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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > Is Prince the Most Private Famous Person of All Time?
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Thread started 05/25/19 3:35pm

herb4

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Is Prince the Most Private Famous Person of All Time?

The whole world knew who he was and recognized that symbol.

But even through his death he was veiled in mystery and not too many people knew all that much about him. Even early on, his elusiveness helped spread the ideas that he was multi racial, bisexual and on and on and on.

I've been trying to think of someone who was as famous as he was that was so shrouded in mystery for so long and who eschewed publicity, interviews and stuff like reality shows like he did but remained reknown. He'd poke his head out from time to time but the rarity of it was part of the the excitement.

He was mysterious and notoriously reclusive to the end. I've heard him described by someone as "the world's most famous underground artist" and that seems fairly apt.

Can anyone think of a paralell? Someone incredibly famous who was so shrouded in mystery for so long but still maintained their level of infamy? Someone almost cult like in status like he was?

Seriously drawing a blank. Dude pulled it off somehow.

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Reply #1 posted 05/25/19 4:42pm

mdmeridius

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She’s not as famous as Prince, but Kate Bush springs to mind.
Must be something in the water we drink.
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Reply #2 posted 05/25/19 4:42pm

EmmaMcG

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Marlon Brando?
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Reply #3 posted 05/25/19 4:49pm

paraded

Daniel Day-Lewis

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Reply #4 posted 05/25/19 5:33pm

Flirt1

Howard Hughes or Banksey?
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Reply #5 posted 05/25/19 6:39pm

poppys

Garbo

politics: the art or science of government.
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Reply #6 posted 05/25/19 7:03pm

RJP1205

Sia doesn't even show her face.
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Reply #7 posted 05/25/19 7:13pm

nelcp777

Liberace
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Reply #8 posted 05/26/19 8:44am

ItsLetoyaBaby

Letoya Jackson made us think for so many years that she was the same person as Michael. I don't think any of us did not have doubts. Some mystery back in the day.

[Edited 5/26/19 15:52pm]

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Reply #9 posted 05/26/19 8:59am

herb4

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I thought of Howard Hughes and Greta Garbo. I don't think Banksy or Kate Bush even come close to matching Prince's fame level. Barry Sanders was pretty reclusive. Brando is an interesting answer.

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Reply #10 posted 05/26/19 9:21am

poppys

herb4 said:

I thought of Howard Hughes and Greta Garbo. I don't think Banksy or Kate Bush even come close to matching Prince's fame level. Barry Sanders was pretty reclusive. Brando is an interesting answer.

Did you reject Hughes and Garbo? They were easily as famous as Prince or more. I had to look up Barry Sanders. Some choices are generational. Hard to pick one person for all-time.

Agree Brando is definitely a contender cool.

[Edited 5/27/19 4:15am]

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Reply #11 posted 05/26/19 12:18pm

Scorp

As a musical artist

No doubt about it

Super private which proves obe can separate their professional life frim their public life and be. Successful
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Reply #12 posted 05/26/19 7:43pm

Musician9

In what way is he a recluse when there are millions of photos of him from public appearances and photo sessions? he was constantly in the public eye so I assume you mean private in his giving of personal info.

Big difference.

If you're a recluse you do not attend photo sessions, make videos, go out on tours and appear on television award shows, all of which he did on a regular basis. His image was pure manufactured mystery maintained at the expense of meaningful personal relationships throught his career. His loss, and now he's dead, and no one truly cares but a few hundred disciples on this website who speak of him as if he's the Biblical Messiah - clearly he is not.

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Reply #13 posted 05/26/19 8:16pm

poppys

Musician9 said:

In what way is he a recluse when there are millions of photos of him from public appearances and photo sessions? he was constantly in the public eye so I assume you mean private in his giving of personal info.

Big difference.

If you're a recluse you do not attend photo sessions, make videos, go out on tours and appear on television award shows, all of which he did on a regular basis. His image was pure manufactured mystery maintained at the expense of meaningful personal relationships throught his career. His loss, and now he's dead, and no one truly cares but a few hundred disciples on this website who speak of him as if he's the Biblical Messiah - clearly he is not.


lol, have a nice day mr. crabby pants!

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Reply #14 posted 05/26/19 9:42pm

dancerella

No, I think that title belongs to Sade!
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Reply #15 posted 05/27/19 6:19am

herb4

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poppys said:

herb4 said:

I thought of Howard Hughes and Greta Garbo. I don't think Banksy or Kate Bush even come close to matching Prince's fame level. Barry Sanders was pretty reclusive. Brando is an interesting answer.

Did you reject Hughes and Garbo?


No, but they were before my time so I have no real lens to view them through or draw comparisons.

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Reply #16 posted 05/27/19 6:35am

herb4

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Musician9 said:

In what way is he a recluse when there are millions of photos of him from public appearances and photo sessions? he was constantly in the public eye so I assume you mean private in his giving of personal info.

Big difference.

If you're a recluse you do not attend photo sessions, make videos, go out on tours and appear on television award shows, all of which he did on a regular basis. His image was pure manufactured mystery maintained at the expense of meaningful personal relationships throught his career. His loss, and now he's dead, and no one truly cares but a few hundred disciples on this website who speak of him as if he's the Biblical Messiah - clearly he is not.


Well, I said "reclusive for a famous person" if you read my OP. Or maybe I worded it wrong.

As far as "world reknown, enourmously popular people" go, he was enourmously and infamously reclusive and private.

Eschewing interviews as a general rule (and not allowing them to be recorded). Stuff like answering questions through a veil using mayte as an interpreter, dashing off of Letterman's stage, rarely giving people an inside look at his life, endless non-disclosure agreements, rare granting of licenses, youtube shut downs, cease and desist orders, etc. Even on the Sinbad interview he did (and several others) the host(s) would make mention of how little he really speaks in public and he never argued.

I mean, I think he played it smart, tbh, and as a result of his approach had journalists eating out of his hand most of the time, prolonging his mystique and longevity, so that when he did poke his head out it was fresh and exciting.

I'm not saying he was "Unabomber" reclusive - or even "Sly Stone" reclusive (holing up in a van down by the river smoking rocks) - but as a world famous, single named, top selling musician and film maker for 40+ years, not a whole lot was really truly known about him in mainstream circles and to this day, since his death, celebrities like to tell their "unusal Prince stories".

Hopefully that clarified my intent for you.

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Reply #17 posted 05/27/19 8:14am

BlackCat1985

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SADE says HELLO!
BlackCat1985
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Reply #18 posted 05/27/19 1:51pm

purple05

BlackCat1985 said:

SADE says HELLO!

That definitely goes to her.
I think the reclusiveness of Prince and MJ is over exaggerated
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Reply #19 posted 05/27/19 5:00pm

BlackCat1985

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purple05 said:

BlackCat1985 said:

SADE says HELLO!

That definitely goes to her.
I think the reclusiveness of Prince and MJ is over exaggerated


When compared to Sade, Prince and MJ are nowhere near reclusive. We literally never see her unless she wants to be seen.
BlackCat1985
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Reply #20 posted 05/27/19 5:59pm

poppys

BlackCat1985 said:

SADE says HELLO!


She's the winner so far - although it is impossible that anyone gets the of all time prize.

giphy.gif

[Edited 5/27/19 18:00pm]

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Reply #21 posted 05/28/19 12:24am

TrivialPursuit

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Let's not act like Prince was the only person who didn't do interviews. That's simply untrue, especially after 1996 vs. before. My list includes some already mentioned.

Bowie pulled off zingers all the time with new music or whatever, and no one knew boo about it. Same with his cancer.

Banksy is certainly private.

Woody Allen, pervert that he is, has never really done interviews.


Author Harper Lee stopped doing interviews shortly after To Kill A Mockingbird was published, because way early on she felt reporters were taking her words out of context. Even when she was asked to write a new forward for the book on its anniversary decades later, she basically said she hated writing forwards and this would have to serve as it.

Sade.

MJ wasn't that reclusive, but he was private on a day to day basis. He was burned over and over in interviews. I frankly don't know why he did them at all, especially with Martin Bashir. But he's probably on the chart for sure.

Greta Garbo for sure.

Richard Simmons hasn't been seen in public for years now. There's even a podcast Where Is Richard Simmons? that's popular.

Sia doesn't show her face, which gives her privacy in public when she's without it and off the record (although you can google her and find her face).

Daniel Day-Lewis is definitely one.

I wouldn't say Liberace was private. He was the biggest and most public showman of a generation or two.

Prince was, by no stretch, the ultimate private star. (Y'all graspin' at straws to come up with threads here. lol lol )

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
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Reply #22 posted 05/28/19 11:10am

MarshallStacks

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Hell no smile.

For example - Bob Dylan married his backup singer Carolyn Dennis in 1986. Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, their daughter, was born on January 31 1986. The couple divorced in October 1992. Their marriage and child remained a closely guarded secret until the publication of the Dylan biography Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, in 2001 cool.


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Reply #23 posted 05/29/19 6:53am

Bishop31

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Sade far more than Prince.

She never threw Hollywood elite parties in LA. "Private" people tend to avoid large groups of people, especially random people partying at their house. Prince gave the illusion of "mystery". That was all part of his branding. Sade had absolutely no interest in public appearances.

[Edited 5/29/19 6:53am]

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Reply #24 posted 05/29/19 7:38am

kitbradley

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I wonder if Sade would have been able to maintain the same level of privacy for all of these years if she lived in the United States?

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #25 posted 05/29/19 7:47am

Bishop31

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kitbradley said:

I wonder if Sade would have been able to maintain the same level of privacy for all of these years if she lived in the United States?

Good point. It certainly would have been more challenging. I also think it's a mindset. Prince loved entertaining people, and playing live for guests. I don't belive Sade has that type of personality.

[Edited 5/29/19 7:47am]

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Reply #26 posted 05/29/19 12:42pm

poppys

Garbo probably still wins the prize. After all the thread is titled of All Time. She made a point of being the recluse that she was.

See the source image

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Reply #27 posted 05/30/19 2:56am

cindymay

No. He wasn't even that private. He created a manufactured mystery around him.That's different from being private.
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Reply #28 posted 05/31/19 11:55pm

robertgeorge

ItsLetoyaBaby said:

Letoya Jackson made us think for so many years that she was the same person as Michael. I don't think any of us did not have doubts. Some mystery back in the day.

[Edited 5/26/19 15:52pm]

I wonder is there a Latoya and/or letoya Jackson sight we can all go and post about Prince 24/7. Oh there isn't? I guess that is why you are here.

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Reply #29 posted 06/08/19 6:24am

jjhunsecker

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EmmaMcG said:

Marlon Brando?

I second that

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