April 22, 2016
This may sound terrible to many of you: When my father died, I did not shed a tear. But when I heard the news that Prince died, I nearly cried.
On the day of the announcement of Prince’s death—he was 57 and found unresponsive in an elevator at his home Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minn. on Thursday, April 21—I was inundated with work.
Trying to get several stories written and working to put others on our website, while answering calls and talking to advertisers, I was more than occupied with my business.
As social media is part of my task, I was also busy getting tidbits onto Facebook and Twitter. Both were lit up with news of the 80s icon’s passing, and I knew I couldn’t let myself get caught up in heart-felt shenanigans like reading Prince’s entire obit and then bawling my eyes out.
I’m a crier, and I feared if I started, then a waterfall was sure to ensue.
I needed to focus.
I grew up with Prince. Well, sort of. I was a young adult when he became popular.
I had several of his albums, with his 1984 hit “Purple Rain” being a favorite. It was also the first album he released with his backing band the Revolution, and the one that really paved the way for his move toward stardom.
I couldn’t get enough of his lead song “Purple Rain,” and played it over and over. “When Doves Cry” was another beloved choice. I knew the words to most of his songs on this album. Critics say this is one of the most important records in pop history, and it’s no wonder.
To me, Prince was more than just a musician and a singer. He was the consummate showman and intrigued me to no end.
The seven-time Grammy winner beckoned me whenever I saw him on television. I would have to stop what I was doing and watch.
Though his performances were a blast to witness, he seemed serious off the stage. He was said to be a genius, and he obviously knew what he was doing in the music business. He was a mystery. And I loved everything about him. I loved his look, his style, his clothes, his hair, his moves, I loved EVERYTHING about Prince.
I would save magazines and newspapers with articles about him, and I would study photos of him.
So yes, I would consider myself a big fan. Yet I didn’t let myself cry upon his passing.
That is until today.
When I fetched my daily copy of the New York Times, and I was still in my driveway, tears rolled down my face. A picture of Prince was front and center on Page One. He sported his iconic purple sequin jacket, white ruffled shirt, and softly curled hair. He looked like I remember him on the cover of Purple Rain.
Later I dug out the album and let it spin, allowing myself a good cry.
I realized that it took Prince’s passing to let me relive memories of my youth.
“Maybe I’m just like my father; too bold….” I heard again the words to his song “When Doves Cry.”
And then I cried for my father’s passing, a little bit too.
Tina Johansson, editor