Thursday was a sad day for music. We lost one of the greatest ever and we lost him way too young. The news of Prince’s passing away broke Thursday afternoon and there has been a big Purple Rain cloud over the world since.

For as long as I can remember, Prince was on rotation in my parent’s car and my house. I was always addicted to his voice and musicianship and I was equally fascinated by his magnetism as a performer. At the risk of sounding like the music nerd I am, I will admit to spending vast amounts of time watching his live performances just to see him in action and to watch the power he commanded and the skill he possessed.   

He had it all. He was a dancer with precision and rhythm in every movement, he sang with a range that could rival anyone’s and a crisp, soulful tone that carried from his deepest note to his highest falsetto, and he was one of the greatest guitar players we have ever had. He could wail on the guitar and tear a stage up with any given riff, and he did. From rock to funk and everything in between, he was always progressive in his choices and unfalteringly had the talent to back up every move he made.

However, he was far more than just a renaissance artist. I remember watching him on stage during his Super Bowl halftime show in 2007 thinking it was the greatest halftime show I had ever seen and maybe would ever see. I remember wondering how this man could be so impossibly cool while wearing a bright blue bell bottom suit. But that was what he did- he showed people, myself included, that if you do everything with enough confidence and belief in who you are and what makes you different, the world will follow along. Someone so unwaveringly himself and so surefooted even in the pouring rain at the most watched event in the world could carry the show with ease and charisma because that is what it means to be a complete original. Prince, you are forever admired and impossible to be copied. Rest in Purple to the best to ever do it, and thank you for everything.

If you are looking to drown yourself in Prince’s work, here are some highlights you can’t miss:

A tribute to Prince’s halftime show

Prince’s remarkable guitar solo during George Harrison’s tribute at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (he blows some of the greatest guitarists in the world out of the water and they all are proud to watch it happen)

And if you haven’t ever, do yourself a favor and at the very least listen to the song Purple Rain the whole way through. If you don’t want to listen to more of his music, at least do that one solid for yourself. You won’t regret it.

By: Rachel Blackman