He had the multi-instrumental talent of Stevie.
The devout artistic dedication of Jimi.
The genius of Joni Mitchell.
The soul of Ray Charles.
The funk of Sly.
The religious ecstasy of Aretha.
The royal fabulousness of Beyonce.
The liberated queerness of Little Richard, Bowie, and Grace Jones.
The commitment to Black freedom of James Brown.
The songwriting chops of Chuck Berry.
The star power of Elvis.
The magic of Michael.
He had the fearlessness of punk rock, the sexuality of a mystic in a juke joint, the mystery of a druid who could dance. Prince was all of this and more.
As a teenager in the 80s, when 1999 was either a distant party or the end of the world, Prince was a one-person sonic apocalypse, a purple armageddon that was musical paradise.