When I was around 10 years old, I was at a sleepover with a bunch of other girls for a birthday party and of course when you go to a sleep over, the last thing anyone wants to do is sleep. Since we were up later than we were usually allowed to be, one of the late night talk shows was on and even though we were barely paying attention to it, I had happened to glance at the TV just as a new recording artist was being introduced. This skinny kid with wild hair wearing (what I remember as) a loincloth started singing and for the life of me, I could not look away. I was mesmerized. He was different than anyone I’d seen before and I didn’t know what to make of him.

Of course, a few years later I giggled remembering watching that as I bought Prince’s single “1999” because I was SUPER IN LOVE with that song. I liked Prince’s music but I wasn’t a huge fan of his…until I saw Purple Rain and then, like everyone else, I fell a little bit in love with him. I think we all felt a little protective and a little turned on by Prince, even if we didn’t know why.

If you came of age in the late 80s, you totally get what I mean when I say that I feel like I lost a beloved classmate. He was a big part of my growing up years but as I grew older and had kids, Prince sort of fell off my radar. I still held a soft spot for him, but rock music was replaced by lullabies, and fantasies of being a groupie were replaced with fantasies of getting a full night’s sleep. But I always still liked him.

Weirdly, for the last 3 months or so, my BFF and I have been sending each other Prince memes – I don’t even know how it got started but once we sent the first one, we kept finding more and it became a fun game. Suddenly Prince was EVERYWHERE and we loved it! So when the news broke yesterday, I texted her and she thought I was joking. Sadly, nope. Not a joke.

I often wish, when a celebrity dies, that they could see the outpouring that happens as a result. Did he know how much he was admired and loved? I wish these celebrities could see what an impact they had on so many people. I hope Prince knew that we all, even if we haven’t bought an album of his in years, were just really happy that he was still on the scene.

RIP Prince. You were one of the few real musicians left in the world and you will be missed.