There are some people who make you feel better, just knowing they are on the planet. You don’t always recognize it while they’re still here; you more notice it when they’re gone. Then it’s like a breath of life, of energy, of something good on this planet, gets whooshed away when they leave.
Prince died today.
And that’s how I feel.
One of the greatest performances by any artist I’ve ever seen was at the Super Bowl halftime show some years ago. Prince was scheduled to perform, but it was pouring rain and the show in the outdoor stadium seemed to be in jeopardy. The producers got on the phone with him and said "it’s raining" and Prince said "it’s raining" and the producers said "are you ok with this?" and Prince said "can you make it rain harder?"
And in an era of entitled diva superstars, he went out and delivered one of the greatest performances ever in conditions that would keep many artists today in bed at the Four Seasons or in the back of the Bentley. You can hear and watch that story at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NN3gsSf-Ys.
There’s a shot of Prince in that story, behind a huge lit-up drape which makes his body look larger than life as he rips into a guitar solo.
That’s how I’ll remember him.
A few moments later, he asks the crowd to sing along. They start to sing, but Prince says "I can’t hear you" and the stadium erupts in a melody and he nods and smiles a small smile and says "there you go."
I hope you heard us, Prince.
And still hear us now.