Prince Dead at 57: Remembering His 1985 Oscars Speech for Purple Rain
Prince’s iconic 1984 album “Purple Rain” sold more than 13 million copies and included a string of hits including “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry.”
It also brought the superstar recording artist to the 1985 Academy Awards for a moment that was as short as it was memorable.
Prince, who was found dead of unknown causes Thursday morning at his Minnesota compound, had been nominated for the best original song score for the movie “Purple Rain.” In his film debut, he played “The Kid,” a young man whose escapes a bad home life with his music.
Prince Was Nominated for Now-Discontinued Best Original Song Scare
Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner announced the nominations for the award category, which Douglas explained went a score that contained five original songs.
“Songs,” Turner added, “that serve a dramatic purpose, that move the story along.”
In the last year this category was used at the Academy Awards, Prince went up against Jeff Moss for “The Muppets Take Manhattan” and Kris Kristofferson for “Songwriter.”
Handing the envelope to Turner, Douglas said, “And the winner of a brand new ’84 Oscar is …”
“The winner is Prince for ‘Purple Rain,'” said Turner.
Wearing a sparkly sequined hooded cape, Prince took the stage alongside two women in big frizzy 80s hair.
Pausing to catch his breath, Prince poked his head out from under the hood and said, “Thank you very much. This is Lisa and this is Wendy.”
Prince Introduces Lisa and Wendy to Mostly Confused Oscars Crowd
The smattering of applause suggested the crowd was clueless as to who they were. Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin were members of his band and appeared in the movie. Melvoin in fact wrote the first couple of chords to “Purple Rain.” The pair — later to be known as Wendy + Lisa — would go to enjoy a long and successful career writing music for television shows, including “Crossing Jordan” and “Nurse Jackie.”
“Hold it,” Prince says handing the Oscar to Melvoin, who grabs the statue and answers, “Absolutely.”
“This is very unbelievable,” he says in a shaky voice in. ” I could never imagine this in my wildest dreams.”
He concludes one of the shorter Oscar speeches on record by thanking the Academy, the film’s director Albert Magnoli, his manager and others, “and most of all, God.”
Watch Prince’s Oscar moment below: