It’s been a few days since I heard the news about Prince’s death and I’ve used that time to try and process the whole thing. It hasn’t been easy. You see, Prince was, and always will be, my favorite musician of all time. I loved that man more than Michael Jackson, and he was the King. But Prince held my heart ever since I heard his “For You” album so many years ago. I thought about writing some thoughtful, intricate piece about him, but instead, I’m writing from my heart.
If you don’t know about Prince, then you will not understand why so many of us are heartbroken over his death. Prince was music. He was the guitar riff, the drumbeat, the bass that goes all the way through your chest, the trumpets that blow your ears out, the piano that lulls you to sleep with sweet ballads, and the synthesizer that takes you to another world. Prince lived and breathed music, so much so that you could feel it just by watching him play. He was a musical prodigy who taught himself how to play over 20 instruments. How many artists today can say that? But he was also inclusive. Prince seemed to know, influence and inspire countless artists and musicians and made himself accessible to his fans so he could share his gift.
I was lucky enough to see Prince twice in my lifetime. The first time was for the LoveSexy tour and I left that concert with no voice, a jealous boyfriend I ignored the entire night, a ticket stub I still have to this day and the memory of seeing a giant. My seats were terrible and I could barely see him, but I stood up the entire time because Prince had us all out of our seats, dancing and screaming to his music. He was far away from me, but his presence was felt throughout the arena. No one has ever kept me on my feet like that since then (the closest anyone ever came was Beyoncé).
The second time I saw him was at an album release party Prince held for his fan club members. The tickets were announced the same day of the party (which he was known to do) and were only 25 cents. I bought my ticket, left work early and headed to Webster Hall in New York City. The place was packed, but fan club members spent the entire night enjoying each other’s company and jamming to all things Prince. Later that night, Prince decided to walk among the fans and I almost lost it. The friend I went with grabbed me and said that if I embarrassed him, he would never speak to me again. I seriously considered losing that friendship because it was fucking Prince! The man was literally 10 feet away from me. All I wanted to do was hug him (well, that’s not true, but let’s keep it clean, shall we?). So I just stared at the man I had dreamed about for years. Prince was a lot shorter than many people there, but his presence dwarfed them all. And when he smiled at something Q-Tip said to him, my legs almost gave out. It was dazzling, that smile. I knew I would love him forever.
I was never able to see Prince in concert again because I always let other stuff get in the way. But I am one of the lucky ones who got to see that man do what he did best: make music and get us all to shake our asses. (See the link below of the man making his guitar sing.) Prince Playing at George Harrison Tribute (2004)
Here’s to you Prince, you sexy motherfucker. You will be missed more than you will ever know. We will mourn you for awhile, but we will never forget you, your music or how you made us all feel. Thank you for your gift of music, your love of song, and for just being your funky self. We will miss you terribly.