Singularity Saved the 80s Star

by Rod Dunne on April 8, 2012

in Blog, Writing

Another jump into the time machine to ponder could the use of a singular name by a person actually dictate the life choices you make, the control you have over your life and your creativity.

I’m old enough to remember the 1980s firsthand. In particular, I can recall a time when Prince and Madonna ruled the charts and were often lambasted in the papers. Quite often the backlash against them related to their overt sexuality. By contrast, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston where the poster-boy and poster-girl for all American boy/girl next door archetypes.

There’s no doubting that all four had talent. But jump in the Time Machine and return to the present day and the picture looks quite different. Jackson & Houston have now sadly passed away and had long stopped being creative. By contrast both Madonna and Prince are now seen as innovators, continuously creative and both are in rude health.

Singularity and Sowed Oats Saves Lives

So you have to wonder if sowing your wild oats early on has its benefits?

Prince and Madonna seemed to be voracious in the early 80s and certainly got a lot out of their system early on. This in spite of both being devoutly religious – something which was often used as a personality contradiction by the press.

Michael & Whitney were both religious but never did sow their wild oats early on. Michael’s life was so controlled by others he probably never got the chance. Whitney’s upbringing in gospel indoctrinated her into the good life.

So what caused these two pairs to go their separate routes?

The quick answer is singularity… I’ll explain.

Both Madonna and Prince have a singular nature about them. In fact, both are commonly referred to just by their single names. You rarely hear Prince Rogers Nelson or Madonna Louise Ciccone used. Their persona, whether public or private, is defined by a singular name.

This is in fact important. A singular name implies individuality. A one-off. It also encourages the individual mindset. In both cases this results in a tremendous sense of internal control. The thought that their lives are controlled by internal factors within themselves.

They define their look, their music, their art, how they are perceived by the public, along with so many other things. It doesn’t matter whether the singular spirit came first or the singular name – the singularity of spirit & moniker mirror each other.

Contrast this with our other pair. Michael and Whitney may have sometimes been referred to by their first names only, but it didn’t define them and certainly wasn’t the norm. In both cases, their names where their societal monikers. And in both cases, their lives were dictated by external factors and external influences.

This may seem a gross simplification of the two sets of lives. And there’ll always be exceptions to this case which break the rule.

However, Prince and Madonna’s singular nature defined who they are. They knew what life is all about as both had gnawed the last juicy morsel off a prime cut of life. Mr. Jackson & Ms. Houston didn’t seem to have the singularity and arrived at late-term experimentation within their lives which sadly led to their deaths.

So is there anything you can take away from this?

Perhaps the rule is to sow your wild oats early. Experience everything that life has to offer and be singular in nature. Understand that your life is under your control. Your internal factors determine external results. Other people may refer to you as Mr. or Mrs. Smith, but you should always see yourself by your first name. You are Dave, Maria, Juan, Miyeon,… You are a singular creation with an individual mindset and internal controls to map out your fate.

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Photo credits:

… Madonna 1983 by Gary Heery
… Madonna now
… Michael Jackon
… Prince album Warner Bros
… Prince now
… Houston

Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and writer Rod DunneI am the founder & sole writer on This is my personal blog detailing my creative writing. This includes novel writing (check out Terra Swarm, Erebus, and Soundings) and song writing.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Irma Walter April 8, 2012 at 10:04 am

That makes me think. When people carry their schism within themselves, it kills them. Better to move it to the outside world and live it out. If you value your health, that is.


Rod April 8, 2012 at 10:33 am

Definitely Irma. You’ll often see that technique used in counseling where a persons issues or internal problems are externalized and objectified. It’s easier to take an impartial look and evaluation when done this way. Internalized problems dig in their roots and are harder to extricate.


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