Prince is dead.
I never thought those would be three words that would go together. The Purple One was untouchable, otherworldly, and impenetrable. He was one of the greatest performers of all time, and his shows were legendary. Prince could show up to a club at 11, strap on a guitar at 1 AM, and wrap at dawn. He could play three shows a night, or do a run of 21 arena shows, each one tirelessly different than the next. His most recent tour was him, alone, with a piano and microphone, playing through classics, covers, and requests with a gliding edge that made 20-year-old songs new again. His sudden passing still feels impossible.
Prince worked tirelessly to control his aura. Unlike many of his contemporaries, the musician allowed very few unsanctioned videos online, concerned with how his image could be perpetuated. But we searched the corners of the internet to find demonstrations of what a powerhouse he was, as an instrumentalist, a singer, and a force of nature. Consider this a primer -- in reverse-chronological order: