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Prince's Politics as Complicated as the Man

Image: Prince's Politics as Complicated as the Man
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 21 Apr 2016 04:46 PM

Music legend Prince, who died Thursday at age 57, was hard to pin down on his political beliefs, having critical words both for Republicans and Democrats.

Many viewed him as a Republican after he gave $2,000 to the unsuccessful re-election campaign of Minnesota Republican Sen. Rudy Boschwitz in 1990, but Prince wasn't particularly vocal about his political beliefs.

He did, however, have criticism for both sides of the political aisle, especially regarding social issues.

Raised Seventh-day Adventist, Prince became a Jehovah's Witness in 2001 and sometimes went door-to-door proselytizing. His religious beliefs affected his political thinking in later years, but even then, it was difficult to label him.

He was quoted in a 2008 New Yorker article seemingly opposing same-sex marriage:

"So here's how it is: you've got the Republicans, and basically they want to live according to this." He pointed to a Bible. "But there's the problem of interpretation, and you've got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn't. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you've got blue, you've got the Democrats, and they're, like, 'You can do whatever you want.' Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right."

When asked about his perspective on social issues — gay marriage, abortion — Prince tapped his Bible and said, "God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, 'Enough.'"

But Prince's quotes on gay marriage were walked back almost immediately, telling blogger Perez Hilton the reporter did not use a recorder and misquoted the singer.

More recently, Prince was involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, performing a concert in Baltimore after the death of Freddy Gray in police custody.

The Rev. Al Sharpton told MSNBC Prince was quietly involved in helping the family of Trayvon Martin after he was shot to death by George Zimmerman in a case that ignited controversy over race.

"Prince called me and sent some funds that I gave to the family for him, and never wanted recognition for it," Sharpton said. "He was one that didn't want to make a lot about about his humanitarian and activist involvements, but he was very much involved in what was going on in the country."

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Music legend Prince, who died Thursday at age 57, was hard to pin down on his political beliefs, having critical words both for Republicans and Democrats.
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2016-46-21
Thursday, 21 Apr 2016 04:46 PM
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