Remembering a musical icon

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By: Kristin Helf, Staff Writer

Another day, another irreplaceable performer lost. The cause of death of the artist formerly known as “the Artist Formerly Known as Prince” was not immediately known, although he had cancelled an April 7 appearance in Atlanta because of what was thought to be the flu. Authorities found Prince unresponsive in the elevator of his Minnesota home/recording studio the morning of April 21. At 10:07 a.m., at only 57 years old, Prince was pronounced dead.

In a recent statement, President Obama mourned the loss of an icon: “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all: funk, R&B, rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader and an electrifying performer.”

Obama closed the statement with a quote from the musician: “A strong spirit transcends rules.” Here are some of my favorite Prince quotes that celebrate the life and legacy of one of the top innovators in music.

“As human beings we suffer from an innate tendency to jump to conclusions; to judge people too quickly and to pronounce them failures or heroes without due consideration of the actual facts and ideals of the period.”

“Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people.”

“I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it.”

(Just including that one because I’m sad I can’t access Prince’s music through my phone…Time to raid my parents’ CD collection.)

“Cool means being able to hang with yourself. All you have to ask yourself is ‘Is there anybody I’m afraid of? Is there anybody who if I walked into a room and saw, I’d get nervous?’ If not, then you’re cool.”

“As long as I do not take myself too seriously, I should not be too badly off.”

“I don’t really care so much what people say about me because it usually is a reflection of who they are. For example, if people wish I would sound like I used to sound, then it says more about them then it does me.”

“Why party like it’s 1999 when you can party like it’s your birthday?”

And finally, a quote about Prince by Eric Clapton, according to multiple reports: When asked what it was like to be the greatest guitar player alive, he said, “I don’t know. Ask Prince.”

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