Justin Timberlake's Prince Tribute Is Perfect

The world is still processing the death of music legend Prince, and fans are grieving in many different ways. One way that a lot of people seem to be dealing with the loss of Prince is by sharing their own personal stories on social media about what kind of impact he had on their lives. And one person who is doing just that is Justin Timberlake, who shared a heartfelt Prince tribute on his Instagram on Thursday after hearing the news. Timberlake doesn't hold back his praise for his idol, crediting the musician for inspiring him to get into music as a child, admitting that there is some Prince influence in every song he's ever written, and referring to him as the world's greatest musician while he was still alive.

But even taking music out of the equation, Timberlake goes on to discuss his personal relationship with Prince. They met a number of times and had several conversations, and those now hold an extra special place in Timberlake's heart. He describes the singer as hilarious, royalty, and jokingly floats the idea that his greatness can only be explained away by admitting that he's probably from another planet. Here is the full text of Timberlake's ode to Prince:

It was Raspberry Beret. I was 4 years old. Yes, 4. I remember that I instantly loved it. "Mommy, who is that singing?" Seems weird but it's true. More than a "once in a lifetime" artist... Just a ONCE IN FOREVER ARTIST. I'm still in shock as I write this and I feel this overwhelming grief. But, we should all turn away from that and HONOR this musician that changed all of our lives, our perspectives, our feeling, our whole being. From another planet? Probably. Royalty, for sure. Us worthy..? Laughable.They say don't meet your idols... That they let you down. But, some of my greatest, funniest (yes, he was hilarious), and most prolific encounters and conversations about music came from the moments that I spent with him. It would be silly to say that he has inspired our music... It's beyond that. He's somewhere within every song I've ever written. I am sad, but I will smile when I think of every second that I had the fortune of being in his company. We have lost our greatest living musician. But his music will never die. Prince, NOTHING COMPARES...#RIPPrince

Timberlake's post is incredibly touching and well thought out, and not surprisingly, it looks like it took him some time to figure out just what he wanted to say. About an hour before sharing his moving piece, when he presumably first heard the news, the "Mirrors" singer tweeted out simply, "Numb. Stunned. This can't be real."

There are likely countless stories out there just like Timberlake's that fans will be hearing in the next few days as the music industry, and the world at large, tries to process the death of one of the most successful musicians in history. Prince is already greatly missed, though he's only been gone for a short time. Clearly, the world won't be the same without him.