'There's Nothing Minor About You': Prince at the 2000 Soul Train awards

Prince 2000
Prince on May 16, 2000, after publicly announcig details for Prince: A Celebration. (George De Sota/Getty Images)

The 2000 Soul Train Music Awards were held at the The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 2000. Winning the award for Artist of the Decade for Extraordinary Artistic Achievements, Male, Prince left the audience awe-struck after an incredible acceptance speech.

Introduced by Public Enemy's Chuck D., Prince — then known as The Artist — asked the audience to remain standing as he read a prepared statement about the current state of the music industry.

Chuck D: Because he has naturally been a clear and deep thinker throughout his life, the man we honor tonight has always strived to make others think as well, through his music and also through his deeds. Whether it was a profound nature of his song lyrics and even though refusing to back down from his personal policy of never granting interviews, The Artist has always been a strong advocate for non-traditional freedoms. The man has done more for the freedoms of artists in the last 10 years than anyone worth note. Battling in the boardrooms to change the complexion of one-sided contracts. Paving the way to get you, and put music on the Internet, and making creators and consumers more hip to the game. If you don't own the masters than a master owns you. And during the decade of the 1990s he would challenge the status quo regarding what he believed was unfair music industry policies. And he would win that challenge also. Check this out. A quality body of work, don't you agree? A question: once you touch the heavens of artistic genius, where do you go from there? Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, the male recipient of the Artist of the Decade Award for outstanding artistic contributions and leadership during the 1990s we call him Prince. The Artist. Prince.

Prince: If you could, could we please remain standing? If you could? Check this out. I want to read something for you. Some people find odd that when we win anything in this game, we give praise back unto God. Well in somebody else's game any triumph makes us feel blessed. When it's your game, you make the rules, everything comes easy. All your friends are in key positions, so when you decide you don't want to play anymore you never leave empty-handed. Can somebody say "golden parachute"? Well it's not your game, you didn't make the rules, so everything comes hard. As long as you're signed to a contract, you're going to take a minority share of the winnings. A select few of us will do well. The majority will not. So as a people, we will be considered a minority. But let's stop and take a moment to look at yourself. There is nothing minor about you. You are a blessed people. You're the most talented on earth and you are still grateful. That is why upon winning in their game, you always think God. Tonight, I would like to ask one favor of you. Imagine what it would be like in our own game. Peace and love for one another.

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