It continues to sadden me when artists that have had a tremendous impact on the world pass away too soon. Each time it happens, it always affects me in a very unique way.
I was never a huge fan of the man as a person, but I couldn't deny that I was in awe of his amazing creativity and originality. Over the years, I've learned to appreciate his androgynous style, anti-conformist behavior, and his uniqueness because it made him the success that he was. I believe that in Prince's formative years, he had already decided that he would become the artist who we would all come to know and respect.
One of the very first songs that I remember listening to as a kid was "Diamonds & Pearls." I truly believe that music has the power to inflict such positive change in humanity, and songs like this embodied such a beautiful message about the declaration of pure love. For all of Prince's showmanship, style and psychedelic theatrics, every thing that he had written and performed contained incredibly mesmerizing lyrics, yet always had a creative message attached that only the artist formerly known as could craft.
As I delved more into the art scene, I rediscovered Purple Rain and considered it a masterpiece that blended Prince's very different style of music with an outrageous love story. The genius behind this whole project was that it birthed an entirely new medium that inspired so many filmmakers to collaborate with musicians. It went beyond the music video atmosphere and gave artists the platform to produce their own films.
I can see why so many of the artists that I've come into contact with have listed Prince as a top tier influence on their career. He continued to remain relevant over the last forty years by constantly reinventing himself and giving his fans something to talk about. Although I am sad for his passing, Prince's influence on others has transcended what any artist could ever hope to accomplish, and for that, I feel truly blessed to have witnessed a living legend touch so many people with his amazing talent.