Thursday 19 July 2018

Prince and Ireland - from Nothing Compares 2 U to telling MCD boss to 'chill'

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

From writing the song that propelled Sinead O'Connor into superstardom to arguing with the country's biggest music promoter - Prince definitely left a mark on the Irish music scene.

The legend played here six times during a career that spanned five decades.

Malahide Castle in 2011 was the last while his first Irish show was in 1990, when he played in Cork's Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

U2 led Irish tributes to the multi-instrumentalist and prolific hit-writer as news of his death reverberated across the music world.

"PRINCE, Larry, Edge, Bono, Adam," the band wrote in a simple Twitter tribute. The tweet was accompanied by a black picture.

Ned O'Hanlon, producer of U2's music videos, spoke about meeting the star while producing the first MTV European Music Awards in 1994 at the Brandenburg Gate.

"At that stage he wasn't actually Prince, he was The Artist Formally Known As Prince, as he was fighting with his record label at the time," he said.

"What an absolute powerhouse when he got going, he was tricky to deal with for sure - but no more than other artists as well. When he got on stage, he took the house down."

Radio host Dave Fanning spoke about the massive impact that Prince had across the music world.

"When you think about from 1978 onwards, he made a pretty big impact from the word go," he said.

He spoke about how the musician rarely did interviews and was "a bit of an enigma" until the end.

"Who's big in funk? They borrowed from him. Who's big in dance? They borrowed from him. Who's big in rock music? They borrowed from him. He absolutely straddled all three," he said.

The song Nothing Compares 2 U was originally written by Prince and played by a band he was in, before it was picked up by Sinead O'Connor.

The Irish star has previously spoken about how she and Prince didn't get on and once came to blows over the song.

"He summoned me to his house - and it's foolish to do this to an Irish woman - he said he didn't like me saying bad words in interviews. So I told him to f*** off," she said in a 2014 interview.

Prince was also involved in a spat with event promoter Denis Desmond's MCD, after he pulled out of a 2008 gig in Croke Park just 13 days before it was to take place.

MCD subsequently sued Prince and his agents William Morris Endeavour Entertainment for €1.7m.

It was reported that on hearing about the case, Prince said of Mr Desmond: "Tell the cat to chill, we will work something out." The case was later settled for an undisclosed sum.


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