We’ve all heard the common refrain of “time heals all wounds” when it comes to reconciling the pain of losing someone or something. But whether the passage of time does in fact mitigate the hurt will forever be debatable. Today, on the first anniversary of Prince’s passing, the legitimacy of the old, overused adage is being put to the test by millions of his faithful fans around the world.
Though one year has now elapsed since we incredulously learned that he was gone, our collective senses have not dulled, our shared tears have not dried. Indeed, it remains profoundly difficult for many of us to accept that this man who was so full of life had his stolen from him so prematurely, so suddenly.
However, if any solace is to be found amidst the still palpable tragedy, it lies within the immutable fact that Prince’s spirit endures and shines even brighter the further we move beyond that fateful day one year ago. Through his music, of course. But also through all of the unique memories we each have of him and continue to exchange with each other.
The Albumism team paused this week to reflect upon the Purple One and our thoughts appear below. As always, we encourage you to share your thoughts with us via the comments section.
I never imagined that the death of someone I’d never met would affect me quite so strongly, but April 21st 2016 changed all that. Prince had been a part of my life since 1992 when a friend shoved a cassette into my 16-year-old hands and started an odyssey of exploration that sparked a lifetime’s dedication to soul music and the funk in particular.
One year later and the shock, disbelief and disappointment has faded but still lurks at the onset of most Prince songs. However, the overriding emotion I’m left with is gratitude. Grateful for the huge back catalogue he left behind, grateful for the good and bad times in my life he’s soundtracked, and grateful that I was lucky enough to see the greatest artist we’ve ever had a number of times.
It's hard to believe it has been a year since Prince passed away. The beautiful thing that I've taken away from this past year is that we didn't sadly mourn endlessly. We celebrated the gift that he gave us. We dug deeper into his discography and reaffirmed what we knew all along. Prince's music and being is transcendent. His physical body is not with us, but he is ever present.
What I miss most is the complexities of the man, his ability to confound as much as endear. These elements were central to his music and life and both made an electric experience every time they were encountered by a listener. It's the arc of his experiences, his journey and where it should have gone that I miss most.
Kyle G. Moore
There really isn't anything I can say about Prince that hasn't been said already. Becoming a fan of Prince at such a young age was a wonderful gift, and one that continues to give to this very day. I hold him responsible for my deep, deep love of music, and the many different styles that are seemingly out there. It still hurts immensely that he passed at such a young age (and for such a tragic reason), but the plus side is that the wealth of material he left behind is still something I'm sifting through.
I've been a fan for 25 years, and I'm STILL hearing music of his I’ve never heard before. He's got enough material to last a person two lifetimes, and I'm forever grateful that I'll be hearing new (to me) Prince for likely the rest of my life. If you are new to this site and aren't overly familiar with him or his music, do yourself a favor (pun intended) and seek his musical enlightenment. He's literally got something for everyone with his material, and in bulk. Give him a chance. Now Gett Off.
I was six years old when my ears were first blessed by Prince’s music. Six. But even at that young and very impressionable age, I recognized that his music—in this case, the pervasive Purple Rain album—had the power to move me and many others. The power to inspire, on a visceral level. I may have only been six, but I was old enough to recognize and revere great music when I heard it. Not to mention that I knew, without any question at all, that Prince was the coolest guy I had ever laid my eyes upon.
As I grew older and more immersed within his songs and albums, old and new, I realized that Prince was so much more than just cool. He was the consummate artist and, it would seem, a restless and insatiable soul, hell-bent on always challenging himself, pushing his sound, keeping his fans enthralled. Of course, he was always fiercely independent and protective of his work, and I admired him for his shrewd business sense as well.
My parents, both now in their seventies, have often spoken to me about the musical heroes of their generation. Bob Dylan. Miles Davis. The Rolling Stones. Which has prompted me to consider who would qualify during my lifetime thus far, and without hesitation, Prince resides at the top of the pedestal and likely always will.