The death of Prince has shocked the world. Whether it’s the music world, fans of Prince, or anyone else, it’s certainly a dark day.
Pop superstar Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his era with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ”Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57. (The Associated Press)
It’s been a dark year for 2016. The trending phrase across social media, friends, family and others is this is “the year that music died.” I’ll get to this in a moment.
I admit I’m heartbroken over the death of Prince. The man was widely appreciated as an icon in the music world. He was a bit more reclusive than your typical musician and celebrity. However, he was one who never shied away from putting on a blockbuster of a concert.
He, along with David Bowie, who we miss very much, shared the stage in an interesting light.
I also admit, with my vast music knowledge and experience, that I never listened to much of Prince’s catalog. I feel ashamed even admitting that. However, I will make it a priority to listen to much more of his music.
That being said, he annihilated the music charts with hits like “1999,” “Little Red Corvette,” and “Purple Rain.” Some of his other masterpieces included “Raspberry Beret,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” “Cream,” and a personal favorite of mine: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” He performed the latter with Tom Petty, Steve Winwood and others at the 2004 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Now, having said that, I think there’s something we all can take away from this. I begin with a list of the musicians we’ve lost since the end of 2015: Scott Wieland (Stone Temple Pilots), Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead), David Bowie, Glenn Frey (The Eagles), Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest), Frank Sinatra, Jr., Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), Dale Griffin (Mott the Hoople), and, of course, Prince.
Let’s look at this from a whole different perspective. If you’re of a certain age, you remember “The Day That Music Died.” It involved a plane crash that killed The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. What an amazing era of music! Thankfully, music began to be resurrected, revamped and appreciated on a completely different level since that terrible day.
The natural course of life involves birth, life, and death. It’s inevitable, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it (I apologize for the morbid nature of that statement). Celebrities, musicians and others will come and go, but it’s how we choose to remember them that will live on forever.
I still am bummed that Freddie Mercury left us 25 years ago, and we still recognize him as one of the best. Why can’t we do the same with the likes of Bowie, Haggard, Frey, and Prince, for example? Aside from their creativity, ingenuity, and charisma, the reason these musicians thrived so much was from our reception to their product.
I implore that we must continue to carry on their legacies and share their music. It will be hard to digest the thought that these icons will come and go during our lifetimes and future generations. But by the power invested in the great music fans we are, we must never fail in appreciating their music. This is true especially after they’ve moved on from this great world of ours.