April is indeed the cruellest month.
We have lost a genius today. Prince Rogers Nelson, one of the most inventive and elegant musicians of the twentieth century, played an incalculable role in the development of popular music.
He was a musician of prodigious talent. A multi-instrumentalist who blended funk, pop, r and b into an irresistible amalgam of joy that would make the dead get up and dance.
He also provided social comment: harsh critiques on the America that bred discontent and separation in his landmark album Sign of the Times.
I was lucky to see him in his prime; the memory of this charismatic and rip roaring showman holding the stage with flair and ease, teasing the crowd with glorious and exhilarating renditions of his back catalogue, will stay with me forever.
He was the sound of my teenage years, of my youth and my adulthood.
And now he's gone and there will be no more more sly humour, barnstorming talent and life affirming joy.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together for this thing called life: and he led the band.
Tonight I feel sad - and older. Thank you, Prince. Thank you for all that you did. How much more we might have known I cannot quite bear to contemplate.