Such devastating news.
When I was in my younger days I barely knew of Prince, wasn't a huge fan at all. I started off into R&B, then moved on to 90s electronic/dance, then once I got serious with audio systems in my mid 20s I started to get into a bit of rock, metal and jazz/blues.
I was born in '86 so all I initially knew of Price was the stuff I would see on music TV - mostly tracks like "Diamonds and Pearls", "The most beautiful girl in the world", "Cream", etc. I always just saw him as another RnB performance, just one that is a bit weird, feminine and sexualised.
It's only the past 5 years or so that I have really started to get into his stuff, and once I started to buy more and more of his albums, I started to realise just how incredibly versatile his music is. I have music from Prince that ranges from funk, to pop, to rock, to blues, to R&B, to hardcore power ballads. I've seen live performances (on youtube, etc) of him playing electric guitar, piano, drums, you name it.
I was lucky enough to see him twice when he was down in Sydney a couple of years ago. Went two days in a row because the first time we had poor seats and couldn't hear very well, so we went again the next day and got better seats. Was completely shocked to find that two two concerts were completely different. Entirely different song list, and the handful of songs that he did play on both nights, he changed up and played in a totally different way.
Then I read up on him and read that apparently Prince doesn't actually go with any set script when he does a concert - he quite literally wings it. Supposedly the band knows countless renditions of each and every song, and he will dynamically select which song to play (and which specific version) on the fly depending on how he feels the vibe is going.
I've just never heard of any other artist doing anything like that. Mindblowing.
The interesting thing with my own listening experiences with Prince is that I started off (like most people) getting to like his most popular songs - When Doves Cry, Diamonds and Pearls, Little Red Corvette, Purple Rain, etc. But now, after buying so many of his CD's and listening to them over and over, I find that some of my favourite Prince songs are actually ones that get barely any press, such as:
Lady Cab Driver
The Ballad of Dorothy Parker
If I was your girlfriend (few people realise that this Beyonce track was based on a Prince track)
Joy in Repetition
Money don't matter tonight
The Beautiful Ones
The list just goes on and on, and that is the craziest part of all. I could probably make a list of 30-40 Prince songs that I just can't get enough of, that most people have never even heard of...and they are all so unique from one another.
It's just incredible the level of musical creativity this man has. Just amazing.