Originally published in 2017, we are revisiting these lessons on what would have been his 61st birthday. 

On April 21, 2016, the world changed forever. Prince died, reportedly of an accidental overdose of fentanyl at age 57.

Today, he would’ve been 59. And while he’s no longer with us in physical form, his music is absolutely timeless. Here are five love lessons learned from The Purple One.

1. Honesty is the always the best policy. “I Wanna Be Your Lover”

To say that Prince marched to the beat of his own drum would be an understatement. He, along with other unique entertainers Rick James and Little Richard come to mind—are the reason the phrase “unapologetically me” was coined. In his classic tune “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” Prince reminds us just how critical it is to be honest and upfront about what you have to offer someone, what you desire in a relationship and, most important, how you feel.

I ain’t got no money
I ain’t like those other guys you hang around
And it’s kinda funny
But they always seem to let you down
And I get discouraged
’cause I never see you anymore
And I need your love, babe yeah
I didn’t wanna pressure you, baby
but all I ever wanted to do

I wanna be your lover
I wanna turn you on, turn you out, all night long, make you shout
Oh, lover! Yeah
I wanna be the only one you come for

2. Sometimes love isn’t as smooth as we’d like for it to be.  —”The Beautiful Ones”

This track reminds us that as much as we’d like to believe that love is “easy,” it isn’t. You can become torn between two lovers. In this track that debuted on the soundtrack for Prince’s 1984 film, Purple Rain, The Artist Formerly Known As takes us through the wave of emotions felt when the one you love doesn’t fully belong to you. And you know what else he does? The Purple One reminds us that we do not have to stay.

Baby baby baby
What’s it gonna be?
Oh, baby, baby, baby, yeah yeah
Is it him or is it me?
Oh, don’t make me waste my time
Don’t make me lose my mind baby, yeah […]

Baby, baby,
Baby, Baby,
What’s it gonna be baby?
Do you want him?
Or do you want me?
Cause I want you!
Said I want you!

Prince – The Beautiful Ones by jon-wren

3. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of infatuation. —”The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”

Our imagination is one of the greatest gifts there is. And when it comes to love, a little bit of infatuation can bring us tremendous pleasure … even if it’s just for a short while. While people may not be as wonderful as we imagine, Prince reminds us that it’s OK to dream.

Could you be the most beautiful girl in the world?
It’s plain to see you’re the reason that God made a girl
When the day turns into the last day of all time
I can say I hope you are in these arms of mine
And when the night falls before that day I will cry
I will cry tears of joy cuz after you all one can do is die, oh […]

How can I get through days when I can’t get through hours?
I can try but when I do I see you and I’m devoured, oh yes
Who’d allow, who’d allow a face to be soft as a flower? Oh
I could bow (bow down) and feel proud in the light of this power

4. Some seductions are everlasting.  —”Scandalous”

My, my and my. Debuting on the soundtrack of 1989’s Batman, “Scandalous” takes us back to the memory of that one person who is absolutely incomparable in the bedroom. No matter how many lovers come after him or her or how much we may be in love with someone else, there’s always that one who makes us think back …and smirk.

Come. Closer.
Feel what you’ve been dyin’ four
Don’t be afraid, baby
Touch it and explode
Understand, understand that I love you
But more than that – I want you
Everybody always told me
“Good things come to those who wait”

But I’ve got so much on the menu
I just can’t wait, I just can’t, I can’t wait baby
I can’t wait baby
I can wrap my legs around you girl
Cuz sugar, you know you’re just the kind of lover
That I’ve been looking four
Tonight why don’t we skip all the foreplay, mama
And just get down here on the floor

Scandalous from Craig Laurence Rice on Vimeo.

5. True love never abandons you. —”Diamonds and Pearls”

There’s nothing like having someone who is truly ride or die for you. They love you just the way you need them to and in return, you truly want to give them the world. No matter who you are, deep down inside we all want someone to be by our side.

This will be the day
That you will hear me say
That I will never run away

I am here for you
Love is meant for two
Now tell me what you’re gonna do

If I gave you diamonds and pearls
Would you be a happy boy or a girl
If I could I would give you the world
But all I can do is just offer you my love

Am I the weaker man
Because I understand
That love must be the master plan (Love is the master plan)

Diamonds And Pearls from Hotwax Residues on Vimeo.

Prince’s imprint on the world is timeless. There is no sand thick enough to cover it and no tide strong enough the wash it away. Continue to rest in power, dear Purple One.

Shantell E. Jamison is EBONY’s senior editor of love and relationships. Her book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction” is available on Amazon. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @Shantell_em and Instagram @Shantell_em.