An already tough year just got even tougher. Renowned boxing champion Muhammad Ali passed away Friday night at the age of 74. His death leaves a sizable hole in the world, as Ali was not only a legendary fighter, but a legendary cultural icon. Highlighting this impact is the one tweet you need to see about Ali in the wake of his tragic, devastating death — because in it, he's standing next to another important American figure that we also lost this year, Prince.
On Saturday, Chris Rock tweeted out a photo of Ali and Prince, writing, "I wish this year would stop already it's just too much." The year 2016 has claimed some of our culture's most influential figures. In January, we lost David Bowie to cancer, two days after the artist's 69th birthday. Eminent author Harper Lee passed away in February. Then in April, Prince died at the age of 57. Turns out that Prince — who was undoubtedly a hero to many — had a hero of his own in Ali. According to The Huffington Post, Prince met Ali for the first time at a press conference 1997, where Prince took the stage to share some words about Ali's impact on his life.
Prince said, "My friend called me a couple of days ago and asked me. He said, Muhammad wants you to — and I said ‘Yes,’ I didn’t even let him finish. He could have said, ‘Mow the lawn,’ and I would have been down with it. Muhammad’s my hero. He has been since I was a child. As you can see, he’s such an inspiration to many people.”
They both were an inspiration to many people, and not just for their talent. Prince and Ali lived with inviolable passion. The careers of these two icons will extend far beyond their lifetimes as Prince and Ali's impact wasn't confined to the borders of the music industry or the boxing world. They were so much bigger than that. They were American heroes. The "King of the World" and the Prince.