I suppose now that Prince has died that there will be a tremendous surge in “Little Princes” showing up everywhere. When Elvis Presley died, there was a mob connected New Yorker who went around the country recruiting young men whom he could dress up in sequined clothes and book them into clubs as Elvis impersonators. Some of them were abominable. Some of them couldn’t sing a lick, but would lip-sync a Presley song. All they had to do was learn the Presley sneer and hip-shake that made The King so popular.
That sort of chicanery can only be carried so far. When Sinatra died there was no one to replace him. The nearest thing was Harry Connick who was already an established singer and performer. There were no Dean Martin impersonators. Sammy Davis was unique and nobody could do what he could do. He was the consummate song and dance man, and no one could imitate him.
Oddly, the Elvis impersonators are still in abundance and almost every club in Vegas has one or more. There is something macabre about imitating a dead person. However, Presley was so very famous, even in his declining years, that anyone with even a vague resemblance to him can make a go of it.
I never saw Prince in person but I am told by those who know that he was not just a “show horse” but was a very talented musician. He was not just a singer but was proficient on a number of different instruments. Someone said that when he was recording, if one of his band members was not playing the way Prince wanted it to sound, he would take the musician’s instrument and show him or her how he wanted it played.
Sadly, like so many talented people Prince was addicted to drugs. It is odd that the talented often die young because of addiction. That is the tragedy because they could have given us so much more. And if the “Little Princes” start showing up, they will be what the Elvis impersonators are – just cheap imitations. You can dress people up in costumes, and have makeup artists give them the “look” but God is the one who gives out talent. And he is very selective about who gets it.