Olympic Gold Medalist, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Reflects on Prince

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“He was a brilliant musician and fashion icon,” says Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Jacqueline "Jackie" Joyner-Kersee may have arguably been one of the greatest female athletes, but she remembers Prince, as a great in the music world. “When I first heard the news, I was in disbelief,” says the Olympic Gold Medalist. “I had a knot in my stomach. I didn’t know him personally, but he had an impact on my life and my generation. Prince was a brilliant musician and fashion icon.”

A Rare Prince Interview From the ESSENCE Archives

“Many peope love his song ‘Purple Rain,’ but I love ‘diamonds and pearls,’ she tells ESSENCE, “When I think of diamonds and pearls [I’m reminded that] they are the seeds of the best of what we have to offer. To see a diamond in the rough and allow that diamond to shine is awesome. We are all diamonds and pearls.”

'ESSENCE Live' Honors the Life & Legacy of Prince

Like the rest of the world, Joyner-Kersee is mourning the loss of the musical legend, who died yesterday. “I was hoping it wasn’t true. I knew he was sick, so I was hoping for the best. He’s another iconic inspirational great figure that we lost too soon.”

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