Millions of us are devastated at the news of Prince passing away today. I have cried like I lost a family member and I still need to have my signature vodka martini drink. From the time I was 7 years old, I have been a Prince fan and follower. You may think 7 is young but when I saw Purple Rain for the first time at that age, I wasn't watching as much as I was listening. I knew I was listening to some good damn music, When Doves Cry??? Please, I was a Michael Jackson fan (I never let him go, just didn't follow him as tight), but Prince came into my musical world with that one song and flipped the script.
Prince was The Man, his talent, his look (I always thought he was supremely handsome) and that deep speaking voice, my goodness. Prince the musician, creative genius, icon and silent humanitarian transcended generations of people. Everyone could dig on Prince, it didn't matter what Race, Creed or Color, Prince had and still has something for everybody to relate to. My God, I cannot imagine not seeing him in concert again, his performances were phenomenal! I need a Hologram tour or something because this is not going to work for me at all. The above photo is from the last Prince concert I saw at the Palace Theater in Louisville, KY last year. I can still feel the anticipation of waiting for him to hit the stage.
Growing up in the 80's there was no way you could turn on the radio and not hear a Prince song. He had so many hits that were not only funky but fun and catchy throughout the decade leading into the early 90's. Then he got deep on us when he dropped his name and wrote SLAVE on his face during the fight with Warner Bros. for his masters. Prince tackled topics with GOD, sex and social issues, sometimes with lyrics to raw for my ears, but whatever! I remember when I discovered Prince's earlier works- For You, Prince, Controversy and 1999, I had my dad take me to the record store in the old Galleria (now 4th St. Live) back home in Louisville, KY and buy them for me. Later on as my obsession grew and his albums came out with those "stupid" PARENTAL ADVISORY stickers on them, I would have to get crafty and talk dad into getting them for me anyway. I had the huge Purple Rain poster on my wall, you know the one that literally went from the ceiling to the floor. My bedroom was painted "could blush purple" and I had a life size door poster. When you would come upstairs at my parents old house Prince would greet you with a coy smile of course.
I remember many nights when I would listen to my cassette tapes on my Sony Walkman, these kids today don't know crap about Sony Walkman. Those spongy headphones would get hot from staying on my ears for so long, just listening to Prince and singing along and thinking about stuff I probably shouldn't have been thinking about. I was really into music, I started off playing the Violin in elementary school then I started playing French Horn in junior high and all the way through college. Prince was a major influence in my interest in music, at one time I thought I would be a producer, then an A&R rep, then I realized hell I don't know what I want to do. When I got to college, I was a music major still playing my horn but I left with a Business Marketing degree, go figure.
I feel so blessed to have seen him in concert four times. My first show was at Louisville Gardens circa 1997 for the Love 4 One Another tour. I was in college but my parents came with me because they had never seen Prince before either, we were so excited. He opened with Jam of the Year, as usual he blew the roof off the place with his new and old hits. Then about six months later, I scored two free tickets to the Jam of the Year tour at Rupp Arena in Lexington, another awesome show. In 2004 I rode up to Cincinnati in a limo compliments of mom and dad, they didn't want me driving my girls up in my old car, I loved that Peugeot. We were in the limo with champagne and fried chicken wings, yes, that's right, champagne and fried chicken wings for the Musicology tour at US Bank Arena. Finally last year back home in Louisville, Prince brought 3rdEyeGirl to the Palace Theater and gave us all an unforgettable and most magical night.
When I heard Prince was on his Piano and a Microphone tour I was hoping we would get to see him in concert again, now we know that will never happen. His loss is so devastating and it still feels like a bad dream, just like when Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and so many other greats in our generation passed. I cried like I lost a family member today, so many great nights of listening to his music, watching his videos and seeing his concerts, dancing to his songs. Prince is gone from this Earth, but his Music and Essence will live on FOREVER! I miss you already Prince.
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