Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today to get through this thing called life.
It was April 21, 2016 when the world was forced to say goodbye to a truly singular talent when His Purple Majesty was found in the elevator at his home, the iconic Paisley Park, unresponsive and unable to be revived. With no signs of suicide or foul play, it would be a month and a half before the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Anoka County would announce on June 2 that Prince had died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at the age of 57.
In the end, it didn't really matter what had happened to fell a musical giant—if not a literal one. All that mattered was that he was gone, taking with him a prolific songwriting prowess and a singular sound.
There was nobody quite like Prince. In each and every one of his 57 years on this planet, he lived a truly one-of-a-kind life. Born into poverty—"We used to go to that McDonald's there," he told Rolling Stone in 1985. "I didn't have any money, so I'd just stand outside there and smell stuff. Poverty makes people angry, brings out their worst side. I was very bitter when I was young."—he took an undeniable talent, an unparalleled work ethic, and an otherworldly stage presence and turned himself into one of the world's most unforgettable stars.
Every step of the way, he lived life on his own terms. So as we mourn another year without him and celebrate what would have been his 64th birthday June 7, let's celebrate a life well lived by remembering 20 of the most fascinating moments from it, each one a reminder that there truly will never be another one like him.
(Originally published on April 21, 2019 at 3 am. PT.)