My earliest memories of MTV as a kid are filled with Prince, clad in purple, riding a motorcycle, playing his guitar and singing the hell out of songs from PURPLE RAIN. I was a shy kid and didn’t have a lot of friends, but I had my radio and the fan magazines that told me all about my favorite artists, and Prince was at the top of that list. I voted for “Let’s Go Crazy” over and over again for the Top Ten at Ten countdown on my local station in my little Florida town, and when I would pretend to be a deejay I would talk over “When Doves Cry.”
As I grew up, actually got into radio, and moved around the country, Prince’s music was always there. I remember the excitement at work when we would get word that a new Prince song was coming to us, as he was always surprising and we never knew what to expect. “Cream.” “Diamonds and Pearls.” “7” “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.” “My Name Is Prince.” “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night.” “Batdance.” All different, all brilliant. And he was also a digital pioneer who took on big business while being intensely private.
Twelve years ago, I spent money I didn’t have to get front-row tickets for my mom and me to see him on his hits tour at Staples Center. It was worth every penny; he played his heart out for over three hours and had the whole place on their feet the entire time. I remember my mom dancing to “1999,” and everyone walking out to their cars singing the “ooooohhh oooohhhh ooohh-oooooooohhhh” end of “Purple Rain.” It was a magical night, bordering on a religious experience.
My favorite Prince song? “The Beautiful Ones.” The moment I hear him sing “Baby, baby, baby,” my eyes always fill with tears. I will never get sick of hearing it.
I thought Prince would always be here, as he was so much larger-than-life. Last weekend on K-EARTH, though, I talked about how he had the flu and his plane had to make an emergency stop so he could receive treatment, and I just felt unsettled to even think that he could be that sick.
“Life is just a game, we’re all just the same,” Prince sang in “Controversy.” But I disagree; Prince, you were an original, once-in-a-lifetime artist who will forever be missed.