by Mumia Abu-Jamal
He was a star in so many ways that the word “star” seems too small. He was a singer, guitarist, band leader, writer – and, well, genius.
Prince Rogers Nelson was known and adored by millions who knew him by one name: Prince. He was a superstar.
And, he was a mystery – both major musical performer as well as a man of privacy. In the now-classic film, “Purple Rain,” Prince’s life seeps through in biographical bits.
In his 1982 hit, “1999,” the lyrics seem almost mystical:
I was dreaming when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray
But when I woke up this morning
I could have sworn it was Judgment Day.
In his own way, he used his voice to reach into the stew of life and pull forth gems like his comments about the fires in Baltimore and the tragic death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police.
He entered the world of music like a stick of sexual dynamite. As he aged, a spiritual side seemed to emerge.
Through it all, the genius of the man shined through. He was born named Prince, yes; but at 57 years young, he became a Prince – a Prince of the heart.
© Copyright 2016 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Keep updated at www.freemumia.com. His new book is “Writing on the Wall,” edited by Joanna Hernandez. For Mumia’s commentaries, visit www.prisonradio.org. Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.