He will live on

First, thank you to those of you who have thought of me during this horrible time in not only my personal life, but to the world of music and the millions of Prince fans around the world. I've struggled since this afternoon with the words I want to type to express my adoration and love for him. Sorry for the length, but I can't sum it all up in one paragraph.

Those who have known me since my middle school days are well aware of how much of a fan I am of Prince's music, style, and live shows. My fandom never changed and grew as I got older and his music style evolved.

My adoration began when I first heard CONTROVERSY at a roller rink in my hometown. I didn't understand the song then, but I love it now and the lyrics are so powerful and definitive of who he was and his observations of the world we live in. I was then one of the many who were part of the music television revolution and saw 1999, LITTLE RED CORVETTE, and DELIRIOUS performed live on MTV. My mind was opened. Who is this? What is this sound? Why am I studying his dance moves and becoming more aware of who I was at that time? Then my world completely exploded when PURPLE RAIN was released. Sorry to all of the middle school girls who had to endure my constant playing and singing of his music. Well, unfortunately I was too young to see him live in concert, but I continued to buy all of his albums and dance to his music.

"I was working part time at a 5 and dime, my boss was Mr. Magee..."

"I just want your extra time and your...KISS!"

"You walked in, I woke up. I never seen a pretty girl look so tough, baby...You got that look."

In the fall of 1988, my senior year of high school, he came to Philadelphia with his LOVESEXY tour. I remember getting the courage up to ask my mother if I could go see his concert. One of my many steps towards independence since it was on a school night!?! Surely it was going to be shot down, but my mom gave me permission and I got up at 5:30am to get in line for tickets at BnB Ticketown at 6am. Yes, that's how we got concert tickets before the Internet. LOL I was fourth in line and got three great seats for my friend Davin, Kirsten, and myself. It was an amazing show and he opened it up with a song I didn't know then, but has become my favorite song...EROTIC CITY.

I carried his music with me during my days in the Navy, college, being a social worker, case worker, teacher, and now actor. My wife and I saw him this past summer in DC, and it was an amazing show. I loved that he took a back seat to jam with one of his influences, Stevie Wonder. Mesmerizing. I know this is now common talk amongst those of us mourning his life, but his music really did carry me through breakups, celebrations, and moments in my life that made events more real. His music is a soundtrack to my life and was the one constant that I looked forward to with a new album every year.

Now that's gone.

But not really. His music will live on through artists he's influenced, new fans who will now discover his range of music, and of course when I play any one of his many albums.

Thank you so much, Prince, for being a huge part of my life. You were loved by so many and me.