Yesterday we were robbed of a visionary and musical genius who changed the world in ways too extraordinary to put into words. Prince was announced dead in his Minnesota home at 10:07 a.m. yesterday morning. For now, it is suspected that he died of complications from the flu, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Prince’s death has hit home for all of us, especially as we’re still in recovery from losing yet another revolutionary artist David Bowie earlier this year. As you’re probably joining the throes of fans everywhere who are remembering his far-reaching influence, here’s a little piece of Prince you probably haven’t seen yet. Grab your tissue box because this is sure to tug at your heartstrings — and give you insight into the man he truly was.
In 1984, Prince took the time to hand write a reply to one of his fans, a teenager in junior high who had presumably expressed their love and adoration for his work. He kicks off by saying, “I don’t always have time 2 reply but your letters surely brighten my day.”
“You’re so sweet. I’m glad you’re my friend,” he writes. “Congratulations on making thru jr. high. I’m sure u did better than I. I wasn’t much on school. I was 2 busy listening 2 the grass grow.”
Excuse us while we wipe away our tears.
There is much to be said about Prince’s influence on the world, but how he inspired young adults and kids is particularly special. He taught us how to be free, how to be exactly who we are regardless of the pressures we feel to constantly fit in. He became an iconic role model by shaking up the status quo when it came to just about everything — race, sexuality, gender, love. And, yes, in a way, he taught us how to listen to the grass grow.
The Los Angeles Times just released a piece by Marc Bernadin called “Prince Gave Black Kids the License To Be Who They Wanted To Be, Not What Society Thought They Should Be.” Bernadin writes, “If Prince could be a black dude who played rock, who looked as feminine as the women who flocked around him, who could roar into a microphone with the same voice that was quiet as a mouse in speech — well, then, I could be a nerd who loved comics and played Dungeons & Dragons…”
There will never be another like Prince, so all we can do is promise that we’ll pass down his music and his magic to the next generation, and the one after that, and the one after that.