2016 has been a very intense year when it comes to the passing of legends. Not to say that other years haven’t been as bad, but when it comes to artists that have effected my life personally, this year has taken far too many of my heroes. Today, Prince died at the age of 57, and he was one of those individuals that shaped not only the pop music scene but the soundtrack of my life.
My first introduction to Prince came from the now “old school” world that was classic MTV. Much of the time I would wake up to seeing videos fresh and “vintage”, with artists that I knew nothing of at my young age. One of those mornings, I remember stumbling upon some clips of an older music video called “When Doves Cry”, and I became suddenly enchanted with this purple wearing royal, who danced with a veil over his face. He had a tiny frame, a strange yet charming voice, and outfits that I dreamed of wearing. This man would be considered one of my first crushes (along with Rufio from Hook, for those that are curious.)
From then on, much like I did with similar musical heroes MJ and Bowie, I became a bit obsessed with looking into Prince’s long and interesting career. From my first viewing of Purple Rain, to checking out his newer music (Musicology still being among my favorites of his more recent efforts) the man continued to evolve past what anyone (including myself) would ever expect of him. He might have made some interesting decisions near the end of his journey, but regardless, no one can lie that Prince at many times was a genius.
But when you get down to the core of this man, what intrigued me wasn’t his strange antics or wacky persona, but rather his mystery. Unlike many other superstars of the same caliber, Prince was something that no one could truly (and still really can’t ) explain. He played the guitar like no one else, and had the confidence and power of someone that was the height of a skyscraper – yet he only stood at a 5′ 2″. And that somewhat mythical aura around him continued to surround everything he did until his final days, where he reportedly gave one of his greatest shows at Atlanta’s Fox Theater a few days earlier.
One of the aspects that I don’t think gets talked about enough with The Purple One, was his fondness for featuring many incredible female musicians in his various bands. For one, having Wendy Melvoin on guitar and Lisa Coleman on piano during the Purple Rain days of his band The Revolution, was inspiring from the get go, and whenever he could, Prince would make a big deal of how incredible they were. The same goes for future incarnations of his band, including the all female group 3rdeyegirl, who appeared with him on his most recent album/tour.
Whichever version of Prince you know about or have yet to discover, it is hard to deny how much of an impact he made on the music industry in the past 38 years of his career. Hopefully he, like many similar iconic artists of his generation, won’t be lost to those newer music fans to come. I have hopes that his legacy will continue and bring a smile to those that are willing to give it a chance. We’ll miss you, Prince, wherever you are. The world will feel just a little less beautiful without you here.
To end this post, here is my personal pick of what represents Prince at his very best: When he performed at the 2007 Superbowl in the pouring rain….
How do you feel about the passing of Prince? Were you a fan? Did you love his music? Comment below with your favorite moments of this iconic artist. We at DG will remember him fondly, and are sending all the love to his family, friends and fans all over the world.