Sam Smite. The Inspirational DJ, Huntsville, Ala.
Impact: “1999,” the party anthem.
Deep Cuts: Tamar Davis feat. Prince – “Beautiful, Loved, & Blessed.” Also, I love “The Cross” by Prince. These songs displayed his spiritual side.
Legacy: He was the ultimate open-format artist, crossing all genres.
Chris Alker, DJ Times, NYC
Impact: “Kiss” is funky & so iconic that everyone on the floor gets down inside of the first measure. Helps that it’s so easy to sing to—people love to join in.
Deep Cut: “Black Sweat” off the 3121 album. It’s stripped down to bare essentials & the stop/start to the beat makes for some superb dancefloor posing.
Legacy: His music is equal parts fun & sex—two things people never get tired of.
Demarkus Lewis, Grin Music, Dallas
Impact: “Controversy.” The lyrics describe what our whole dance-music culture was built upon—the concept of being ourselves & not judging others on race, sexual preference or religious beliefs. Also, it’s just so funky!
Deep Cut: I sang “Insatiable” to the ladies on the school bus, which did wonders for my mack game.
Legacy: Close your eyes & listen to Prince, you become who you really are.
DJ Shorte, Hot4Ever, L.A.
Impact: “1999″—the lyrics help you forget your troubles.
Deep Cut: “I Would Die 4 U,” a classic that mysteriously describes God’s love for us.
Legacy: He stood up for himself & his creative works.
Yotto, Anjunabeats, Helsinki, Finland
Impact: As a DJ, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” because it’s one of the best songs ever made. As a fan, “I Would Die 4 U” because it makes me want to party & cry at the same time.
Deep Cut: “The Mutiny,” a bit of a goofy funk tune he made with The Family. It just sounds like a party, even though it has a message in there.
Legacy: He was something that we’ll never comprehend.
DJ Sun, Soular Productions, Houston
Impact: “Let’s Work.” In 23 years of DJing, this is the consistent dancefloor hit.
Deep Cut: “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” works in any downtempo or chill set.
Legacy: His effect on the overall pop landscape was groundbreaking.
Mike Walter, Elite Entertainment, Tinton Falls, N.J.
Impact: “I Wanna Be Your Lover” brings everyone back to that post-disco era when dance music was figuring out which direction it was going to go. Awesome beat, incredibly high falsetto & blatant lasciviousness.
Deep Cut: “Gett Off”—I like to sneak it in on the right crowd. Works perfectly with old-school or today’s hip-hop (both in terms of BPM & theme) & the bass is just so booming it grabs an audience & doesn’t let go.
Legacy: Prince’s lyrics got right to our most prurient & insatiable desires, while couched in some of the most infectious rhythms & unstoppable beats ever recorded.
Logan Lynn, Logan Lynn Music, Portland, Ore.
Impact: “Let’s Go Crazy” or “1999” make everyone else go wild & it’ll most likely be that way forever.
Deep Cut: I love “Manic Monday” by The Bangles, which was written by Prince. I think, no matter who is performing Prince’s songs, that energy he owned has always been there.
Legacy: He moved us lyrically while also making us move all our feet. That was his magic.
Robby Hauldren/Freddy Kennett, Louis The Child, Chicago
Impact: We always play “FUNKNROLL” from 2014—everyone goes crazy for it.
Legacy: He dared to be different & always pushed music into a new direction.
Jerzy, B96, Chicago
Impact: “Kiss” is timeless. From corporate events to nightclubs, young or old, guaranteed to get people moving.
Deep Cut: “Partyman,” off the Batman soundtrack.
Legacy: Artists still draw inspiration from his work.
Anton Bass, Sea to Sun, Wolcott, Conn.
Impact: “When Doves Cry” & “1999.”
Deep Cut: “Darling Nikki,” dirty & sexy!
Legacy: He was the soundtrack for a generation.
Toyboy & Robin, Big Beat, London
Impact: “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” a feel-good classic.
Deep Cut: “Sexy MF” just oozes coolness.
Legacy: His songs still sound like nothing else out there.
Joe Bermudez, DJ Times, Boston
Impact: “When Doves Cry.” The groove is undeniable. Your body can’t resist moving.
Deep Cut: “Gett Off.” A filthy song & people would always act the part when it came on.
Legacy: Prince is one of a kind.
Sin Morera, Big Mamas House, NYC
Impact: “Purple Rain,” I often close my sets with this. People always feel the connection—very powerful.
Deep Cut: “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a universal song about love.
Legacy: Relentless, soulful, genius
Cassy, Circoloco, Amsterdam
Impact: All the tunes that are not slow! If he wanted to make you dance, you would be dancing!
Deep Cut: “Under the Cherry Moon.”
Legacy: All great music is simple, there are core elements that are infectious & Prince’s music was exactly that.
Johnny Siera, Tiger Tooth, NYC
Impact: “Erotic City.” So porno, so sleazy & just right for the sexual tension of the club.
Deep Cut: “Sign o’ the Times.”
Legacy: Unparalleled stylistic confidence & songwriting genius.
Sacha Robotti, Robosonic, Berlin
Impact: “Kiss” is a perfect track. Also, I’m a sucker for those reverberated snare drums.
Deep Cut: “Another Lonely Christmas,” but not to play out at a party. It’s sad, honest & emotional, but true & honest.
Legacy: R.I.P., you sexy MF.