As the many eulogies and remembrances of Prince rolled in Thursday, the towering pop star -- in influence if not in physical stature -- was called a "certified genius" by The Who's Pete Townshend. A "true innovator and a singular artist" by Apple CEO Tim Cook. A "creative icon" by President Obama.
He was also, in his way, a leader.
Yes, he was a "brilliant bandleader," as Obama noted in his statement, a man who may have done and played it all on his recordings but fronted bands in live performances that were mesmerizing for their polished showmanship. "A succession of his bands," wrote the New York Times in its obituary of the 57-year-old Prince, including the Revolution, the New Power Generation, and 3rdEyeGirl, "were united by their funky momentum and quick reflexes as Prince made every show seem both thoroughly rehearsed and improvisational."