Prince’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction: The Full Story

The induction speeches: “There are many kings. But there is only one Prince”

OutKast’s Big Boi and André 3000, plus R&B singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, had been asked to do the honours inducting Prince into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. During his introductory speech, André 3000, who had been listening to Prince since childhood, admitted to only truly understanding the scope of his achievements after he began making music himself: the realisation “didn’t take”, he said, “until I started to get into music and to produce songs. And to see what it takes for a songwriter to make music and to write lyrics is when I really appreciated what Prince brought to the whole game. So I just really have to say thank you.”

For Big Boi’s part, Prince also shaped the way he acted as a teenager after hearing the Purple Rain album. “I tried to straighten my hair out,” he said with a smile. “I even tried… riding motorcycles and really being debonair with the ladies… All in all, man, he’s been an inspiration to OutKast. I mean, everything that we’ve done up until this point, man, he’s been a big influence on us… Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, there couldn’t have been nobody else that deserved it better than this man tonight.”

In an insightful and emotional tribute, Alicia Keys noted, “There are many kings. King Henry VIII. King Solomon. King Tut. King James. King Kong. The Three Kings. But there is only one Prince.” After praising his attitude (“Only one man who has defied restriction. Who has defied the obvious and all the rules to the game”), his impact (“There is only one man who is so loud, he makes you soft; so strong, he makes you weak… So bold, he defies you to be subtle; and so super bad, he make you feel so super good”) and his music (“Oh my god. Songs so powerful that you are forever changed. Songs that make you laugh and cry, think and dance. Songs that made me look at songwriting as stories that are untold passions dying to be heard”), Keys demanded that everyone in the room “get on your feet, and… pay homage to the one, the only Prince.”

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