What Prince meant to me

Those close to me know that, for some odd reason, I took the passing of Prince rather hard. Odd…because I didn’t know him, nor did he me. He wasn’t family, wasn’t a friend, I’d never met him…but I was fan of his music. But my “relationship” with the Purple One went far deeper than a love for song. Prince was something very special. Let me try to explain.

The album, Purple Rain, was released in 1984. I was in high school…tenth grade to be exact. During that year, it was looking as if I was destined to study marine biology. Within my age, I was in the upper 1% in the United States for the subject, so it seemed like a perfect fit. But then something happened.

I heard Purple Rain for the first time.

It changed me. Profoundly.

The title song for that album effected me deeply, flipped a switch and made me see the world through a different lens. Listening to that song connected me to my art, my truth. From that moment on, I traveled a path I’d never even knew existed. Within me my heart opened to a new reality and experience. The world had become a far more beautiful and wondrous place. Emotion, love, experience…everything expanded outward into a glorious landscape of funk and joy.

Next thing I know, my speech teacher tells me I must audition for the Spring musical and my future was rewritten.

I was forever changed, because of a man from Minneapolis wrote a song that challenged me to bathe in his royal rain and become something new.

For over thirty years, that song has never failed to grab me by the heart and remind me of who I truly am. So when the news of Prince’s death crossed my path, I felt a loss deep within. The genius that helped me to become the person, the artist, I am today was gone and I never had the opportunity to tell him what he meant to me.

Everyone has those path-altering moments in life. I’m so very thankful that I can constantly revisit mine by dropping the needle on an album that went double diamond years ago.

Thank you, Prince, for helping me see the light of my truth. Thank you for being you and for sharing your extraordinary gift with us for so many years. You will be missed. You never be forgotten.