Happy Birthday, Prince!

On the 60th anniversary of the birth of the late Prince Rogers Nelson, purple love is radiating the world over. Even though the virtuoso stopped celebrating birthdays (he was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and I do realize that if he were still alive, he wouldn’t actually celebrate his birthday), June 7 stands out as a day the music world gained a unique, charismatic, and influential genius. There’s so much to miss about him. I fell in love with his music when I was 9, and was fortunate to see him perform live several times.

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As I reflect on his bornday, here are 60 things I miss about his royal purple majesty, Prince.

  1. His creativity.
  2. His confidence.
  1. His self-assured strut.

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  1. His live shows and the great anticipation leading up to seeing him grace the stage.

5.His professionalism and attention to detail.

  1. His showmanship.

7.His hearty laugh.

  1. His mane. (We saw it flowing in the wind, in ringlets, with finger waves, etc. But I love how he came full circle, back to a ‘fro.)

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  1. His musical collaborations with musicians he admired and encouraged.

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  1. His covers of songs to which he added his princely stamp.
  2. His versatility.
  1. His influence on culture (can you think of Minneapolis, the color purple, the number 7, or paisley without Prince coming to mind?)

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  1. His trademark “Aaaooowah!”
  2. His raw, spine-chilling shrieks.
  3. His perpetual love of funk.
  1. His distinctive fashion sense. (Ruffled shirts, platform sneakers, three-lensed shades…he really could rock anything.)

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  1. His soothing, earnest falsetto.
  2. The commanding, sensual bass in his voice.
  3. His romantic ballads.
  4. His honesty.
  5. His delightful sense of humor (from doing pranks on late-night TV to embracing Internet memes.)
  1. His endearing smile.
  2. His expressive eyes.

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  1. His lateness. (I accepted the inevitable, but I always knew he was going to show up.)
  1. His facial expressions when he was shredding his guitar.

 

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  1. His intimate piano interludes during a concert.
  1. His spirited dance moves.
  1. His spirituality.
  2. His engrossing lyrics and eloquence.
  3. How he vibed with the audience whenever he played “Purple Rain.”
  4. The special monikers he gave to his artists.
  1. His naughtiness. (Yes, I understand that he evolved, but it was still fun.)

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  1. His love of his hometown.
  1. His music videos.

  1. His dance breaks with concertgoers on the stage during a show.
  2. How he held a microphone.
  3. How he valued femininity and womanhood.
  4. His prolificness.
  5. His message of love.
  1. His humanitarianism.
  1. His commitment to owning his music.
  2. His tours.
  3. His announcements of new releases.
  4. His appearances on awards shows that would delight audiences.
  5. How he repped Geminis with swagger.
  1. How he threw shade. (#Lollipoplife)
  1. His mentorship of new talent.
  2. His passion for music.
  3. His ambition and drive to create.
  1. His occasional cameos. (“New Girl” was delightful.)

  1. His abbreviated language (e.g., 4 U), which pre-dated texting by a couple decades.)
  2. His imagination.
  3. How fun it was doing call-and-response during a show.
  1. His social media posts.

  1. His ability to be autonomous.
  2. His non-conforming nature.
  3. His humility when receiving love from his audience.
  4. His boldness.
  5. His spontaneity.

and finally….

  1. His earthly presence.

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