Prince Returns to Hollywood With ‘Happy Feet': 365 Prince Songs in a Year
To celebrate the incredibly prolific, influential and diverse body of work left behind by Prince, we will be exploring a different song of his each day for an entire year with the series 365 Prince Songs in a Year.
How much had American society and Prince come around to each other in the two decades since he first burst onto the scene? In 2006, the man who had been derided for the decline of family values in this country had a track called "The Song of the Heart" on the soundtrack to the animated film about penguins, Happy Feet.
It came together when director George Miller asked Prince if he would allow "Kiss" to be sung by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in the movie, and also if Prince would write a new song for it. Prince was intrigued, but wanted to see the movie first.
A pair of Warner Bros. executives, Darren Higman and Gary LeMel, flew out to Paisley Park, where they got a tour of the complex that ended up on a sound stage that was also outfitted for performances. As they waited for one of Prince's friends to join them, the musician "got up on stage and was rehearsing and Gary and I were were just sitting there and watching him rehearse," Higman told E Online. "It was crazy. I was like, 'Oh, my God we are getting a private Prince show.'"
The friend arrived after about 20 minutes, and they screened Happy Feet on a wall of the sound stage. "By the time we finished the movie, he said, 'OK, I know what I am going to do,'" Higman continued. "Then he wrote it and recorded it and flew out to L.A. a week later and played it for us."
Bolstered by one of the jazziest horn charts he ever wrote, the empowering message of "The Song of the Heart" was exactly what Miller was looking for. That said, the sped-up vocals recall Camille, his female alter ego who showed up on a few songs on Sign O' the Times, including the lewd "If I Was Your Girlfriend."
A few months after the movie's release, "The Song of the Heart" was nominated for, and won, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song - Motion Picture. Although Prince missed the ceremony due to being stuck in traffic, he performed at a celebrity-filled after-party he threw at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel's Presidential Suite.
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