Laughing in the Purple Rain

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When I heard the sad news that music mogul, Prince Rogers Nelson had died, it sucked all the air out of the room. Coworkers rushed to turn on the TV after social media anxiously reported the news. The crawl bar at the bottom of the TV screen read, Legendary Singer, Prince Rogers Nelson Dies at 57. Everything in motion stopped moving…

When someone dies it’s always a sad thing to me. It reminds me that Jehovah God and Jesus intended for us to live forever. So I cry for the loss of human life, whether I knew the person or not. However, Prince’s death was more emotional to me because his music was the soundtrack to my youth. I was just a kid when I heard International Lover, Erotic City, and Darling Nikki, even though my mother forbade me to listen to Prince because of his raunchy lyrics. I'd listen to it whenever she wasn't home. Besides, Michael Jackson had quietly faded into the shadows temporarily after the Thriller album, so I’d tossed my fake glittery glove in the closet and became a Prince fan.

In the 80’s, Prince pulled the curtains back, and boldly took center stage in a pair of underwear, a bandana, blazer, and an electric guitar. With his warped Jheri curl, dark-eye liner, and high heels, Prince crooned from the pit of his belly─ a beautiful range of sound. Prince was sexual, provocative, raunchy, weird, and mysterious. Yet, every woman, man, boy and girl were attracted to him and his music for all those reasons. Prince was intentionally unconventional and unpredictable. He pretty much said to Hollywood, ‘Here I am! Take it or leave it!’ Honestly, Prince was no different from other rock stars prior to him, except, instead of smashing his guitar to pieces on stage, he preferred to kiss it.

Known for having the talent to play all of the instruments, Prince masterfully blended Funk, R&B, Rock n’ Roll, Jazz, and Pop that led to 40 Billboard hits! With such a huge body of work, you would think that Prince’s music would all sound alike, but it didn’t. That’s why I loved Prince’s music so much, because I could always hear a new sound. Prince’s music had us jamming to songs like, Let’s Go Crazy, Batdance, Housequake, U Got the Look, Raspberry Beret, When Doves Cry, Kiss, Pop Life, I Would Die 4 U, LoveSexy, and many others. The beautiful ballads that Prince wrote showed his romantic side, and singing range, with songs such as The Beautiful Ones, Adore, How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore, When 2 R in Love, and I Hate U. Let’s not forget the other artists Prince wrote music for and helped put their careers on the map. Tevin Campbell’s Break it Down, Chaka Khan’s I Feel for U, Sheena Easton’s, Sugar Walls, and Sheila E.’s Glamorous Life and Love Bizarre. There were also other Minneapolis bands that Prince helped to get record deals, such as The Time (with Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis), The New Power Generation, the group Next, Mint Condition, and 3rd Eyed Girl.

Prince was a towering music figure who sold over 100 million records! His body of work crosses the generation lines. At age 57, Prince was still touring and selling out venues across the globe. His days of wearing a Jheri curl, lace, and tight pants with the butt out were long gone. He wore an Afro and tailor-made pants suits, but he still rocked heels. He'd abandoned his old ways of being a defiant for shock-value. Prince became a more mature spiritual man whose acts of kindness would far outweigh the person he used to be. As a Prince fan, I could always tell he was in search of spiritual truths through the subliminal messages in his songs. I only wish Prince was still here with us, like so many other music legends that we've lost. He would be happy to see such an outpour of love and support. If Prince were still here, he wouldn’t say too much being the shy guy that he was. I can picture Prince blushing and blinking those bright eyes at the crowd before him. He’d wait for the screaming to die down, and then his petite frame would approach the standing microphone. He would look out into the crowd, and utter in a deep voice, "Thank you,” and exit the stage with the extra pimp of swag in his walk.

A Portrait Drawing of Prince by Selena Haskins          

Author Selena Haskins

Selena Haskins is the author of her best-selling book A River Moves Forward. In 2013, recognized Selena as a Top 100 Author.

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