Chevrolet paid tribute to Prince on Friday by using one of the music legend’s biggest hit songs: “Little Red Corvette.”
The automobile manufacturer posted a photo referencing the singer and the song along with a cameo appearance from the car itself.
“Baby, that was much too fast.”
The “1958-2016” refers to the years of Prince’s birth and death. However, the “Baby, that was much too fast” references a repeated lyric that most fans and critics would likely agree is one of the most memorable lyrics from the song “Baby, you’re much too fast.”
“Little red Corvette
Baby, you’re much too fast
Little red Corvette
You need a love that’s gonna last”
In addition to the company’s Facebook ad, it apparently took the tribute one step further with a full-page advertisement in the New York Times.
— Laura Everett (@RevEverett) April 22, 2016
According to Billboard, the 1983 single “Little Red Corvette,” which was featured on Prince’s 1999 album, was ranked No. 11 on a list of the singer’s top 20 biggest hits. The song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on May 21, 1983. Rolling Stone ranked it No. 109 on the magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time back in April of 2011.
It’s pretty obvious why Chevrolet would reference “Little Red Corvette” when paying tribute to Prince instead of any of his biggest hit songs such as “When Doves Cry,” “Kiss,” or “Purple Rain.” More than three decades after the song was first released, the Corvette is still one of Chevrolet’s most popular automobiles.
However, perhaps the most ironic part is that the song “Little Red Corvette” was actually inspired by a completely different automobile. Multiple reports claim that Prince thought of the hit song in the backseat of singer Lisa Coleman’s car after a late-night recording session. Coleman did not drive a Chevrolet Corvette; she reportedly owned a pink Ford Edsel.
RIP- Prince… Check out this article pretty interesting. https://t.co/CWOeVAgk7t
— VanguardMotors (@VanguardMotors) April 24, 2016
— Car Keys (@CarKeys_UK) April 22, 2016
Chances are that “Little Pink Edsel” would not have had the same level of appeal as a song title, so “Little Red Corvette” was definitely an appropriate call on Prince’s part. Even though he was not directly inspired by a Corvette when he got the idea for the song, KRTV 3 in Montana reported that Steven Kline, a former automobile dealer from Minneapolis, claimed he actually sold the Purple Rain actor a Corvette in real life.
“It wasn’t a big important thing at the time. Jimmy Jam (famed R&B producer) brought in Prince and said he was going to way overshadow Michael Jackson and I said ‘Are you kidding? How could anyone overshadow Michael Jackson?’ And he said, ‘Someday he’ll prove it.’ And I guess he has proven it.”
Did Kline ever see the Chevrolet Corvette that he allegedly sold to Prince? No, he apparently did not. However, Kline claimed that “whoever has it is sitting on a gold mine right now” since “it’s got to be the most valuable ’72 Corvette in the world.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 21, 2016
Grew up listening to Prince… RIP sir! I modified Little Red Corvette to Little Red Chevette to match my wheels pic.twitter.com/MbS4wTnwS0
— Kenney Myers (@KenneyMyers) April 22, 2016
— SI Extra Mustard (@SI_ExtraMustard) April 22, 2016
Prince was pronounced dead Thursday morning, shocking the world and almost immediately starting an ongoing stream of tributes, shared memories, and performance montages. Thanks to such hit songs as “Purple Rain,” “U Got the Look,” and “Little Red Corvette,” Prince’s legacy as a singer, songwriter, musician, and captivating entertainer will live on for many years to come.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]