I was sitting in a meeting when the CNN breaking news alert came through to my phone that there had been a death at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios outside Minneapolis.
Like many, I was stunned a few minutes later to learn musical genius Prince was actually the one who died. I believe I spent the rest of the day in shock. As much as we all know that death is a part of life, it’s still shocking when it happens, especially when it was so unexpected, and when it feels like the person who has dead was a part of your family.
Prince’s music has been a major part of the soundtrack to my life. I remember practicing to “1999” with the West End Panther cheerleaders for our halftime routine and being in the basement of my friend Jeanine’s house playing one of Prince’s albums backwards, listening for the hidden messages. I begged my momma to take me to see Purple Rain, and we arrived at the movie late—just in time for the nude scene with Apollonia. To this day, “Adore” and “Another Lonely Christmas” are still two of my all-time favorite songs, and I will happily sing along loud and off key to those and so many of his hits.
Regardless of whether you liked him or his music, Prince was—am I really referring to him in the past tense?–a musical genius. His musical catalog and the fact that he could play so many instruments by ear is mind boggling.
To paraphrase a line from his song “Adore,” truly, I adore Prince. I adore him for the musical legacy he has left behind, for being a prime example that marching to the beat of your own drum is okay, for pursuing his dreams with everything in him and sharing his gifts with the world.
Rest in peace, Prince, and thank you for the music.
Photo courtesy of penner