Still can't quite believe it. Don't want to believe it. Prince is dead.
I was at work when the rumours started flying in. TMZ reporting that 'someone' had been found dead at Paisley Park recording studios in Minneapolis. Next of kin were being informed. No other real information. Instantly, there was an ever growing knot tightening my stomach. All kinds of thoughts flying around my head.
Can it be? No, surely not? He's only 57, don't be ridiculous. Not Prince, as if? Then - Why haven't they said it ISN'T him?
That's when I knew. Just knew.
The MailOnline then repeated the story, citing TMZ as the source. Then NBC, then Sky News. Then finally, the story changed. There was confirmation. The BBC told us the news we were dreading. Good old Auntie. They're never wrong. The undisputed musical superstar Prince was dead, aged just 57.
He was simply incredible. A force to be reckoned with. Unstoppable in his passion and god given ability to entertain, enthral and enchant us with his jaw-dropping talent. A 35-year legacy of unique, awesome, sexy, funky and unrivalled hits. He had the same ethereal quality as Michael Jackson and David Bowie.
I'm not the sort to break down upon hearing such news. When Bowie died I cried a river, but did it at home, the classic listening and wailing along to his songs after a few glasses of Merlot type of affair. It seemed silly to get so upset in front of others over someone who, although I adored, I'd never even met.
With Prince it was different. The tears came instantly. A flick had been switched. A shining, shimmering, glittering light had been turned off. He was one of 'our' generation. At 36 years old, I grew up in the 80s and 90s. The Prince era.
Of course there's the obvious, and quite rightly much loved classic hits. Purple Rain, Cream, Raspberry Beret, Kiss, When Doves Cry and so many others are all musical perfection. But we all have different favourites for different reasons. Personally, I loved it when he collaborated with Madonna for 'Love Song' on her Like A Prayer album. I remember excitedly fast forwarding my cassette to track three, just to see what musical magic two of my idols had created together. Other memorable Prince moments for me include the following -
Money Don't Matter 2 Nite. WHAT A SONG.
Buying 'My Name Is Prince' on cassette single and listening to it over and over again in sheer awe of the man.
Diamonds and Pearls. CRACKING album.
GOLD. My all time favourite Prince song. This one particularly strikes a chord as it reminds me of a time when I wasn't happy at school, was getting picked on, and spent a lot of time locked away in my room, listening to music. This song always made me feel better. It sparked something inside. Still does to this day.
I consider myself SO lucky to have seen him live. Remember the impromptu gigs of 2013? There I was, tucked up in bed, when it was announced that Prince was doing a show in London, that night. Join a queue and hope for the best, apparently. I was SO close to jumping out of bed in my pyjamas, driving in to town and queueing in the pouring rain for just a small chance to catch a glimpse of Prince. Common sense prevailed and the following day, I regretted not going. Then came the news of the gig at The Camden Roundhouse. Somehow, I was lucky enough to buy a pair of tickets. It remains to be, and probably always will be, the best gig I've ever been to. Hit after hit after hit. EVERYTHING on point. Never seen a guitar player like him. His vocals, and in particular, his falsetto, were delivered with goose bump inducing magnificence . It was truly, a very special experience.
Music is such a precious, wonderful thing. It creates memories, evokes nostalgia, brings much pleasure, and stirs emotions. Prince's father reportedly once said that he gave his son that name because 'I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do' And the diminutive boy from Minneapolis did just that and more, growing into a powerhouse of pop perfection. 39 studio albums and a beyond exemplary musical legacy later, we bid farewell to one of the greatest, coolest artists ever to have graced planet Earth. I think that's part of the reason he was taken so soon. He wasn't of this world. Prince, thank you.