Prince Debuts Cover of Christian Rock Ballad 'What If'
By Jessica Roy
As if gracing the Grammy and Golden Globes with his presence this year wasn't already enough, Prince just released a new single, titled "What If."
It's a cover of a song by the same name that was written and performed by Christian musician Nichole Nordeman. Prince's version, created along with 3rdEyeGirl (the trio of female musicians who are currently Prince's backing band), is much heavier on electronics, but retains virtually all of the original lyrics. A sample: "What if He takes His place in history /With all the prophets and the kings /Who taught us love and came in peace /But then the story ends, what then?"
Prince released the song to a radio station in Louisville, Kentucky, where he's kicking off his new Hit & Run tour. Listen to it here.
This isn't the first time Prince has addressed faith and religion in his music: a recent biography delves into the spiritual side of the The Purple One. Evidently, Prince is a fan of Christian radio as well.
Nichole Nordeman has been a mainstay on the Christian music scene for a few years. Among other accomplishments, she's released four albums, won several Gospel Music Association Dove awards, and even wrote a song for VeggieTales. According to Twitter, she's pretty pumped about Prince's cover.
THAT ONE TIME PRINCE COVERED YOUR SONG.
Yesterday at 5:00pm I held a phone that was live streaming WFPK in... http://t.co/M9ziJnCVfv
"Yesterday at 5:00pm I held a phone that was live streaming WFPK in Louisville, a station that had been selected to play the world debut of Prince’s new single. A song called What If. A song that I wrote and recorded about 5 years ago on my album Brave.
"I don’t really have the appropriate words for what an honor this is. If you are a musician on any level, you will immediately absorb the weight of it. This man’s talent is otherworldly. What’s the non-musical equivalent? Tiger Woods asking to borrow your clubs? Neil Armstrong calling and asking if you’d like to take a walk?"
She went on to say she was floored when the drummer for 3rdEyeGirl revealed in an interview that Prince had heard the song while listening to Christian radio.
"Prince heard a song about the transforming love of Jesus on Christian radio and now has given it a much wider audience than I ever did or could," she wrote.