A Princely farewell
“Thinking about how we mourn artists we've never met. We don't cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves."
@EllusiveJ on Twitter
Last week I was driving home from an appointment when I heard on the radio that Prince had passed away.
There are only a handful of times in my life that I remember exactly where I was when I heard big news...the verdict in the OJ Simpson trial, Princess Diana's death, and now this. I know I will remember this for as long as I live.
Why, you may ask? Because Prince inspired me in a way that few artists ever have.
I owe it all to my sister, Katie, whose obsession with Prince led her to teach me everything there was to know about him from a very early age.
I knew his full name was Prince Rogers Nelson.
I knew he was 5'2" and always wore heels.
I knew he wrote all the songs and played all the instruments on his first five albums.
And I knew that he made doves cry and owned the color purple.
I've seen all his movies multiple times. Just ask my friends who came over for a viewing of Purple Rain this week, throughout which I mouthed all the lyrics, most of the dialogue, and followed along with the dance moves.
Yes, Prince was a true artist.
Just click on the video above to see an amazing video of him during a soundcheck. There are no screaming fans, buttless pants, or over-the-top theatrics (though he undoubtedly was one of the best performers ever).
There's simply a musical genius doing what he was born to do. Letting the Divine flow through him.
After his death, reports of his anonymous generosity, playfulness, and kindness surfaced, giving us all a deeper appreciation for man so famous he once didn't even need a name, just a symbol.
But what I will always appreciate most about Prince was his ability to live his life exactly as he wanted, no matter what anyone thought of him. He summed it up perfectly in a 1990 Rolling Stone interview:
"Cool means being able to hang with yourself. All you have to ask yourself is 'Is there anybody I'm afraid of? Is there anybody who if I walked into a room and saw, I'd get nervous?' If not, then you're cool."
Ain't that the truth?
And of course, there's my favorite Prince quote:
Thank you, Prince, for showing us how it's done. CLICK TO TWEET
Your life may not have been as long as we'd hoped, but you left your mark on this world in a way that will never be forgotten. You taught us to open our hearts, speak our minds, and live on our own terms. And you left us with so much of your art, there are secret vaults still holding it...
Because that's what a legend does.
What's your favorite Prince moment? Share it on our Facebook page - let's celebrate his genius- because you know wherever he is, he's jammin' big time.