'Dearly beloved / We are gathered here today / 2 get through this thing called life.'
Fans around the globe mourned as TMZ and The Associated Press reported the tragic news of Prince's death at his home in Minnesota.
The superstar musician, performer, and songwriter was 57.
His talent was potent. His mere presence could take your breath away.
Remember when he made a surprise appearance at the Golden Globes in 2015 and hundreds of celebrities lost their minds? Even fellow famous people knew he was in a league of his own.
Prince was the very definition of inventive: constantly redefining himself and his work while remaining soulful, cool, and full of life. To put it simply, he will be missed terribly.
Here are five ways Prince left an impression on the music industry and the world.
1. He wrote songs and performed with some of the biggest names in music, many of them women.
Prince is best known for his storied career as a musician and performer, but his songwriting prowess is the stuff of legends. He wrote and performed with many of the top artists in the industry, even occasionally working under a pseudonym.
Many of his most famous songs were written with or for women artists including Stevie Nicks ("Stand Back"), Sheila E. ("The Glamorous Life"), The Bangles ("Manic Monday"), and Chaka Khan ("I Feel For You").
2. Prince was an unapologetic Minnesotan, through and through.
Born in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Prince was always proud of his roots. He recorded many of his early hits at a warehouse in Eden Prairie, and Minneapolis essentially played a supporting role in his hit film, "Purple Rain." Paisley Park, his home and studio, is a well-known site in Chanhassen.
He loved Minnesota, and Minnesota loved him back.
3. Even when it would've been easier to play the game, Prince was always true to himself.
In the wake of people questioning his gender identity, race and sexual orientation, Prince's lyrics and style remained confident. Take the lyrics from the title track off his 1981 album "Controversy":
"I can’t understand all the things people say.
Am I black or white?
Am I straight or gay?
Do I believe in god, do I believe in me?
I can't understand human curiosity."
His aesthetic was provocative and innovative, cutting across gender lines and any sort of expectations for what a male pop superstar should look and sound like. Prince did things his own way, and the music, his performances, and the industry were better for it.
4. He inspired a generation of artists and fans.
At the news of his passing, the outpouring of love and sadness was immediate. Tributes not just from musicians, but actors, writers, and creatives across disciplines is proof of his wide-ranging talent and appeal.
5. And the music. Oh man, the music.
He was a force of nature, and his music was nothing short of amazing.
Remember his Super Bowl halftime performance in the rain? THE PURPLE RAIN? It was truly masterful.
Prince made the world a little brighter.
While many mourn a legend gone too soon, let's remember the positivity and goodness he shared with the world through a lifetime of work and action and never forget what he gave us: music, style, creativity, and confidence.