The world awoke this morning to the terrible news that Prince, a legend of rock, pop, and music in general, had passed away at the age of 57, leaving behind one of the most iconic musical and artistic legacies of all time.
An influence on countless other musicians, performers, and artists, tributes have been pouring in all day from artists all over the world and from all levels of the music industry. Even President Barack Obama issued a statement.
Many Australian musicians have taken to social media to share their favourite Prince stories, detailing their first experiences hearing the icon’s music, seeing him perform live, and even tales of interactions with The Purple One himself.
Singer and guitarist Harts was lucky enough to work with Prince and told fans he is “in shock and heartbroken” by news of the legend’s passing. “Prince, you saved me at a time when I was done with music. You brought me into your home and gave me belief, hope and confidence in myself,” he wrote.
“I’m truly blessed to have known you and spent time learning from you. Thank you for the life of music. All Love.” Meanwhile, Sarah Blasko shared a photo taken from her place inside the Sydney Opera House when Prince was here in February for a series of concerts.
Henry Wagons was also present at one of Prince’s recent Aussie shows, remarking, “Vale Prince. I had the pleasure of seeing him play alone at the piano so recently here in Melbourne. A truly supernatural talent, it’s as if he was already beyond our mortal coil. Safe travels.”
“I was only 9 when I first heard this song on one of my older sister’s 100% HITS cassettes,” Philadelphia Grand Jury wrote. “It was before I knew what sexuality was, but even as a young boy it felt electric to listen to it.”
“And that feeling was addictive and something that has always fueled my desire to make music.” That sentiment was echoed by Cameron Bird of Architecture In Helsinki, who took to Facebook to share the impact Prince had on his own creative life.
“You confused me as a 7 year old watching music TV, you amazed me as 16 year old making art for the 1st time, you soundtracked my highs and my lows in love, you inspired me to sing in falsetto and above all you helped me get through this thing called life. I’ll miss you, little guy,” Bird wrote.
Big Scary concurred, writing, “You shocked this naive ten year old with your sexy sounds and frilly clothes. From dance hits that don’t age to some of the best angsty lyrics, I will forever regret not seeing you play. Much love.”
What’s perhaps most remarkable is the way Prince’s influence has transcended genre boundaries, with bands and artists of all genres and styles issuing their own statements and tributes, like progressive rockers Closure In Moscow.
“The purple flag is at half mast for Prince today at camp Closure in Moscow,” they wrote. “One of the most important players in the game, and an influential artist for SO many of us. Motherfuckers be pumping Purple Rain on their car stereos at 8am. Ya’ll know the weight of this, a sign of the times.”
However, Alison Wonderland probably did the best job of summing up how we all feel today, taking to Facebook and simply writing the word “Prince” alongside a sad-face emoticon.