Animal Studies Journal

Abstract

Prince Rogers Nelson (1958-2016) was best known for his joyful funk music and electrifying stage performances that transgressed normative representations of gender, sexuality, race, spirituality, identity and taste. He was also a compassionate person who held deep convictions about freedom and the right of all species to enjoy lives without fear and suffering. This essay discusses Prince’s intersectional influences – the various ways his virtuosity over the past 38 years disrupted binaries, challenged assumptions and stereotypes, advocated for social justice, and combatted speciesism in its many forms. Embedded within the essay are seven personal tributes written by fans of Prince who are also animal activists and/or scholars in Critical Animal Studies. These ‘memorial solos’ convey how, for each contributor, Prince’s music, image, performativity, compassion and empathy inspired animal advocacy in everyday life.