Monday April 25, 2016

Remembering Prince: The Man Who Changed Me

By Tony Narducci

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” The world lost (arguably) the best performer and singer of all time. Sure, I am biased being from his home state, but Prince Rogers Nelson did more for my state than anyone else from Minneapolis or St. Paul. He sold out venues on a regular basis. He was ranked 27th on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time. He will be known as an innovator of the music industry forever for his crazy dress, wearing makeup on stage, his great performing ability, and his wide vocal range. Prince was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7th, 1958 and left the beautiful world on Thursday at the young age of 57 in his Chanhassen, Minnesota home. Prince performed at Super Bowl XLI in Miami, Florida in 2007. It was the first time I fell in love with the performances and his electric and weird personality. That’s the day my life turned around.

My mom had always been a huge Prince fan. She attended multiple concerts during his shows in downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. Although she was a huge fan, I never really knew of him. I watched him perform in 2007 during the Super Bowl, and it taught me something: It was 100% to be weird and different. The world needed more people like that.

Yes, I am weird and have a personality that is unmatchable. I have no shame in saying that at all. No, I don’t wear makeup or dance all over a stage with thousands of people yelling my name. I just have unique characteristics that it would be rare to find in someone else. At the time, I had nothing really going for me. I was struggling academically, was losing friends consistently and getting in trouble in school, and I just wanted to be done with school and drop out forever. Prince showed me the hard work and difficult times he went through in his film Purple Rain. He showed to get to where you want to be, there will be struggles. It’s something I realize now.

Prince taught me to never forget where I came from. Leaving Minnesota was the toughest decision of my life. I was a homebody when I was younger, and never wanted to leave my house. He showed me that you can leave, but never forget where you came from and what the state did for you. Prince came home all the time. He passed away at home, surrounded by an entire state saying goodbye to the one that put the state on the map.

Through it all, Prince shows, to me, what the University of Dayton is all about: acceptance. We accept people if you’re a varsity athlete, an engineer, an sport management major, an art major, tall, short, etc. This school accepts everyone for who they are, and doesn’t force them to change. Prince told us it’s okay to be weird and different. The people you want to grow and develop as a person with will accept you.

Thank you to the man that told me it was okay to be weird. Prince, the world will miss you.

 

Prince Rogers Nelson: 1958-2016

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