Fans come together to commemorate the life of Prince

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The fence surrounding Prince’s home, Paisley Park. Fans gathered here after hearing about his death to and mourn and create memorials.

Eli Shimanski , Staff Writer

Over the past month people from all over the world have been mourning the passing of music artist Prince in a litany of ways. As one of the only artists that has worldwide recognition and that hails from the city of Minneapolis, there was additional grieving going on in the local community. People used the artists death to take time out of their day and think about all of the memories that they had with the music he created.
Many of the teachers at South have been listening to and appreciating his music since the early days of his career. Chemistry teacher Sarah Genosky has seen him perform live three times. Genosky recalled some memories that she had with his music when she was younger. “There was always a Prince song on the radio when I was growing up,” she said. “In elementary school, in high school.”
Another teacher who has been avidly listening to Prince for a long time is Spanish teacher Shelia Willette, who said she has been a fan since she was a freshman in high school. She almost got the chance to be a dancer in the movie “Purple Rain.”
“When I was a junior into my senior year in high school they were filming Purple Rain here, and Prince was looking for dancers and I was a dancer in high school. I so wanted to audition for his movie but it was during the school week, and my mom forbid me from going to the audition because I couldn’t skip school.” She jokingly added, “I don’t know why but I payed attention to her.”
Willette continued to explain how deep her connection to his music went claiming that, “My high school soundtrack is all Prince songs”.
Prince has been described as an artist that had a unique personality that separated him from the other musicians that were working during his most paramount years and Willette helped gave some context as to why. “He was so outrageous. He didn’t care a rip about what people thought about him and was just a true original.”
He also helped create a new sound musically that’s hard to put a label on. “He was totally known at that time as an R&B artist, but he was really just a mish mash of different styles,” Willette explained.“He had a really unique voice because he sang in falsetto so much.”
One student who has been a fan of his since she was young is senior Elizabeth Santana. “When I was young my mom and my dad would always play his music in the house.” she said.
“When I was a little girl and when I was a baby too my father would sing Prince’s song, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, to me. I think having that connection with Prince and having it connect me to my Dad, that’s what makes his music more meaningful to me,” she said.
Prince is an artist that touched the lives of so many people from all over the world and his passing became a reason for them to remember what made him so special. His legacy has spanned across many generations and he will continue to inspire people for generations to come.