prince

Happy Birthday, Prince Rogers Nelson.

The legendary funk-rock-pop-soul musician turns 55 today (June 7th) and there isn’t a better time to acknowledge the greatness and remarkable legacy of one of the greatest artists of his era.

No, actually–the greatest artist of his era.

No disrespect to the King of Pop or the Boss or the Material Girl, but from a strictly musical standpoint, no other artist influenced the sounds and styles of recording artists in the Decade of Excess quite like Prince. Maybe he didn’t have the most iconic videos of his era and maybe he wasn’t a constant fixture in the media, but when it comes to the actual music, there’s really no debate as to who cast the biggest artistic shadow.

Don’t agree? Well, here are 10 reasons why Prince was the greatest artist of the 1980s…

Stereo Williams

Todd "Stereo" Williams, entertainment writer based in New York City. He co-founded Thirty 2 Oh 1 Productions, an indie film company.

  • Farrah

    YES, HE IS THE GREATEST!!!!! Happy Birthday YOUR PURPLE HIGHNESS!!!!!!

  • Michael Jackson

    Rolling Out, I have to give it to you, this is one of your best researched, true to art “list” that you have ever put together! I am so tired of people stating Micheal Jackson was the best, when we clearly know that is not the case. Yes, i give props to the Thriller star, but not even MJ can touch PRINCE!!!!!!!!

    • Kone Mohammad

      i AGREE WITH U

  • Replica

    When one multi instrumental musician has the ability to influence guitarists, bassists, drummers, beatmakers, producers, singers, technicians etc etc all over the globe, as well as influencing both male and female youth on how to wear their clothes with style… you know he’s done something right. Almost forgot to mention how had this sexually liberating persona both on wax and visually. It liberated people from a very strict male/female past, and helped people find themselves more.

  • Kone Mohammad

    I will vote 4 Prince anyway

  • Lanah

    To me he’s the best of all times. Not just he 80s. Only Stevie Wonder or maybe Paul McCartney could come close.

  • Maxine Shaw

    …no.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I had no idea Prince wrote “I Feel For You” for Chaka Khan. This is a compelling list.