The world was devastated yesterday to learn about the sudden death of music genius and entertainment icon PRINCE. Yesterday I heard the saying..."First The King (Michael Jackson), then the Queen (Whitney Houston) and now the PRINCE.
It is surreal. For many of us, it hasn't really set in yet. If you grew up in the 70's 80' or 90's you have an iconic PRINCE song that connects to something impactful in your life. For me, it was an entire album and film called "Purple Rain."
For the majority of my PR career I lived near Hollywood, California. At one point, I don't exactly know when, but somewhere along the line I became aware that PRINCE held private parties at his home that was located in the Hollywood Hills (I think the same one that he burned down before he moved to Vegas), directly following major award shows (Grammy's, BET Awards, etc). My first time inside his house was unreal, and it is as if everything moved in slow motion...especially when he began to perform in his living room. The irony is I just had a conversation no more than two weeks ago with a friend who used to work in the entertainment industry with an A-List client. We randomly discussed a moment in our careers that was iconic to us...and PRINCE's award show after parties in his home was mine.
Growing up with family members who worked in the entertainment industry and dated celebrities, I was taught early on to not become star struck, and to not idolize any human being simply because they are well known or famous. So I am not impressed easily. I was there when Michael Jackson draped the cape over James Brown on stage. I've been in the company of President Obama, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Quincy Jones, Naomi Campbell and and many other high profile celebrities in small, private settings. But there was nothing like the rush I felt when I saw Prince walk into the room (when I was attending Christina Milian's birthday party) and stand right next to me. Nothing like it in the world. I probably stopped breathing for a few minutes. And I am sure I stopped breathing for more than a few minutes when I heard that Prince had truly passed away. Not like the scare we had like last week when his plane made an emergency landing...but this time the PRINCE of everything purple, paisley and creative had taken his final breaths. The fact that both Prince and Vanity would die at the same age of 57 during the same calendar year gave me chills. As I began to listen to all things PRINCE, a line from his song "1999" rang differently in my ears (although I know the words in my sleep)..."Life is like a party and parties aren't meant to last." We will forever be grateful for the music, memories and the magnitude of the melody of your life's work. There will never be another creative genius like you.
Rest In Peace PRINCE.