Imagine my teenage bedroom - posters from the latest issue of Teen Beat magazine staged strategically, so Prince Rogers Nelson was the first thing I would see in the mornings. His position in my room took precedence over Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson. I. Loved. Prince. You see, he "got" me. Prince's music defined my adolescent struggles of being a good, Southern Baptist girl in the anything-goes 80's. He touched my soul with music about family fights and arguments mixed with relationship issues and young love. Without a doubt, Prince defined my generation.
Ask anyone my age and you will hear similar stories. That is why people like Jimmy Fallon are constantly paying tribute to the memory of the Purple One: our generation's musical icon. Of course, not everyone knew Prince. I know some of my students do not know his music; however, very few adults do not recognize his music or his name (well, unless they have lived under a rock for the last 40 years!). What an amazing legacy!
Even alive, Prince commanded respect. Why? What is all the fuss about? Why Prince? What made Prince such an important musical icon for my generation . . . and why do people across generations still listen to him? Alive, Prince was solidified a legend. Posthumously, Prince is hallowed ground. Will anyone in this generation or the ones to come reach his musical significance?
I would love to hear from you. Why has Prince been memorialized in such a way? If not Prince, who do you deem worthy of the "music icon" status? If you are unsure, tell me what makes a music icon.
As always, I love to hear from you!
Kimberly Barrett, NBCT, Bachelor of Arts of English, Murray State University, 1996, Master's Degree in English, MSU, 2004
Blessed to teach since 1996, I spend my days doing exactly what I've always wanted to do . . . TEACH. I'm married to the sweetest man alive, Tim, and we have two beautiful babies, Marlee Rose and Beau Wilson.