You know how everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news that John Lennon or Princess Diana died? Well, for my generation that day is today, and that artist is Prince.
Prince was only 57, and while details surrounding the circumstances of his death trickle in, everyone can agree it was untimely and devastating.
Fans are already gathering en masse outside of his Minneapolis estate, Paisley Park. Though the investigation is currently underway, we do know that Prince was hospitalized not long ago, reportedly for a 'flu.'
He was an icon, and like Bowie who also recently passed, a musical virtuoso. Many - myself included - would go so far as to say genius.
Purple Rain was the first cassette I ever bought. It was a special day, I was shopping at The Bay in Montreal with my uncle. The year was 1984. More than 20 years later, I was lucky enough to hear him play the last of 21 consecutive nights in London. All 21 nights sold out at a venue that seats 24,000 people. That says a lot about his music.
Those songs - his pure voice, his fingertips on the ivory keys - still had the power to get his fans up on their feet. Still had the power, in a single key, to make goosebumps break out all over my body. Let's not even talk about the guitar licks, and the music he wrote for so many other artists...
There are only a handful of albums that truly stand the test of time. And Purple Rain is one of them.
Though incredibly private, over the course of his long and prolific career Prince fought for freedom of expression, the rights of artists.
Few musicians have the gift to make music so beautiful and haunting. Prince had that gift - in spades - and we were lucky to be on the receiving end.
Image Source: Flickr