Remembering an icon...PRINCE

"Dearly Beloved, We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life." – Prince

It's a week after the death of one of my favourite musicians, Prince, and I still cannot get over it. Reason? The huge impact he made on my music choices and my outlook on life. Yes, it's safe to say he was like a musical mentor for me, from afar. I watched everything about him, read his interviews and watched his incredible passion with which he played his instruments, performed and sang. I was still in my pre-teen years. At primary school to be exact. I enjoyed the new-wave sounds of the 80s in which I grew up with and which formed me, but I was always against the system. I wanted to experience the other side which so many ignored. The other side of music; that side which you will only hear on occasion. That sound Prince gave me. I only heard When Doves Cry after its official release date. It was on the delayed broadcast in South Africa of the Grammy Awards where Prince & The Revolution performed the song. I was hooked. That different beat, the way he played guitar and that voice which was man and woman - a sound of a different human. And of course the way he portrayed himself. For me he was the one who I was waiting for. My saviour of music. Prince rocked against the establishment with his look and his sexually driven lyrics. And he rocked a guitar. I immediately set out to buy the album, vinyl, it was pre-CD days. In South Africa the album came with a poster of his Purple Highness. The one I bought was without the poster, so I went back several times to the music store demanding the poster. I think it was after the 20th visit that they gave me a poster of Prince on his When Doves Cry motorcycle. Hard to believe I still have that poster. As I got older, his lyrics became a Bible for my beliefs. I was still deep in the closet but listening to his music wanted me to jump out and embrace my true identity. "Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people,” he said. I tried to live by that. Sadly the establishment in South Africa at that time in the late 80s was against the LGBT community so I only came out in my late 30s. When Sign o' the Times was released, it rocked my world. I think there was only a small group of my school friends who totally digged the CD, me included. Starfish and Coffee, U Got The Look, Housequake, Hot Thing, Strange Relationship, the list is endless of the songs that I liked. Every release after that gave me more and more an insight on Prince. He really came back into my life a couple of years ago when a very good friend of mine passed away. She was my age and died from cancer. She was an ultimate Prince fan. We both used to sing When Doves Cry at parties. It was the song The Cross that still tears me up when I hear it as it makes me think of her. A brilliant song by all means. Even more brilliant than Purple Rain, if I can be so frank. So with the death of Prince, it was like the final saying goodbey to my friend, Liezl. My uber Prince fan. My When Doves Cry fan. I'm missing you both so much. Enjoy the Purple Rain.

"Music is music, ultimately. If it makes you feel good, cool." – PRINCE