Music and pop culture at large lost a legend Thursday with the death of Prince at age 57, but one thing fans will never lose are his words. Inspiring Prince quotes probably number in the hundreds, from lyrics to things he said in the acceptance speeches and many, many interviews he gave over the course of his professional life. The Prince tributes that filled Twitter following the news of his death show that many people had multiple favorite Prince lyrics at their fingertips on the spur of the moment. His work wasn't just catchy, and it wasn't manufactured. It made listeners and viewers feel understood, like someone had said the thing they wanted to say but didn't quite know how to phrase about being yourself, about life being hard, about sex and Dunkaroos and a whole bunch of other things.
Here are just a few of his most moving quotes to help fans everywhere cope with this tragic loss:
On Getting Through It
In a 2004 Rolling Stone cover story, the artist commented on his not-so-great reputation following some of his behavior earlier in his career and the idea that that behavior made Prince an inspiration to young artists. "All these hip-hop artists, the first thing they do is start their own label and lock their business down—we had a lot to do with that," he said.
On Being Cool
In a different Rolling Stone story, this one from 1990, Prince, arguably the walking embodiment of cool, explained what cool, in fact, is:
Cool means being able to hang with yourself... All you have to ask yourself is 'Is there anybody I'm afraid of? Is there anybody who if I walked into a room and saw, I'd get nervous?' If not, then you're cool.
Prince's song "Papa" on his 1993 album Come was about domestic abuse and suicide, but it included two last lines that were simultaneously sad and hopeful:
If u love somebody, your life won't be in vain
And there's always a rainbow, at the end of every rain
Get ready to fall in love with the guy a little more. Prince apparently loved Dunkaroos, so much that he kept a five pound box of them in his fridge. He told Heavy Table in 2011,
Don’t know what 2 say about Dunk-a-roos. They’re just good! Sometimes you want a food that is comfortable and takes you back. For me, it’s those crazy little kangaroo crackers.
On What Really Matters
One of the lyrics of Purple Rain's "Baby I'm A Star" showed what Prince valued more than cash:
I ain't got no money
But honey I'm rich on personality
In a 2014 Interview magazine interview conducted by Spike Lee, Prince said,
I have written a song that says: If you ever lose someone dear to you, never say the words, "They're gone," and they'll come back
If only it worked that way.