It’s no secret of that Prince was a successful singer, songwriter and creative genius who could play 27 instruments at prodigious levels. Though many remember 80s hits like “Purple Rain,” “Little Red Corvette,” and “1999, ” he released more than 37 albums in a career that spanned nearly 40 years. He even penned hits and collaborated with Chaka Khan, Madonna, The Bangles, and a host of other artists.
He had some wild years in there–with some questionable and quite controversial lyrics–and wardrobe choices. But as his career evolved, so did he.
Yet, through it all, his talent and artistry were undeniable. And that is why fans and friends across the globe were heartbroken after hearing the news about his sudden death back on April 21. He was just 57 years old.
I can’t lie. I’m actually still in shock and wishing I could have seen at least one live performance of some of those hits.
I’ve spent much of the last few days listening to those songs, having mini dance parties in my bedroom, and learning as much as I could about the man often referred to as “The Purple One.”
To the surprise of many like me who only knew the music, news reports, celebrity interviews, and social media posts are revealing a man who was not only one of the hardest working men in show business, but a man of unwavering generosity and kindness, and growing faith in God.
And today, that is the person who is inspiring me. Here are five reasons why:
1. He was a cheerful giver who truly wanted to help people.
One of the singer’s close friends CNN commentator Van Jones said, over the years, several checks were written and personal calls were made offering help to struggling celebrities and others. He also said the two created Yes We Code, which has 15 major companies preparing kids in low income neighborhoods for jobs in technology. He also said Prince worked with Green For All, an organization that added solar panels to home to help families lower their energy costs. And according to a news website called Insider Louisville, Prince gave $12,000 to a struggling public library in Louisville in 2001.
2. He did not give to receive recognition.
Much, if not all of his giving was done through his Love 4 All Foundation or under a condition of anonymity.
3. He was all about showing gratitude and hospitality
Prince often invited the people of Minnesota to his compound for private concerts, and dance parties.
4. Just as he wasn’t afraid to stand out as a performer, he wasn’t afraid to standout and share the gospel.
Prince would often perform and then invite people to his bus to talk about the Bible. And later in his career, his music became infused with more obvious spiritual themes.
Prince’s music will be remembered by his fans for years to come, but now I hope we also remember the inspiring acts of the man behind it all.