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From Glen Frey, to Joey Feek, to David Bowie, 2016 has racked up quite an impressive list of musical causalities, with Thursday, April 21st, 2016 being no exception. Added to the list of music legends who sadly passed away in 2016 was the legend himself, Prince, who died at the age of 57. Prince was found unconscious in the elevator of his Paisley Park residence after he had been reportedly battling to flu for several weeks. Sadly all efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. on April 21st, 2016.  This comes along in a string of deaths from the music community, with the most largely recognized death being that of David Bowie. All such events have sent the music community and music lovers alike into a tailspin of mourning, with people and stars coming together to remember the incomparable impact Prince, and the other great musicians we’ve lost this year, have left behind.

A performer through and through, Prince was known for many hits, including the song “Purple Rain”, which is most noticeably tied to him as one of his favorite colors to perform in was purple. Prince, beyond music, is known for being a cultural icon – redefining an era through fashion and undeniable moments of pure super stardom. He was also known for being reclusive; choosing to shy away from the spotlight, and instead choosing to maintain his focus on his true passion, his music. A shining star from a small town, Prince always maintained the mentality of wanting to be himself, and not grabbing onto the idea of fame as a way to become someone else as so many others in the limelight do. What made him so powerful as a performer was that he never lost his sense of self, a factor that reigns true in every piece of work he has done, and is one of the many reasons why people relate to him so much. He reminded his listeners that it is always okay to be yourself.

Many in the music community have come out to pay their respects and remember the amazing life and legacy that Prince leaves behind. From those who collaborated with him, such as Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé, to those who were lucky enough to know him, like the heartfelt Instagram post by Justin Timberlake, Princes reach seems to be immeasurable. Likewise, so many of those who Prince’s music touched have come out to celebrate his life, with a block party in celebration of his legacy being held that night outside of his Minneapolis night club, First Avenue, and a memorial being created by his residence.  Though many mourn the loss of such an iconic and amazing figure, his legacy will always live on; a fact that deserves to be celebrated. Though Prince is no longer with us, his music will always be there to ease the pain of his absence and remind us what he always stood for – being okay with being yourself.

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