Prince. Bowie. It’s a sad year for music fans and all around fans of creativity and originality. I’m a huge fan of all of it. And I’m both grieving and grateful for the music and inspiration.

I want to take a moment to respect what these great artists did for their fields and the world.

Originality – During the 80’s, when the when the world was just starting to break out of the bland synthesizers of the 70’s, these artists took a stand for originality and creativity. Inspiring legions of artists and non-artists alike, they made it ok to be weird. More than ok.

“The most important thing is to be true to yourself, but I also like danger. That’s what’s missing from pop music today. There’s no excitement or mystery.”
Prince: Los Angeles Times (1982)

More than just the art – It was never just about the music for Bowie, but about changing the world. When you go forth with that mindset, truly anything is possible.

“I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture that I was living in. It just seemed like a challenge to move it a little bit towards the way I thought it might be interesting to go.” -David Bowie

Embrace every aspect of the work – Never content to just sing, or just play an instrument, these two greats both immersed themselves in every aspect of the music, creating an even greater understanding of the art.

“The key to longevity is to learn every aspect of music that you can.” -Prince

Reinvention – Both Prince and Bowie continuously reinvented themselves, staying ahead of the originality curve and never growing outdated or stale.

“I feel confident imposing change on myself. It’s a lot more fun progressing than looking back. That’s why I need to throw curve balls.” -David Bowie
“When I became a symbol, all the writers were cracking funnies, but I was the one laughing. I knew I’d be here today, feeling each new album is my first.” -Prince

It’s a cliche, but like all cliches, there is truth–life is short.  “Yeah, everybody’s got a bomb, we could all die any day. But before I’ll let that happen, I’ll dance my life away.” – Prince. Living by the beautiful rules of Bowie and Prince, that’s a life that’s worth dancing for.