I remember when some people thought it was very unmanly and indecent to listen to people like David Bowie and Prince. Music about sex, spaceships and men who wore heavy makeup did not seem right or sane to some folks.
Just like Bowie and Little Richard before him, Prince paved a different path and didn’t let the preconceptions of others stop him. Prince was a man who didn’t think being in touch with his sensitive side made him less of a human being.
Prince Rogers Nelson was a young genius that grew as a person, which is one of the reasons the world was stunned and stopped to take note of his sudden passing.
Rarely does the whole world collectively pause to take note of anything let alone a short 5’2 inch man who loved purple. Al Sharpton commented at the death of Rosa Parks: “Most people never stop to say ‘goodbye’ because your ‘hello’ didn’t mean anything.”
Prince meant something to a lot of people. He wrote classic songs for not only himself but for other artists. “Nothing Compares to You” put Sinead O’Connor on the map. Prince shares the musical Mount Rushmore with Michael Jackson, Barry White, Elton John and many others.
Prince is a hybrid of Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and Sly Stone mixed together to produce the Prince supernova. One could see their influences, yet everyone knew the result, authentic Prince. Check out the “When Doves Cry” video; his attire is a recreation from a Hendrix photo. You hear Hendrix’s ‘style in Bambi. Purple Rain, Purple Haze? Does that not sound like a reference to Jimi Hendrix?
Pound for pound one might argue he was even greater that all of them if you combine his skills as a vocalist, writer and total entertainer.
Prince, Michael Jackson, Elvis, James Brown and even the Beatles owe a lot of fame to two often overlooked and unappreciated giants: Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Modern pop music stands on their shoulders.
The fact I appreciate most about Prince was his evolution from wild and raunchy lust master to a conscientious seeker of faith.
With the help of the great bass player and singer songwriter Larry Graham (One and a Million You), Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness. In these last few years, Prince has been studying “The Truth.” Many of the things he did on stage in the pass changed. He went from being a very private man to being more open. Prince expressed his new-found faith in Jesus and Jehovah on several talk shows.
Did the Purple One go door-to-door spreading the Gospel of Christ? I don’t know but he expressed his hope in Gods’ Kingdom and recently he did it before the world, the same world that is mourning his passing just months after his ex-girlfriend Vanity’s death.
I was not a big Prince fan at first but I came to appreciate him as a writer a singer and a very, very underrated guitar master.
I never saw Prince in life but I hope I can see him in paradise. Prince proved that even musical geniuses could humble themselves and grow closer to the loving Creator.