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Prince on music, life, and ego, in 11 quotes

Ebet Roberts/Redferns via Getty Images

Prince, legendary pop icon and musician, is dead at 57. In the next few days, much will be said about how a brilliant artist he was. It's undeniable.

But Prince was also great at dropping wisdom. In interview after interview and song after song, Prince consistently came off as very insightful (although he did at times make ugly remarks about gay people).

Here are some of Prince's most memorable quotes, taken from various interviews and songs. (Hat tip to Tom Barnes at Mic for several of these.)

1) "Movies are real! Music is real! It affects people, it's real. … The other night I went to a club and I watched a DJ control an entire room. Even politicians can't do that."

Prince at a concert. Kristian Dowling/Getty Images for

Source: Notorious magazine (1999)

2) "The most important thing is to be true to yourself, but I also like danger. That's what's missing from pop music today. There's no excitement or mystery."

Source: Los Angeles Times (1982)

3) "The key to longevity is to learn every aspect of music that you can."

Source: The View (2010)

4) "All people care about nowadays is getting paid, so they try to do just what the audience wants them to do. I'd rather give people what they need rather than just what they want."

Source: Los Angeles Times (1982)

5) "Like books and black lives, albums still matter."

Prince on stage. Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Source: The Guardian (2015)

6) "I don't want to get up on a soapbox. My view of the world, you can debate that forever. But I'm a musician. That's what I do. And I also am music. Come to the show for that."

Source: The Guardian (2011)

7) "Everyone has their own experience. That's why we are here, to go through our experience, to learn, to go down those paths and eventually you may have gone down so many paths and learned so much that you don't have to come back again."

Prince at a concert. Paul Bergen/Redferns via Getty Images

Source: NME (1996)

8) "I had a massive ego [at youth]. Massive. But that's not such a bad thing. Because at least you're aspiring to be something, you consider yourself great because you want to be great."

Source: NME (1996)

9) "No child is bad from the beginning. They just imitate their atmosphere."

Prince in the movie Purple Rain. Warner Bros. via Getty Images

Source: "Sexuality" lyrics

10) "When I became a symbol, all the writers were cracking funnies, but I was the one laughing. I knew I'd be here today, feeling each new album is my first."

Source: Newsweek (2004)

11) "Yeah, everybody's got a bomb, we could all die any day. But before I'll let that happen, I'll dance my life away."

Prince at the Super Bowl. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Source: "1999" lyrics

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