Prince is one of the most extraordinarily talented music artists in the history of show business, and I respect him for his ongoing popularity, and for toning down sexual content due to his religious beliefs (and maturity).

However, I am among those whose preference is for Prince from 1979 to 1986, when he was daring, groundbreaking and mysterious. Yes, he went too far at times, but I still love those exciting songs, some of which I’m sure God wasn’t thrilled about.

My favorites include “Dirty Mind,” “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “Controversy,” “Darling Nikki,” “Private Joy,” “Sexuality,” “Let’s Pretend We’re Married,” “Delirious,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Head,” “International Lover,” “Sister,” “Jack U Off” and “Temptation.”

Hey, you like what you like!

Interestingly, at the time I was a member of a church that strongly disapproved of Prince.

Being under that church’s heavy-handed influence — and I would never let anything like that happen again! — I actually destroyed all of my Prince albums with a hammer! Then, about a year later, still in the church, I repurchased them!

And I wasn’t the only Prince fan in the congregation!

THE LEGENDARY Diahann Carroll and megastar Denzel Washington will light up Broadway next year when they co-star in a revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” Carroll hasn’t been on the Broadway stage in three decades.

It is interesting that Washington will be portraying Walter Lee Younger, the role originated on Broadway by Washington’s hero, Sidney Poitier.

Toni Braxton will be heading back to the studio very soon to record her eighth album, produced by none other than Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds.

Right now my favorite song is “Fool For You” by Cee Lo Green, featuring a guest appearance by Philip Bailey.

HARD-CORE rapper DMX, who is almost as famous for his brushes with the law and his incarcerations as he is for his music, filed for bankruptcy.

He is added to a long list of entertainers who went the bankruptcy route, including M.C. Hammer, Sinbad, Willie Nelson, Burt Reynolds, Gary Coleman, Toni Braxton, Kim Basinger, Sherman Hemsley, Dionne Warwick and Mike Tyson.

In most cases it’s hard to imagine how it could have gotten to that point.

Wynton Marsalis acknowledged that he and his brother, Branford Marsalis, from the first family of jazz, are not close like they used to be. “You have your past in common, but do not share the present,” said Wynton, “and that’s okay.”

AT THE recent Macy’s Music Festival in Cincinnati, R. Kelly went on stage an hour and a half late and offered the audience no explanation and no apology.

It was 1 a.m. by this time and the people had been there all day and all night, entertained by Morris Day & the Time, Kem, Fantasia and Leela James — and enduring those excruciatingly long waits between acts.

They were tired and it’s understandable why so many walked out on R. Kelly, and why many were chanting something not very nice before he finally came out.

Vinyl record sales have been rising steadily since 2007. They quadrupled and then some.

I like Arsenio Hall’s philosophy: “Don’t compete. Find out what is uniquely yours.” And hopefully he will be successful when “The Arsenio Hall Show” debuts on Sept. 9.

His first show (1989-1994) went from being super hot to not largely because it became too “hip-hopish,” thus losing a valuable segment of the viewing audience. Let’s assume he won’t make that mistake again.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that at one point Evelyn “Champagne” King dropped the “Champagne” but not long after put it back because, as she explained, “Some people thought it was a different singer.”

MEMORIES: “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” (the S.O.S. Band), “Are You That Somebody?” (Aaliyah), “Spanish Harlem” (Ben E. King), “Mr. Big Stuff” (Jean Knight), “I’ve Got Love on My Mind” (Natalie Cole), “Rock With You” (Michael Jackson), “Serpentine Fire” (Earth, Wind & Fire), “It’s All Right” (the Impressions), “Give It To Me Baby” (Rick James), “Distant Lover” (Marvin Gaye).

BLESSINGS to Damon Williams, Angie Daniels, Trina Naylor, Jewel Rutledge, Michael Walker, Victor Holsey, Carl Jones, Lois Reeves, Randy Turnbough, Joseph French, Cynthia French, Alexis Williams and Earline Franklin.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from an anonymous source: “Stupid people do stupid things, but if they knew better they would do better.”

Let the music play!

Steve Holsey can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.

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