2016 Regions Riding Forward® Winning Essay by Kaylie K.

When I was growing up the one artist that I heard the most around my family’s house was Prince. My dad had all of his albums and would play them on the turntable in the family room and in the car. I remember dancing and singing to Prince’s song when I was incredibly young, and at the time they were some of the only songs I knew. I realize now that being exposed to all of that music from such a young age is a huge part of what initially inspired me to be a musician.

Prince Rogers Nelson is an extremely diverse and talented musician. His first album was released before he was twenty years old. While it was not the biggest commercial success, his accomplishments on that record inspire me immensely. As a teenager like myself, Prince not only wrote all of the songs on his first album, but he also recorded every single instrument on it. Since I am a songwriter and performer, I place extreme value on being able to write and perform my own material. When I learned that Prince played everything on his first record, I was really motivated to continue learning as many different instruments as I possibly can.

Since Prince’s first release in 1978, he has gone on to make more great music and become one of the most recognized and acclaimed artists of the twentieth century. These are fantastic achievements, but the most important thing that he has done is make great music that people love. Through all of his discography, he has made such a wide variety of music that there is something for everyone. I have enjoyed his music on my own and as something to bond over with my dad.

The things that inspire me about Prince do not stop with his music. One of the most admirable things about Prince is his respect for animals. He is a vegan, and therefore does not eat any animal products or exploit animals in any way. I believe that being kind to animals is one of the most commendable traits a person can have. He is also active in human rights issues including racial issues, and is not afraid to speak up for people even when it is controversial.

Prince has been influential for decades now, and it seems that he will continue to be an influential figure in music and in the advancement of today’s culture. The world is a better place because of his contributions to society. As a musician and as a human being, Prince continues to inspire me every day.


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