One of the unique things that has come out following the sad and stunning death of music legend Prince was his devotion to his religion as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Heck, many of his fans, including me, didn’t even know that he was a Jehovah’s Witness.
Turns out that not only was he a Jehovah’s Witness, his life inside the congregation was nothing like you would have ever imagined.
A member of the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Prince was known simply as “Brother Nelson” to his congregation.
Even more interesting, Prince was apparently just a regular dude when he mingled with the congregation. (A regular dude with very special talent.)
Known to member Anna Barry as simply “Brother Nelson,” Prince (whose real name was Prince Rogers Nelson) was “in good standing,” and would go door-to-door with the ministry, she tells PEOPLE.
“He [witnessed] in the beginning,” Barry explains. “He had a very special territory. He was able to talk to those who the rest of us would never be able to talk to – celebrities, for example.”
Prince, who died on Thursday at age 57, regarded the Kingdom Hall as a “safe place” and a “haven,” Barry says, and toned down his famously colorful style around the congregation.
“He would just have a suit and tie. You wouldn’t have picked him out,” Barry says, adding, “You wouldn’t have picked him out [from the rest of the congregation].”
Barry says she last saw Prince at a service on March 23rd, “I was just standing there and all of a sudden, in he walks. I thought, ‘He just wants to be treated like an average person,’ so I just kind of acknowledged him, and he came in and sat down.”
How amazing is that? One of the most iconic musicians in history known for all sorts of idiosyncrasies and he just wanted to be treated like an average Joe.
Speaking of idiosyncrasies and religion when it comes to The Purple One, he was reportedly completely against anyone swearing in his presence. So much so that he had a swear jar at Paisley Park for those that slipped.
Reports People again…
James Lundstrom, a congregation member of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall revealed to reporters on Sunday that the late musician would not stand for cussing at his Paisley Park Studios compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
“If you swore at Paisley Park, he would charge you between 10 and 3 dollars per swear word,” said Lundstrom, who belonged to the same congregation as Prince and had known the musician for years. “And he wasn’t joking. You had to pay in cash in the bucket.
“In fact, one time I was carrying some luggage, and I bumped my knee and, as [a Jehovah’s Witness], we’re not supposed to swear – we say ‘we don’t swear at people, but we swear at things’ – and I said ‘damn.’ He said, ‘What did you say?’ I said, ‘That’s spelled d-a-m.’ He was like, ‘Brother Jim, Brother Jim.'”
Lundstrom also explained what it was like going door-to-door with Prince as a Jehovah’s Witness, “He was very sweet. Going door-to-door, he did not introduce himself as Prince. He was always ‘Rogers Nelson’ because he didn’t want to take away [from the work he was doing].”
Even in death Prince still continues to amaze. The world will certainly not be the same without him.