Thursday, April 21, 2016

In Memoriam, Prince (1958-2016)

Legends come cheap these days.

You do a few things it seems, and people are ready to label you the "GOAT" or the "Greatest of All Time".  Fact of the matter is that true legends, the ones truly worth remembering, only come along once in a while.

We lost one of those today--Prince.

The mysterious musical genius who was painfully private and extremely shy was found unresponsive in his home in Minnesota.  It was a sad end to a life lived in the spotlight.

Like almost every legend, Prince, lived in that spotlight.  Unlike most legends, we only knew what he wanted us to know about him.  It's what helped make his legend.  Painfully private, Prince managed to be famous without wallowing in his fame.  Instead, like Michael Jackson, he used his fame to hide away.  He was almost a prisoner of his own success.

On the off occasions that we saw him perform in public these days, we were treated.  His performance at the Super Bowl in 2007 under the Miami rain was stunning.  Prince was a showman and a showstopper.  When he was on, you had to watch.  From his recent performance on SNL to his shredding of Beatles hit "While My Guitar Gently Weeps at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago back to the time he showed up on MTV in a yellow suit missing the seat of his pants, Prince was indomitable on stage.

More than just a showman, Prince was a musician.  The music was amazing.  Each of his albums were musical masterpieces and almost always critical successes.  Prince could marry emotion with a dance beat or make your heart cry with a ballad.  He could take you to church in a love song.  He could write and perform musical sex.  The man was without peer in this way.

He could sing.  He could dance.  He could play multiple instruments.  He could write.  He could produce.  He could choreograph.  You name it.  Prince could do it.  He was a musical chef that could make the entire musical meal.

Unfortunately, we won't see what the next chapter of Prince's musical story will be, but we are left with the intense memories of what was.  For those of a certain age, we remember the Artist.  The Symbol.  The man named Prince Rogers Nelson.

Another icon has bowed from the stage.  This one, for some reason, hurts a little more to me.

Prince is gone, from this world anyway, at the age of 57.

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