Last week, the world lost a modern-day Mozart. A talent that comes along once in a lifetime, died under mysterious circumstances in his home called Paisley Park, a place where he lived, produced music and music videos.
Prince, which was in fact his birth name, was a musician that is respected and admired by so many people across the globe.
Thursday, Prince was found dead in the elevator in his home in Minnesota. He was last seen on Wednesday night around 8pm when he was dropped off at his home. However, earlier last week, Prince’s plane had to make an emergency landing because he was sick with the flu. Reports say, Prince was rushed to a hospital and then released. The following day, he was dead.
When the news of Prince’s sudden death broke, fans began to leave purple balloons, cards, notes and flowers outside of his home and production studio. His friends and fellow musicians began to speak with the big news outlets explaining how Prince did a concert at the Fox Theater on Friday in Atlanta and was his magnificent self. The great musicians of our time like Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Angela Davis and others spoke and paid tribute to Prince both in sadness and shock.
Dave Chappelle made America laugh with his skit he and Charlie Murphy developed about Prince and a “secret” basketball game at Paisley Park. Chappelle, who was a fan of Prince, said he was so distraught when he learned about Prince’s death that he almost canceled his comedy show that night in San Francisco. Chappelle told the crowd, “this is the black 9/11,” describing the death of Prince as such a major shock to the black community.
Thursday night, people poured into the streets of Harlem celebrating Prince’s life by dancing and singing to his hits while Spike Lee helped host the impromptu event on CNN.
Michaela Angela Davis described Prince as a “Pimp, Prophet and a Protestor.” Prince developed sexy girl bands before it was cliche in the music industry to do so. He highlighted the talent of women like Wendy and Lisa that helped to form, “The Revolution” and Vanity, Shelia E. and Apollonia among others. He also gave ballerina Misty Copeland her big break into the entertainment industry. Vanity ironically died earlier this year also at the age of 57 due to kidney failure.
Prince was a Jehovah’s Witness and his church said he used his celebrity status to bring people to Christ. The church also said he would walk and knock on doors to tell people about his religion right along with the other members. In church, he wasn’t described as a superstar but as just another one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It has always been so easy for most of us who appreciate the arts to put Prince on a pedestal. He didn’t just play 27 instruments, he mastered them. He sang, danced and kept his body in shape so that he could always perform at his very best.
When performing live, he gave his fans more than just a show. Prince in concert was an event! He cared about other people, what happened in the world around him and what beef rappers had against each other. He opened dialogue with the artists to dispel those quarrels.
Prince is one-of-a-kind. He opened doors for so many including Florida A&M University’s Marching 100. The world would be hard-pressed to find another artist as talented as he. He set the bar high for anyone trying to be in the music industry but most of all, he fought hard to make sure that artists have ownership of their own music as opposed to the record labels and promoters getting the bulk of the money that is due those who write, perform and create their own music that mesmerizes the masses just as Prince so gracefully did.