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19 Artists Who Wouldn't Exist Without Prince

And these are just a few...

Prince and Beyonce perform a medley of his hits at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Michael Caulfield/
Michael Caulfield/WireImage

Fans are reeling from the news of Prince's death at age 57. But the fans are not just people like you and me. The iconic singer/guitarist/actor/writer/everything has influenced other musicians we love.

Here are only a few of the many musicians Prince has inspired. But remember, Prince has struck everyone. Along with all his breakthroughs in music and fashion, his attitude and unabashedness continues to live on as well. Click through as we attempt to cull together just a few of the celebs that took inspiration from the respected innovator—even though there's no way to pinpoint all of them.

Fuse's music video block, Dearly Beloved, a tribute to Prince, premieres Thursday, April 21 at 7/6c, and airs again at 11/10c. Plus, catch the tribute throughout the day on Friday, April 22.

1 / 19

The Weeknd

Prince has been known for taking the strange and twisted and making it into a radio-friendly hit—and The Weeknd did the same, purposefully modeling some of his music after Prince's. In an interview with Pitchfork, The Weeknd said this:

"Prince was always just pushing the envelope. Michael was doing that too, but he wasn’t as experimental. Prince turned experimental music into pop music. 'When Doves Cry,' the whole Purple Rain soundtrack—he was inspired by the Cocteau Twins and new wave pop and brought it into R&B when he first started, and then it became this cool, next-level, kind of hard-to-digest music. Which is what I felt House of Balloons was. Image, lyrics, content, storytelling, cohesive body of work: That's Prince to me. Michael had cohesive bodies of work, but every song was its own song, and usually I can tell a story with my albums. R. Kelly is just a child of Michael and Prince; I want to be that of my generation. I mean, I hope I can be that."

Above, watch Prince present The Weeknd with an award at the AMAs in 2015.

2 / 19


Beyoncé and Prince inspired each other, and it was really special to see them perform together at the 2004 GRAMMYs. In the interview above, you can hear Bey fanning out intensely over the match-up.

3 / 19

Lenny Kravitz

Kravitz told the Huffington Post that he'd pick Prince as a bandmate in the future, and once went bowling with him. (Prince wore fluffy boots to the alleys, of course). Here they are performing together in 2000.

4 / 19

Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson has noted the Prince influenced her music. Here she is covering "Purple Rain" in 2015.

5 / 19

Nick Jonas

When Nick Jonas visited Fuse, he told us that he channeled Prince for his solo album.

"I've got soul as my roots in the vocal space, and then taking Stevie Wonder, Prince and flipping [that sound] on its head with some of its newer influences like The Weeknd and Jhené Aiko and stuff like that that I'm really inspired by."

6 / 19

Ro James

Ro James has every ounce of Prince in him. When he came by Fuse, he told us about his top 5 R&B influencers, and The Purple One was front and center.

7 / 19

Judith Hill

Michael Jackson backup singer Judith Hill has always been one to sing Prince's praises. And when Prince caught wind of that, he invited her to his Paisley Studios to record her album, Back in Time, which he co-produced. In the video above, she tells Fuse what it was like working with the legend.

8 / 19

Delta Spirit

Delta Spirit told Fuse at Lollapalooza that Prince is as important to American music as Bob Dylan. Duh!

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Liv Warfield

Prince executive produced Warfield's 2014 album The Unexpected. "He is very much my mentor," Warfield told Fuse. "He's taught me a lot, how to be a writer, a ranger. You can't help but pick something up from him. He's funny, and he's really fun to be around. He just has a generous heart."

10 / 19

Rita Ora

Prince invited Rita Ora into the studio for his HITNRUN Phase One album, and he's worked on her stuff as well. "I honestly have to say that it's one of the best experience of my life," Ora told Fuse. "He wrote this incredible poem, which I turned into a song."

11 / 19

Jim James

One listen to My Morning Jacket's "Highly Suspicious," and you know that Prince was an influence on lead singer Jim James.

12 / 19

Maroon 5

Maroon 5's Adam Levine has a falsetto pulled straight from Prince. He was so inspired by him that he invited him over for a jam session... and Prince obliged! Here, you can see him covering "Purple Rain."

13 / 19


There's no denying the funk and soul influence on D'Angelo. He told RBMA radio:

“I was five years old. 'I Wanna Be Your Lover' had come out, and it was a big hit. When that album came out, it was just huge. He really, literally, was the talk of the town. Everybody was wondering, 'Who is this guy? Is he a guy? Is it a girl?' No one really knew who it was. I remember we had the album, and my brothers were just enamored by this guy. They told me, 'He plays everything, he writes everything, he’s singing everything,' so I was hooked from then on. I learned how to play every song on that album, note for note, at five years old.”

14 / 19

Paloma Faith

The realness of Paloma Faith's music is directly reminiscent of Prince's. In fact, Prince was a big supporter of the soul singer: "If my album was dreadful, Prince would have lost interest very quickly. But I found his support validating because it made me feel confident to do the best I can. And I have," she told the Mirror U.K.

Here she is covering "I Feel For You."

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Darius Rucker

"I left that movie and all I wanted to do was be in a band," Darius Rucker said of Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain.

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As a producer, Pharrell sampled Prince for Jay Z's "Excuse Me Miss" and took severe cues from "Nasty Girl," which Prince wrote for his protege group Vanity 6, for Britney Spears' "Slave 4 U."

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Miguel is the sexy embodiment of Prince's out-front sexuality and boldness. He's often earned the title of modern-day Prince... although no one but Prince can be Prince. He told Entertainment Weekly:

“There’s no way Prince could not be a musical influence of mine. I grew up not only looking up to him as a musician but as an icon, someone who was pushing the boundaries in his art. For me, every song is an extension of how I perceive the world—and how I want to perceive the world. This song is a description of that dynamic. In ‘Flesh,’ I’m trying to describe my character and her character in the throes [of sex]. I’m trying to bring you into my world.”

18 / 19

Janelle Monáe

Even if you ignore the fact that Prince featured on Janelle Monae's Electric Lady album, Monae's showmanship and quirkiness IS Prince. She told Essence:

"Prince is a mentor, a friend and a musical hero of mine and he still is. Growing up, I always admired how he handled the business and gave other artists an opportunity to shine, and when he puts his stamp on someone it’s a special thing. He’s been in the industry for a really long time, he’s smart, and he’s constantly reinventing himself. I just hope when I reach that many years in the game I can still be as passionate as he and as giving to new artists as he is."

19 / 19

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys loved Prince so much, she covered "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore?" for her debut album (along with her Unplugged album). In 2004, she inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with a speech we should all revisit. It's spot-on.

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