Pop superstar Prince died Thursday at the age of 57. I will first go on record saying I am a long-time fan of Prince and his music. I grew up secretly listening to his music with my cousins in Jersey City when our preaching family members weren't around.
We all knew our parents and Sunday school teachers would not approve of the lyrics. For that reason, I won't list which songs are my favorites. But Prince did write a song called "The Cross" in 1987.
My cousins and I also secretly found a way to watch his film Purple Rain. It breaks my heart to learn that my childhood music icon has died. Prince was top-of-mind just a few short months ago when Studio 5 reported on the death of Vanity, who worked with him and appeared in his film.
Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson and raised a Seventh-Day Adventist. He converted to Jehovah's Witness in 2001. Could you imagine Prince knocking on random doors to offer Watchtower magazines and preach his faith? That is a practice he admitted to performing.
The Hollowverse reported, "He seems to have changed directions and now preaches the virtues of a moral life, contrary to most of his song lyrics."
Pop culture journalist Touré wrote a book about the music legend titled I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon. Touré noted that faith was at the heart of much of Prince's music.
In a 2004 interview, Prince said of his faith, "I am constantly involved in trying to work on my whole being to better myself and the world around me."
Prince said that study also helped him with the song writing that followed.
"It's going to help you with every aspect of your life," he said. "Once you can clean out the cobwebs, so to speak, then you are going to see everything more clearly."
He also shared that he began to more diligently study the Bible after changing his name back to Prince. He turned to his longtime friend and singer Larry Graham for guidance in that study.
"We spend a lot of time digging into the truth, and deep into gaining more knowledge and getting closer to our creator," Graham said in a 1999 interview with Dutch TV.
Graham was also asked "When the artist (Prince) says 'I celebrate the day I die', that's an idea you can follow completely?" Graham replied, "Each day is a special gift from God being the source of life and yesterday is the past and yesterday we did die and we're looking forward to tomorrow. We're always looking forward."
In the same interview the host asked Prince to describe his "destination." He replied, "The complete oneness of the spirit of God and the knowledge of the truth."
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