What Prince’s death taught me about mortality

I had just taken the bus home from school when I received a text from a friend. She told me that Prince is dead. I didn’t believe her until I looked up his death on Google. Then I started to click on links to articles that discussed Prince’s death. I couldn’t believe what I read because his death came as a surprise to me because he was only fifty seven years old and had so many years ahead of him. Worst of all, his death came as a huge blow to my conscious because I admire his music and I am a fan of his.

Here is a picture of Prince, from his heyday in the early to mid 1980s

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Even though Prince was before my time, I grew up listening to his music. My mother was and still is a fan of Prince and his music. She even went to see Purple Rain back in 1984 when she was in college. My mother would play his music often when I was little. I didn’t understand the power of his music or the essence of his song, Purple Rain. I used to think that he was weird, sang and acted like a girl. But I found myself becoming interested in listening to his music once I reached my teen years. From then on, I became a fan of Prince’s music. I also respect his musicianship and talent of playing various instruments, notably the guitar, writing and producing his songs and changing the landscape of Pop music forever.

From reports that I have read, Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park home on the morning of April 21st, 2016. Someone tried to do CPR to revive him but he didn’t respond. The ambulance was called and he was pronounced dead at 10:07 A.M. . It was ironic considering that he died when I was taking notes and listening to my Math teacher lecture about simplifying radicals. All of this makes my mind boggle and it makes me wonder how he ended up dead in an elevator. But the news of his death really told me that life is short. One must cherish and live life to the fullest because you never know the day that you die.

Our lives on this planet is limited. Death comes to everyone of us. It is important for people to celebrate and be grateful that they can wake up every morning and live life. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. If an iconic, Grammy winning musical icon such as Prince met his death in an elevator, then what does one expect from life? We will never know the day that we die, but we do know that we must live life to the fullest. Prince’s untimely death taught me lot about the importance of valuing and cherishing life.

However, I would like to remember Prince as the majestic and  dazzling performer and musician that he was. ”I never meant to cause you any sorrow or pain”(as said in one of the lines of his song, Purple Rain). Here are videos of some of my favorite Prince songs:

Little Red Corvette-Prince and the Revolution performed Little Red Corvette in 1985.

 

Beautiful Ones-Prince performed this song to Apollonia in the 1984 movie, Purple Rain.

 

Darling Nikki-Another song he performed in the 1984 movie, Purple Rain

 

When Doves Cry-Here is a recording of the song from the 1984 album, Purple Rain

 

I Would Die 4 You-Prince performing this song in his 1984 movie, Purple Rain

 

There are other songs by Prince such as Adore, Soft and Wet, I Wanna be Your Lover, I’m Yours, Mountains, Diamonds and Pearls, Sexy Dancer, Dirty Mind, Controversy and many others, that I do like. However, songs like When Doves Cry, I Would Die 4 You, The Beautiful Ones, Darling Nikki and especially Little Red Corvette are among my favorites out of Prince’s music catalog. Especially Little Red Corvette. Little Red Corvette is my favorite Prince song because it showed me that Prince was maturing musically and lyrically. I love how the lyrics of the song speak about sexual experimentation in such a playful yet casual tone that goes along with the beat of his song. Up until that point, Prince was struggling to really found ground in his musical maturity even though I do enjoy his earlier works such as I Wanna Be Your Lover, Dirty Mind and Controversy. The release of Little Red Corvette in 1983 showed that he could appeal to a broader audience and still mature into such a complex and talented man that he was. I also believe that if it wasn’t for Little Red Corvette, the song, Purple Rain and the movie wouldn’t have become as successful as it was.

Ultimately, hearing the news of Prince’s untimely death taught me a lesson about mortality. No one lives forever. Death will come to all of us one day. We must value each day and treat it as if it were our last. We never know the day that we die. Hence I wish Prince a long rest in eternity and I appreciate the vast musical legacy of hits that he left behind for his fans to enjoy listening to.

Watch Prince and the Revolution’s performance of Purple Rain at the 1985 American Music Awards. RIP Prince Roger Nelson June 7, 1958-April 21, 2016.

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