He was born Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7 and he tragically passed away this year at his compound Paisley Park.  He leaves behind 30 years of music.  His life was an enigma because while he was flamboyant on stage he was a recluse in his private life.  Over the past five years we have seen the tragic deaths of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and David Bowie.  There is a continuing epidemic of opiate addiction among the famous and everyday people and the first two lost their lives to it (and that is another story).

What made Prince’s career last 30 years while others are one hit wonders?  Back in the 70’s and 80’s there were many “classic” bands who not only wrote and played their own music and in the 90’s you saw “bubblegum” teeny bop type bands who only danced and nothing much else.  Prince managed to transform from his Purple Rain days and moved on to The New Power Generation of “Diamonds and Pearls”.

Much of Prince’s music wasn’t even suitable for adults to listen to with such classics as “Erotic City”, “Get off”, and “Kiss”  but that’s what made Prince different from everyone else is that he dared to push the envelope to a whole different level and he got away with it.  Prince always managed to keep you guessing, like David Bowie before him he had an androgynous look about him.  Not only did he wear heels but he wore ruffles which kept you guessing.

Even if you didn’t like his music you can appreciate a man who had a unique sense of style and wasn’t afraid to set himself apart from the world.   The world has lost another artist.  But his genius and his music will last forever.

Susan Yamane lives in Honolulu and enjoys riding her bicycle.

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