Every June we turn the spotlight on black music and black musicians in observance of Black Music Month. This June it’s especially meaningful to recognize the contributions that African-Americans have made to the music world. Why? Because of the recent death of Prince and the great legacy he left for us. It’s reported that Prince left scores and scores of unpublished music that his estate will have to sort through and release at will. This in addition to the extensive treasury of songs and films he’s already shared with the world.
Where were you when you heard of Prince’s death? I was in a writing class and the instructor had just given us a writing prompt. The room was silent except for the scratch of pens on paper. Heads were bowed and foreheads crinkled in concentration when the instructor, a noted journalist and HUGE Prince fan read a text about Prince’s death. She cried out and that was the end of class and the end of a great musician. This happened on a Thursday.
Prince’s death took me back to another Thursday when I learned of Michael Jackson’s death in June 2009. That was another shocking newscast that immobilized me for hours. I remember friends and relatives calling but I don’t remember what we talked about. Which was the same with Whitney Houston’s death in February 2012. Her death was the hardest hitting of the three because she was my favorite. I loved to see her perform. She was so passionate and sincere. Her voice, her style, her presence, her smile…all amazing!
But let me get out of my heart for a moment and into my head. I have a dear friend who is a numerologist. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you already know about Cindy. Cindy has studied numbers, patterns and the spiritual significance of such for the past thirty years, and is quite the expert. I, on the other hand, have a very rudimentary knowledge of numerology but let me share a little bit of what came to me as I pondered the deaths of Prince, Michael and Whitney (for how could one not think of them collectively?).
Michael died first in 2009. Three years later, Whitney died. The number of years between the deaths of Michael and Prince was seven. In the spirit realm, the numbers three and seven both represent completeness. Cycles completing (God created the heavens and earth in seven days); the beginning and the end connecting (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); closing one door, opening a new one (the seven year itch). So we have three mega talents dying within a seven year period. What that tells me is we’ve completed a cycle. Again, I’m not the expert but I’m pretty sure Cindy and other numerologists figured this out and saw it coming after Whitney’s death. They may not have known the “who” but surely the “what” (an iconic death) and “when” (the year) and were therefore less shocked than the rest of us.
So now I’m back in my heart and thinking I need to end this with how I started—a focus on Black Music Month and Prince. Below is a link to one of my favorite Prince songs. I present it, along with my loving thanks to Michael, Whitney and Prince for so many hours of pleasure, in honor of Black Music Month.
And to all black singers, musicians, songwriters, producers, composers, and engineers…thank you! A million times THANK YOU!!
I love this, Annie! Reading it from across the miles in Palma de Mallorca as I listen to soulful Spanish rhythms surely influenced by African music. So appropriate is your post on this night. Love from Spain!
Bridget, Spain! Ahhhh, lovely. When/if you have time a Spanish-African book/movie you will enjoy is “Palm Trees in the Snow.” It clearly shows the connection between African-Spanish culture. Safe travels to you my friend. Enjoy life!
A million times from me too Ann xxx
Thanks, Shey, for reading and expressing. Blessings!
Such a poignant post Ann, especially linking the deaths of the three icons with numerology, indeed ominous.
I too instantly thought about the great loss of Michael Jackson when I happened to enter my kitchen to make myself lunch and turned on the breaking news of Prince’s death. Death is so final and sad to hear about anyone we know or recognize, but Prince and Michael’s death was a different kind of sadness, somehow so much more profound.
Certainly many doves were crying. 🙂
You are so right. Death is so final and that’s what hurts the most about their deaths: no more live performances, no more energetic dancing, no more dramatic videos, no more ground-breaking music. I’m sure other singers/performers will rise but there will never be another Michael, Whitney or Prince.
That is fact. That’s why they are known as legends. 🙂
I always loved Whitney Huston’s music and still do. Her death, in particular the sad way she died, touched me.
The numerology part about 7 is very interesting.
There are so many other truly great black musicians: Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Diana Ross and so, so many more great artists.
Here’s one of my favorite:
Happy Black Music Month, Ann.
Thanks for this reminder. 🙂
Great choice! Alicia Keys has a smooth, sensational voice and is a super-talented musician, songwriter, performer. I don’t think the world will ever forget her tribute performance to Prince. What a show! Thanks for making my day with a reminder of this great artist. I’m enjoying the YouTube clip.
Michael’s favorite number was seven. Michael became 7th living child in the Jackson family, due to the death of Marlon’s twin Brandon shortly after birth.
Wow! I did not know that. More curiosities. Thanks for sharing.