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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dear Hannah: Sign 'O' The Times (Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016))


Dear Hannah,

I love music.

It soothes, thrills, inspires self-expression and innovation, and brings people together.

He was a gifted musical prodigy.

His father (who was a musician) introduced him to music at an early age.

Prince wrote his first song at age 7.

He recorded his first album at age 19.

Prince produced, arranged, composed and played all 27 instruments used on that first album (entitled "For You").

He also wrote and performed all the songs on the album - except for one that he co-wrote.

Prince mentored and inspired others sharing his gift with the world.

His gift connected him to people like me.

We never met, but he inspired and left me with many great memories.
I remember ...
  1. The guitar solos from "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man" and "Computer Blue".
  2. The horns from "Girls & Boys", "Mountains", "The Glamorous Life", and "It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night".
  3. The falsetto lead vocals from "Adore".
  4. The groove lines from "Lady Cab Driver", "When Doves Cry", "Pop Life", "Raspberry Beret", "Kiss", "Sign O The Times", & "If I Was Your Girlfriend".
I remember his advocacy for musicians' copyright ownership (continuing Teena Marie's good work).

I remember his support, generosity and friendships (Katt Williams, Tamron Hall, Van Jones, Tyler Perry, James Brown, Sheila E., Marva Collins, Tavis Smiley, Yes We Code).

I remember him being a short, small dude who was funny, shy and quiet - but never silent. 

I thank Prince for teaching me to live out loud.



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