Amidst all its other unsettling excesses, 2016 has become a year of collective mourning as musical icon after musical icon passes away. The names begin to sound like a list of battlefield casualties. Our latest loss was much more than a leader among men: he was royalty.

Prince’s death strikes me as a tragedy for so many reasons: he was too young, only 57. He was—as for nearly everyone of my generation—a fixture of my childhood, a figure of impossible cool; his loss feels deeply personal. Lastly, Prince seemed so above it all—above all of the ugly, petty crap the rest of us slog through every day, including death.

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My tribute <3