I still can’t believe I am writing this. In the year in which we said goodbye to David Bowie, we are now mourning the loss of Prince Rogers Nelson, known to all as Prince, a unique, beautiful, sensitive talent who was probably the greatest, most prolific songwriter of his generation. Prince was just 57, still performing, still writing and still the vibrant icon like no other. And now he is gone too, another casualty of the terrible year that 2016 is proving to be.
I will not lie and say I was the world’s biggest Prince fan, when I was growing up he was too dangerous and sexy for me, I was a Duran Duran fan, and loved Madonna, as well as my aforementioned Bowie, but it is one of those things where your appreciation grows as you do. ‘Purple Rain’ is epic, try listening to it without the hairs on your arms standing up on end at its sheer beauty. ‘Raspberry Beret’ is just exhilarating and life affirming, ‘1999’ a favourite even as a child, it was the only song to dance too on New Year’s Eve 1998, ‘Sign O the Times’ which my dearly departed, beloved nan loved too, ‘U got the Look’ – who knew Sheena Easton could be so cool, ‘Litte Red Corvette, another one that just soars and soars. Everyone a classic – do I really need to go on.
Prince was also a ground breaking style icon, especially in those 1980s days, a mixture of an 18th Century dandy and Jimi Hendrix, with feminine features that he was not afraid to enhance with make-up, jewellery and lashings of lace frills and collars. The Paisley wasn’t the sole reserve of his ‘park’ but covered his drainpipe trousers, as brocade and brooches made a comeback, worn by the coolest star around. He was a dandy, a blingy magpie who loved to shimmer and shine, he knew just what a star should look like, and never failed to deliver.
Heaven gained a new star yesterday, one that will shine bigger and brighter than most. Prince was a maverick who left the most amazing legacy of music. We won’t see his like again.