2016 has felt like a rough year when it comes to the mortality of our beloved celebrity entertainers. We lost some larger than life stars like David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Vanity, Victoria Wood, and just recently former wrestler Chyna. And on that same day we lost her, we lost another legendary icon. I spent most of that night both mourning and celebrating a man I had never met, but had grown up with all my life. And now, after his death, we reminisce about Prince the artist, as we learn more about Prince Rogers Nelson the man.
One thing that is certain: he is much more than just a musician. Just labeling him as an entertainer is an understatement beyond measure, but that’s what most of the world know him to be, albeit an extraordinary one. But as a man, he had a passion for life and the living, and wanted to make the very best of that life for those around him, based on what those close to him have said. Daily, he spent his life as a living embodiment of art, breathing music day and night while also doing whatever humanly possible within his power to make the world a better place. Most saw this through his performance, few witnessed it through his philanthropy. In Prince, we not only lost an artist, but a true human being that cared, and loved to love people. The world undoubtedly suffered a loss.
As sad as it is when we lose someone we love, it’s comforting to know that we haven’t truly lost this person. People always say that when someone dies, that person is never really gone. Whether you want to look at it in the metaphysical, spiritual or scientific sense, I believe it to be true. I believe that to be especially true with artists. Prince, and artists like him, who pour their heart and passion into their work, have left behind their time, their very life essence and their soul that we can continue to cherish long after they’ve gone.
For me, that’s what being an artist is about. That why I love to write, produce and create. It’s something tangible and interactive that I can leave behind for people I’ve never met. It’s an extension of my soul and who I am, so people now and in the future can experience a fraction of what it’s like to see what I see and feel how I feel. It’s my way of giving something back to the world I live in, and hope to leave a legacy of self-expression for people to enjoy for years to come.
We know Prince was so much more than just the genius artist that he was, and meant an even greater deal to those ones that knew him best. But what makes someone immortal is what they leave behind. Again, I’m thinking of artists leaving behind their work. Something they crafted and created that has the ability to exist and be bigger and travel farther than the artist. Even this ode to an artist (which really isn’t about Prince, but artists like Prince), is coming from my heart, and will exist forever as you read it, ponder on it, and maybe share it with another. And so will the legend of the Artist continue to live on.
And by no means am I discrediting or belittling anyone else that does not identify as an artist or craftsman of some kind or another. Aside from the talents that make some of our favorite heroes so great, is their character, their ideals, and the things they stood for. We all live with memories of people we know and have known, and we all create memories for others. It’s up to you if those memories you create for others will be positive, influential, legendary memories or not. It’s up to you on how memorable you want your legacy to be.