Looking at all the respect being paid to Prince after his sudden and untimely death, I can't help but remember that in addition to his musical genius Prince was a trailblazer of monumental proportion in our society. Long before the any of the now popular social causes of the day Prince made it a point in his music, his performances and his life to make people see being different was OK!
While many could argue that Prince was musically more talented than Michael Jackson, he was not given the same treatment and opportunities as Jackson and when you look back over his life and career you would see many stepped back because Prince was different. He was different in his openness and his honesty in his music, in how he lived and how he approached life in a world that has/had many hands reaching out trying to grab a piece of or control how he engaged in his chosen field.
I will say I have been a Prince fan from his first record. I grew up with both Prince and Michael and I can still remember people asking how I could buy a Price album and their commenting that he was strange. I see it differently however: I don't think Prince was strange at all. I saw a talented, gifted writer and performer of music and film refuse to be told what he could write or record or perform and who at the same time everyone looked at him as being strange, he was able to inspire a generation to embrace who they were and to embrace and nourish their differences in living their lives.
Prince let everyone know it was ok to express yourself and be comfortable within your own skin doing it. Prince, long before the Lady Gaga and Ricky Martin revolution of love yourself no matter what, inspire people to feel good about themselves and in being who they were and that to me makes Prince far more than just a musical icon.
Thank you Prince Rogers Nelson for not only writing and producing some of the greatest music ever performed, but for never letting anyone or any thing prevent you from being you. Different can be magical and history making and your sir were both.