It’s hard to admit that there are things beyond the comprehension of the intellectual. It’s hard to explain the unexplainable. Not the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, a death we ultimately will understand. What I’m trying to make sense of is why, over the last 11 years, black America has had one devastating day after another over the deaths of so many black music artists who were, in our collective mind, supposed to live forever.
The 21st-century roll call of musical ancestry is impressive and disheartening. In April 2016 we are living in a world without Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Gil Scott-Heron, Godfather of Soul James Brown, Natalie Cole, Earth, Wind and Fire’s Maurice White and others. And now Prince, the seemingly forever young and healthy artist who mastered a score of instruments while becoming one of the most prolific songwriters and live performers in late-20th- and early-21st-century American music.
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