Well one person who remembers the Purple Rain singer VERY well is Jimmy Hamilton, Prince’s first music teacher at Bryant Junior High!
Hamilton recently opened up to People about the “shy, smart” kid he taught piano to in the 1970s, saying:
“He was a seriously smart kid, and he just got music. He really understood it, what music was at the core. Even from that early age.”
Though the junior high teacher saw potential in the young musician, Hamilton says he “had no idea” his student would end up being the success he became. Jimmy dished:
“I thought he would achieve success as a local musician, because he was a natural musician, he had the ear. But he was so shy, nothing like the persona he put on while on stage. It still baffles me thinking that the smart kid in my class would go on to become the Minnesota king of funk.”
The former instructor had the When Doves Cry musician in both his seventh and eighth grade business of music and music theory classes and described him as “introverted,” revealing:
“He was extremely quiet, but when he played music it just seemed like he was a different person altogether. His eyes would light up when he started performing.”
But like a true musician who’s destined for greatness, Prince spent an hour before class every morning jamming with some friends in the practice room! Jimmy recalls:
“He was at the band room door at 8 a.m. sharp every day waiting to get let in. After, I would go in and break up the session and make the kids go to biology class.”
Mr. Hamilton also revealed how naturally gifted the future Grammy winner was, saying:
“He was an easy student, he was so eager to learn and it came naturally to him. He could play any instrument, but the song we worked on the most was ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on the piano. He loved that one!”
We’re so happy that Jimmy has such sweet memories of Prince, as we’re sure thousands of others do as well.
Our hearts go out to all those affected by the singer’s tragic passing.
[Image via Instagram.]