Today is actually Prince’s birthday. Today he would have been 58 years old.
Prince, as we know, has had a tremendous impact on music. As we celebrate his life and legacy there is a new conversation, in which he could be just as impactful.
We learnt last week that Prince died of opioid-related overdose (Fentanyl -pain killer). Prince was not a known drug addict – publicly, he was portrayed as being entirely clean – not even a drinker.
What may have been a prescribed pain killer turned out to be the cause of addiction and the untimely death of a beloved music icon.
What this teaches us is that addiction has no face. We are at a point where addiction or death from addiction is no longer entirely oriented with low-life culture.
Obviously we have a universal issue that affects everyone and anyone and more people will help to demolish the stigma of addiction by getting help or educating themselves especially about prescription drugs.
Where do we go from here? How do we use the story of Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse to save lives and dismiss the stigma of addiction?
Pain-Killers are becoming some of our biggest killers – for a similar reason that we listen to music, many musicians seek comfort and ease of pain (whether physical or mental) from the use of drugs and alcohol.
Maybe drugs have a way of driving musical talent through its physical and psychological impact but it’s also a threat to our music and musicians.