Prince's ex-wife has shared a loving tribute written to mark the one-year anniversary of the superstar's death, insisting his legacy has ensured he will "always be with us".
Mayte Garcia, who was married to the Purple Rain hitmaker for four years until 2000, has been open about the heartache she has suffered since his untimely passing on 21 April, 2016, and she recently sat down to pour out her feelings about her ex in a touching message for fans, which she describes as a "love letter to his legacy".
In the lengthy note, published on Billboard.com, the dancer recalls how she met and fell in love with Prince, and explains how the 57-year-old used his songwriting talents on the track Comeback to work through the tragedy of losing their baby son, Amiir, who died just a week after his October, 1996 birth, due to rare congenital defect Pfeiffer syndrome.
"Writing the song allowed him to grieve about Amiir in a way that was difficult for him to do in person, even with me, his wife," she wrote. "But music was his refuge. It's what he knew how to do - what he had to do - as an artist. And people loved him for it."
Mayte goes on to heap praise on the music icon's devotees, who Prince referred to as his "fam", short for family, explaining, "They were much more to him than simply 'fans' or 'admirers'. I believe they always felt that.
"And they returned that love right back, tenfold. Prince was beloved and revered in a way that few artists ever have been or likely ever will be. Online communities dedicated to his music and to his art are thriving. He was selling out shows and touring relentlessly up until his last days."
She reveals she decided to pen the open letter to "leave an impression of light and of love, which is what he was".
Mayte continues, "Prince was many things: an artist, an amazing friend, the love of my life and family. I wanted to write a love letter to his legacy. Mystery is often cloaked in darkness. I wanted to share the light."
Concluding the note, Mayte admits she takes comfort in knowing that although Prince himself is no longer alive, his contributions to the world of entertainment will never be forgotten.
"None of us can stay in this world forever, but in his music and his singular art, Prince has left a legacy that will live on for centuries to come," she adds. "In this way, he will always be with us."