length movie was in the works. In 2003 screenwriter Katherine Fugate was approached for the project, and was quoted saying that she expects the start of production to be three to five years away, which suggested a release sometime between 2006 and 2009.[44] Actress Lucy Lawless has been quoted in several interviews saying she would be interested in participating in a Xena film as well.

In April 2009, however, Rob Tapert stated firmly there is no hope of a live-action Xena feature film, at least not any time soon or starring Lucy Lawless or Renée O'Connor. "It's something that just won't happen....In twenty years or ten years, in some amount of years, like McGyver, like Charlie's Angels, it [could] happen like that [with other actresses]."

In 2011, a movement campaigning for the production of a new Xena movie was started. The Xena Movie Campaign gained support from thousands of Xena fans around the world. In 2013, they were instrumental in helping Xena gain the support needed to win the 2013 Half Price Books Tournament of Scifi vs. fantasy heroes with millions of backing votes.

Following this success, a global campaign to directly bombard Universal Pictures with requests for a Xena movie was launched. Over the space of a few days hundreds of thousands of messages were sent showing support for the production of a Xena film starring the original cast. After receiving nods of acknowledgement from Universal Studios offices in Australia, Finland and Spain, the efforts of the campaign were rewarded in May 2013 when Lucy Lawless stated on her Twitter account that she had been contacted by a "chap who wants to re-invigorate the #Xena brand" while warning fans that "there's a lot of red tape around #XWP so don't get your knickers in a twist. It may come back in a different form".

Literature

Many books have been released as tie-ins, including The Official Guide to the Xenaverse by Robert Weisbrot. This includes a detailed episode guide for the first two seasons, a look behind the scenes, the story of the origin of the show, biographies of cast and crew, and trivia about the show. After the sixth and final season, Xena Warrior Princess: Complete Illustrated Companion. was published.

In 1998, XENA: All I Need to Know I Learned From the Warrior Princess, was published, allegedly written by Gabrielle, Bard of Potidaea and "translated" by Josepha Sherman. In it, Gabrielle writes enthusiastically about many of the lessons that she learned. For example, in a chapter entitled "Anything can be a weapon- Anything!” she instructs the reader on fighting with unconventional weapons; and in another, "Nobody Likes a Winer"; she bemoans the perils of alcohol.

There have been a number of novelizations by authors like Martin H. Greenberg, and fiction such as The Empty Throne, The Huntress and The Sphinx, The Thief of Hermes, and Prophecy of Darkness.

Comics

There have been a number of comic adaptations. The earliest ones were released by Topps Comics, Dark Horse Comics (written by Ian Edginton and John Wagner). More recently the license has moved to Dynamite Entertainment.[54]

Video games

Simutronics Corporation created an MMORPG under license called Hercules & Xena: Alliance of Heroes, based on both Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In subsequent years Simutronics relinquished the license, removed trademarked material and rebranded the game, which still exists, as Alliance of Heroes.

    Electronic Arts published Xena: Warrior Princess (video game) for the PS1 in 1999. Played from a third-person perspective, the game play involves slashing, jumping, and kicking through a variety of primitive 3D environments. Xena can also find and use power-ups and her trademark chakram. Once thrown, the chakram becomes a first-person weapon to guide toward enemies.

    Saffire published Xena: Warrior Princess: The Talisman of Fate for the Nintendo 64 console in 1999.

    Xena: Warrior Princess for the Game Boy Color was developed and released by Titus Software in 2000.

    Xena: Warrior Princess: Death in Chains, a multi-path video game for the PC adapted from and expanding upon the television episode of the same name, although none of the original actors provide their voices.

    Xena: Warrior Princess: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, another multi-path video game for the PC, again adapted from and expanding upon the television episode of the same name, again without the original voice actors.

    Xena: Warrior Princess for the PS2 only released in Europe.

DVD releases

Anchor Bay Entertainment released all 6 Seasons of Xena: Warrior Princess on DVD in Region 1 for the first time between 2003–2005. As of 2010, these releases have now been discontinued and are out of print as Anchor Bay no longer has the distribution rights.

On January 12, 2010, Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced that they plan on re-releasing Xena: Warrior Princess on DVD. They have subsequently re-released the first four seasons. Season 5's re-release date has not yet been confirmed.

 

In Region 2 & 4, Universal Pictures released the entire series on DVD. In addition, they released a complete series collection on DVD in Region 2 on October 8, 2007.

Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xena:_Warrior_Princess

Prince is a musical genius, legend and Rock and Roll hall of famer Tags: prince rock roll hall fame word life production feature blog music hall fame

Prince arrived on the scene in the late Seventies, and it didn’t take long for him to upend the music world with his startling music and arresting demeanor. He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties. Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative. His colorful image and revolutionary music made Prince a figure comparable in paradigm-shifting impact to Little Richard, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and George Clinton. While 1999, Purple Rain and Sign ‘O’ the Times remain Prince’s best-known albums, the artist’s deep discography is full of funky treasure.

 

To understand Prince, one must appreciate the extent of his musical obsession. He has always been a willing servant of his tireless muse. “There’s not a person around who can stay awake as long as I can,” he claimed in a 1985 interview. “Music is what keeps me awake.” Because he is a workaholic, it’s difficult to keep track of all he’s recorded for himself and others in his orbit. There are reputedly hundreds of unreleased songs in Prince’s vault. In 1998, he unveiled some of these leftovers on the five-CD set, Crystal Ball. That leviathan followed Emancipation (1996), a three-disc set of new material. The single discs Chaos and Disorder (1996) and New Power Soul (1998) also came out during the same time frame. That’s 10 CDs’ worth of music in a three-year period – much more material than most artists manage in a lifetime – and it doesn’t even include albums by Chaka Khan (Come 2 My House) and Graham Central Station (GCS 2000) on which Prince played a major role. Given such prolific output, it doesn’t take long to realize that Prince isn’t just a musician but a force of nature.

 

One must also accept the fact that Prince is a genuine American eccentric who defiantly marches to the beat of his own funky drummer. Consider that in 1993 he changed his name from Prince to an unpronounceable cipher: a hybrid of the symbols for male and female. He was thereafter referred to (at his own suggestion) as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” or simply “The Artist.”

 

“I follow what God tells me to do,” Prince explained. “It said, ‘Change your name,’ and I changed my name to a symbol ready for Internet use before I knew anything about the Internet.” In May 2000, he went back to being Prince. Although his motivations may sometimes seem mysterious, Prince is never uninteresting and always capable one more hit record or a return to stardom.

 

Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Batman, and Diamonds and Pearls have sold more than 2 million copies apiece. Purple Rain alone sold 13 million copies and topped the album charts for nearly half a year at the height of Prince’s reign in the mid-Eighties. As Rolling Stone contended in 1989, “Perhaps more than any other artist, Prince called the tune for pop music in the Eighties, imprinting his Minneapolis sound on an entire generation of musicians both black and white.”

 

Prince Rogers Nelson was born and raised in Minneapolis. He was named after his jazz musician father. The product of a broken home, Prince found refuge in music. By his early teens he’d mastered multiple instruments and was fronting his first band, Grand Central. A demo tape by the young prodigy resulted in major-label interest, and an 18-year-old Prince signed to Warner Bros., insisting on the right to self-produce. His first two albums, For You (1978) and Prince (1979), unveiled a budding genius and one-man band. For You included “Soft and Wet,” an early glimpse at Prince’s uncensored sexuality, while the latter produced Prince’s first hit, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (Number 11). Interest in the youthful rising star was further kindled by Dirty Mind (1980), a provocative and sinuously funky album that appeared like a directional marker at the start of the Eighties. The jittery, New Wavish “When You Were Mine” became a club hit, yet Dirty Mind largely proved too hot to handle for radio. Still, the rising buzz about Prince continued when he opened for the Rolling Stones on their 1980-81 tour. Prince’s fourth album, Controversy (1981), was highlighted by the pulsing title track.

 

Prince’s breakthrough was 1999 (1982), a self-produced double album made at his home studio. He’d toned down, if not entirely tamed, the hardcore sexuality, and the longish, danceable tracks appealed to disco and New Wave fans alike. Whereas many saw divisions in the culture – in terms of everything from musical preferences to skin color – Prince forged a party-minded unity around the various audiences’ shared interests in “dance, music, sex, romance.” Those were the priorities outlined in “D.M.S.R.,” one of 1999’s key tracks. The album launched three major singles: “Little Red Corvette” (Number Six), “1999” (Number 12) and “Delirious” (Number Eight). As Kurt Loder wrote, “[1999] marked the point at which Prince’s seamless fusion of white rock and roll and black dance-funk became commercially undeniable.” The way had been paved the way for Prince’s stratospheric ascent with the album and movie Purple Rain.

 

One of the defining releases of the Eighties – along with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. – Purple Rain (1984) elevated Prince from cult hero to superstar. The movie, loosely based on Prince’s life story, was set in Minneapolis and his real-life hangout, the First Avenue & 7th Street Entry Club. Prince wrote the treatment and played the lead role of “The Kid.” The film included electrifying performances by Prince and the Revolution – his racially and sexually integrated band, which included guitarist Wendy Melvoin, keyboardists Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman, bassist Brown Mark and drummer Bobby Z.  Purple Rain also showcased other acts under his umbrella, most notably The Time, who were fronted by Prince’s extroverted foil, Morris Day. The film grossed $80 million and the album, which won Prince an Oscar for Best Soundtrack, rained hits for a year: “When Doves Cry” (Number One), “Let’s Go Crazy” (Number One), “Purple Rain” (Number Two), “I Would Die 4 U” (Number Eight) and “Take Me With You” (Number 25). Even Prince’s non-LP B sides from the period, such as “17 Days” and “Erotic City,” achieved a certain popularity.

 

For any other artist Purple Rain would have been a hard act to follow, but Prince already had another album, Around the World in a Day, in the can. A tour de force of psychedelic soul released in 1985, it became his second consecutive Number One album and the first to appear on his own Paisley Park label (a Warner Bros. subsidiary). With Prince-mania in full effect, the album generated two more Top 10 hits: “Raspberry Beret” (Number Two) and “Pop Life” (Number Seven). Even a bad film, Under the Cherry Moon – Prince’s first real miscue – couldn’t halt his momentum, as the accompanying soundtrack, Parade (1986), included the classic “Kiss,” his third Number One single.

 

Prince hit an artistic peak with Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987), his first album since 1999 not to be co-credited to the Revolution. A double album that was trimmed down from an intended triple, Sign ‘O’ the Times was Prince’s most musically expansive and lyrically incisive album. On the sobering “Sign ‘O’ the Times” (Number Six), Prince enumerated a catalog of social ills (AIDS, crack, gang violence) over a skeletal funk track. Other hits from the album included “U Got the Look” (Number Two), a duet with Sheena Easton, and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” (Number 10). Paisley Park – a 65,000-square-foot multimedia production facility, with three studios and a soundstage – opened for business that same year.

 

Around this time Prince talked of dueling identities within himself, conjuring characters that represented his good side (“Camille”) and dark side (“Spooky Electric”). The latter had its say on The Black Album, a controversial, hardcore set that was aborted shortly before its intended release. In its place came Lovesexy (1988), which contained the terrific “Alphabet St.” (Number Eight). Commercially, Prince found himself back on top in 1989 with his soundtrack to the first Batman movie. Prince’s dense, tangled funk meshed with film producer Tim Burton’s dark, gothic vision, and his Batman album and “Batdance” single both shot to the top of the charts. A year later, Prince made another of his own movies, Graffiti Bridge. Although it was panned, the double-album soundtrack – with performances by Prince, a reunited Time, Mavis Staple and Tevin Campbell – was compelling, particularly the impassioned “Thieves in the Temple” (Number Six).

 

In the early Nineties, Prince assembled a backing band, the New Power Generation. They debuted on Diamonds and Pearls (1991), Prince’s most accessible and hit-filled album since Purple Rain. Everything about it was elaborately conceived, including the holographic cover. The album returned Prince to radio with a string of funky, upbeat hits: “Gett Off” (Number 21), “Cream” (Number One), “Diamonds and Pearls” (Number Three) and “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night” (Number 23). It would turn out to be Prince’s biggest album of the Nineties. It was followed in 1992 by an album that marked the first appearance of the symbol that Prince would formally adopt a year later as his name. Ironically, the disc whose title was a symbol – and therefore referred to as The Love Symbol Album - opened with a song called “My Name Is Prince” (Number 36). The numerology-minded “7” peaked at Number Seven, but Prince’s most infectious funk workout, “Sexy MF,” proved too profane for radio.

 

Still, Prince seemed to be on a roll. In August 1992, he signed a contract extension with Warner Bros. for six more albums (at $10 million apiece), and he acquired the title of vice-president with the label. By mid-decade, however, relations would sour as he began appearing in public with the word “SLAVE” scrawled on his face while agitating to get off the label.

In 1993, Prince’s greatest hits were released in two volumes – The Hits 1 and The Hits 2 – and as a deluxe package that appended a third disc, The B-Sides. All three configurations went platinum, though the three-pack charted highest (Number 19). The artist’s final album as Prince, Come, appeared in 1994, as did (for a limited time) the long-shelved Black Album. That same year, Prince launched an independent label, NPG Records, with a various-artists compilation, 1-800-NEW-FUNK. His next single – “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” (Number Three), which also appeared on NPG – marked a return to hitmaking form.

Meanwhile, relations with Warner Bros., to which he was still contracted, were deteriorating badly. The release of The Gold Experience (1995), which contained “I Hate U” (Number 12), was delayed while he squabbled with the label. Disenchanted with what he saw as an unfairly one-sided relationship between label and artist that rendered the latter a “slave,” Prince was let out of his contract with Warner Bros. in 1996. His last album of new music for the label was Chaos and Disorder (1996). “The problems I had with so-called majors,’ he later said, “were regarding ownership and long-term contracts.” Liberated from such concerns, he quickly resumed his prolific ways. Emancipation (1996), a three-disc set, attested to the artist’s creative explosion after being granted contractual freedom.

Subsequent releases have included New Power Soul (1998), an earthy album credited to New Power Generation; 1999: The New Master, a re-recording of “1999,” plus six remixes; and Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic (1999), the most visible of Prince’s later discs. Distributed through a special arrangement with Arista, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic gave Prince the best of both worlds: artistic ownership of his work and major-label distribution. The album was notable for its production credit: Prince, which marked the first time he’d reverted to his old name (and not the unpronounceable symbol) in six years.

It was followed by a series of releases that were largely marketed via Prince’s website, including The Rainbow Children (2001), a mystical and spiritually themed suite, and One Nite Alone Live (2002), a three-disc box set. NEWS (2003), an album of lengthy, jazz-funk instrumentals, garnered a Grammy nomination for the ever-resourceful artist known formerly and forever as Prince.

Source: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame http://rockhall.com/inductees/prince/bio/

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