Back when I was a yute I walked into one of my professor's offices. He was visibly upset and actually wanted to talk to someone. So I listened. One of his contemporaries had just died. He was upset not just because he had lost a friend (I don't remember how close they actually were), but because he realized it was just the start of a time of life in which this would become a regular occurrence.
I wasn't a contemporary of Prince's, of course, but I was part of the original MTV generation. All we did was watch MTV most of the time. Music videos were our thing. And Prince was there from near the beginning.