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Robert Usher, 48: Prince's 'Purple Rain'

Robert Usher, of Fayetteville, N.C., died at the age of 48.
Courtesy of Cynthia Deere
Robert Usher, of Fayetteville, N.C., died at the age of 48.

More than 500,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit this country and the world just over a year ago. NPR is remembering some of those who lost their lives by listening to the music they loved and hearing their stories. We're calling our tribute Songs Of Remembrance.

Robert loved music and dancing. Whenever we heard a local band play "Purple Rain" or heard it on at a club, he would grab my hand and lead me to the dance floor. Every time I listen to it, I remember the fun times dancing with him.

He worked in our local emergency department and was just beginning his last semester of nursing school. At work, he would have one earbud in and would sing and dance in the hallways.

Robert was such a happy, positive, fun, bright light in our community. The mayor of our city, Fayetteville, N.C., has even proclaimed Feb. 12, the date he passed, Robert Usher Day. —Cynthia Deere, girlfriend

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.