This day last year, the hashtag #RIPPrince dominated social media. And even though he’s gone, Prince’s legend lives on through his many, many hits and the music of every artist he’s ever influenced. To celebrate The Purple One, we’re taking a look back at the heartfelt tributes inspired by his sudden, sad passing.
Bruno Mars’s GRAMMYs tribute
Looking like the spitting image of “Purple Rain”-era Prince, Bruno Mars hit the 2017 GRAMMYs stage in a fitted purple suit with a ruffled collar, white guitar and a little eyeliner to perform “Let’s Go Crazy.”
Madonna’s Billboard Music Awards tribute
They were friends and enemies, competitors and collaborators, and together they ruled the ’80s music scene, so it only made sense for Madonna to perform a tribute to the star at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. She opened with “Nothing Compares 2 U” (clad in a Prince-inspired purple suit, of course) and finished it off with “Purple Rain,” which she sang with surprise guest, Stevie Wonder.
Mariah Carey’s concert tribute
On the day of his death, Mariah Carey dedicated her song “One Sweet Day” to Prince during a concert in Paris, telling her audience, “He talked me through some times when I really, really needed somebody.”
Justin Timberlake’s beautifully-worded Instagram post
We’ll let J.T’s sob-worthy Insta caption do the talking for this one (because we’ll be in literal tears if we have to read it one more time).
It was Raspberry Beret. I was 4 years old. Yes, 4. I remember that I instantly loved it. “Mommy, who is that singing?” Seems weird but it’s true. More than a “once in a lifetime” artist… Just a ONCE IN FOREVER ARTIST. I’m still in shock as I write this and I feel this overwhelming grief. But, we should all turn away from that and HONOR this musician that changed all of our lives, our perspectives, our feeling, our whole being. From another planet? Probably. Royalty, for sure. Us worthy..? Laughable. They say don’t meet your idols… That they let you down. But, some of my greatest, funniest (yes, he was hilarious), and most prolific encounters and conversations about music came from the moments that I spent with him. It would be silly to say that he has inspired our music… It’s beyond that. He’s somewhere within every song I’ve ever written. I am sad, but I will smile when I think of every second that I had the fortune of being in his company. We have lost our greatest living musician. But his music will never die. Prince, NOTHING COMPARES… #RIPPrince
Frank Ocean’s lengthy Tumblr note
Possibly one of the most touching tributes to Prince on social media in the days following his death was Frank Ocean’s Tumblr post, where he thanked the music legend for helping him come to terms with his sexuality. Read it in full below:
Obama’s Facebook post
Even Barack Obama shared some kind words in a Facebook post, calling Prince “the most gifted and prolific musician of our time.”
RIP, our magical friend.