I loved him in hats. The above photo is inspired by the many photos taken of him donning hats.
Sometimes someone so unlikely, like an entertainer or a world figure, touches you in a way that you just can’t explain. Although not an original fan of his music at the beginning, I was definitely a fan of what I knew of him at the end. This re-post from May of last year attempts to explain.
He had hits like “Soft and Wet” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover” at the time, and I remember asking my Dad if I could go see him in concert with some friends. Knowing who the artist was, he just laughed and shook his head and said, “No way.” He said I had to be 21 to go to any kind of concert. Oh well, so much for going to the upcoming Parliament show too! By the time I turned 21, there were even racier songs like “Head” and “Little Red Corvette” and I’d lost interest in going to a concert where I’d heard a man wore a thong under a trench coat on stage. Yikes!!! It wasn’t until I saw “Purple Rain” that I began to like his music again… well… I liked the music in the movie. I just thought his stuff was too sexually explicit. I wasn’t able to see the genius in it yet.Once he “emancipated” himself from his record label, had gotten married, and seemed to have settled on a spiritual foundation, I noticed his lyrics began to change, the way he carried and presented himself began to change, and it was then that I truly fell in love with the man and the artist known as Prince. His ability to create any kind of music and engage and electrify an audience of all walks of life was nothing short of phenomenal. And then there’s the spellbinding presence. I mean, my goodness, even in his diminutive stature, the amount of swagger this man packed wearing a relaxed hairstyle, eyeliner and high heels that would rival my own was just crazy!!! These things coupled with his humility and enormous generosityis what made me adore him.
Upon hearing the news of Prince’s death I was devastated, distraught and heartbroken, like many others. But why was I so taken back by the loss of someone I’d never met? A celebrity at that. We’d never sat down and held a conversation. For me it wasn’t just the loss of a stellar superstar musician, songwriter, singer and one of the most exhilarating performers of all time. I felt like I knew him through his artistry and the views he expressed because many times I shared those views. I absolutely loved his songs from 1996 on. My absolute favorite Prince song is “The One.”Over time he had begun to show more of who he really was as a man and it was reflected in his songs as well. I felt proud of him, the man that he had become, his industry accomplishments, what he stood for and for his giving back to the community. It was like we were all evolving, growing up, growing wiser and coming into our own together. While the media now is surely cementing the fact that you can’t believe everything you hear, I believe he was a beautiful man from the inside out, sharing everything he had; his music, his wisdom and his money.
It is the finality of possibility that I grieve so heavily. I never got to see Prince live; to share time and space with him in a concert hall with thousands of other people. Now when asked who would you like most to sit down and have a chat with, living or dead, hands down it would be my beloved fallen star. Gone but never forgotten, he will be cherished forever as the Prince he truly was.