To say that we lost a musical legend yesterday seems insignificant for the man who gave us Purple Rain, Raspberry Beret, 1999 and so many more. We lost our greatest living musician – a talent so enormous that everything he touched, sang, wrote, lyricized – was an inspiration. A soundtrack to so many lives, mine included.
I still remember my first Prince moment. Purple Rain. I was eight and had been exposed to him in jazz class by my cool 20-something teachers. I listened to him on the radio, was excited when he won a Grammy. When my dad told me that he was a weirdo, that made me love him more. He was unapologetic in his pursuit of perfection, unbound by rules and refused to be labelled. He did what he wanted. Even then, although young, I knew he was special.
As we both grew older my love for this man only deepened. He did what he wanted and smirked (that famous smirk) at convention. Tiny in stature he somehow became a sex symbol, although not especially good looking. His immense talent was his currency. Make no mistake, Prince was a musical genius, but more than that, he was a business man. A marketing machine way ahead of his time who understood the element of surprise, took risks and advocated on behalf of singers, songwriters, fans – lovers of music. Long before his death he was a visionary. An artist, a poet, a philanthropist, an icon.
I remember going to his concert 10 years ago and watching as he, on the fly, decided to do an acoustic rendition of Little Red Corvette. I cried. It was the most beautiful thing I ever did see. Full of energy he kept going, encore after encore until it was into the wee hours of the morning. I don’t have many regrets in my life, but not going to his last show at the Sony Centre only weeks ago is one that I’ll carry with me. He was a once in forever artist. His music resides somewhere in everything we hear today. Trust me, it’s true.
To say he was fearless is a gross understatement. Prince was utter magic and nothing compares.