This Thing Called Life: How Prince Changed Mine

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Featured Image Via ABC News

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here to remember an icon.

Michael Jackson may have been the King of Pop. But, Prince? Prince was absolutely everything.

On April 21, 2016 the world lost Prince Rogers Nelson, and with that we lost a bit of magic. The sky is still blue, the sun still shines and there was a rainbow above his home on Thursday. Yet the rumored purple light on the roof of Prince’s Paisley Park will never shine again because he is not home.

To say he influenced our favorite artists of today, and those of the future that we have yet to meet, would be an immense understatement. Music would not be what it is today without Prince. Without Prince there may never have been genre mixing sounds from artists in such unique ways. No other artists may have been brave enough to break the barriers that he broke. No other artist has or will ever be as unrepentantly themselves as Prince.

Though we didn’t truly know Prince, because he was shrouded in mystery – in a way, we felt like we did. For some of us, he was our best friend – always giving an insane amount of sass, encouraging us to always be ourselves and getting us through some of the most difficult times of our lives. No matter what you wear, no matter what people say about you – if you want it, do it anyway. If you feel like people are taking advantage of you or your talent, separate yourself from them. Respect yourself enough to hold on to your own personal beliefs, be they religious or otherwise, but always respect others and be kind as well. Because your beliefs don’t mean you get to judge someone. What else could we ever ask for from a musician?

I will never be able to thank Prince enough for the wonderful memories that his music gave me with my Dad. The immense gratitude I have for a man that I have never met is insurmountable. His music touched both of our souls so deeply and every song I hear takes me back to some special moment. I’m not alone in feeling a connection with Prince. Justin Timberlake put it perfectly when he posted in remembrance of the artist on Thursday.

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It was Raspberry Beret. I was 4 years old. Yes, 4. I remember that I instantly loved it. "Mommy, who is that singing?" Seems weird but it's true. More than a "once in a lifetime" artist… Just a ONCE IN FOREVER ARTIST. I'm still in shock as I write this and I feel this overwhelming grief. But, we should all turn away from that and HONOR this musician that changed all of our lives, our perspectives, our feeling, our whole being. From another planet? Probably. Royalty, for sure. Us worthy..? Laughable. They say don't meet your idols… That they let you down. But, some of my greatest, funniest (yes, he was hilarious), and most prolific encounters and conversations about music came from the moments that I spent with him. It would be silly to say that he has inspired our music… It's beyond that. He's somewhere within every song I've ever written. I am sad, but I will smile when I think of every second that I had the fortune of being in his company. We have lost our greatest living musician. But his music will never die. Prince, NOTHING COMPARES… #RIPPrince

A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

The words of grief on the Internet and radio airwaves tell many similar stories. Of all the Atlanta radio stations that I listened to, The Big Tigger Show on V103.3 did it best. Listeners heard songs that the other stations weren’t playing. Songs that I, and many others, had forgotten about. Callers voiced so many lovely stories and the station took every request callers had for any song at all. The lines were filled with emotional voices and many spoke through or about the tears they’d shed while listening to the on-air tribute. It was absolutely beautiful.

Prince was cremated and a private ceremony filled with family, his musicians and close friends was held on Saturday. His family even gave mourning fans outside of Paisley Park a special surprise by handing out gifts after his memorial service. It speaks volumes to their character that they chose to tell fans, “Thank you for loving him,” during this tragic time.

Fond memories, concerts with friends, finally embracing who you actually are instead of who people want you to be… A musical genius with unforgettable talent, and even more spectacular performances, gave us all of that – the amount of souls that this one spectacular man was able to touch and repair can never be measured.


What are some moments in your life that make you think of Prince?

About Ashleigh Manning

Ashleigh is a junior communication major, student of the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program and writer and social media director for the Odyssey at Kennesaw State University. When she's not listening to an eclectic variety of music, you can find her reading different book series at the same time or binge watching Netflix.

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1 Comment

  1. Gerry Holman

    May 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I read this article & started crying. We R one in how we felt about Price. One of my favorite things in life are quoting the artist lyrics….so Thank U again…..with tears in my eyes …..G <3

    Oh, oh, gotta broken heart again, yeah
    This time it's serious
    It feels just like the end
    'Cause once your love has gone away
    There ain't nothing, nothing left to say

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