In the early hours of Thursday morning, the 26th of January 2017, I was just about to go over the edge of consciousness into the realms of sleep when my Skype pinged. And I saw the words I never ever imagined I'd ever have the misfortune to cast my eyes over.
“Diva passed away last night. Just thought you should know.”
My initial reply was “Stone?” I was dozy and later remembered that I didn’t know any other Diva’s. And then the call came.
She had been found at home after not responding to skype and phone calls, and not showing up for work that morning. Her Master had called the police and they gained entry to her apartment. She was just 34, way to young to be taken from this world.
I’m not totally sure if it’s the numbness from the news or the fact I’m getting old, but I cant quite remember how Diva exploded in to my life. All I know is she did, and she stayed, beginning 2 years of a friendship that I treasured each and every single day, and still do even though she’s gone.
During bouts of late night SL’ing, I'd often chat with her before a show and she was always nervous, something she went on record about in an interview I had with her for a feature in the SL Enquirer a few years ago. We skyped a few times and I could hear the warmth and love she had for life in every breath.
She gave her everything with every performance and, as one of her harshest critics, I got to know subtle clues that gave away that she wasn't quite well or not in the right frame of mind that night. To most people, including die hard fans, this wasn't evident in her performance and she would sometimes cover it up with that high to low “oh oh ooh whoa” thing that people like Christina Aguilera do in most of their songs.
She always gave 100% in everything she did, and told peoples stories in song. You didn’t care where she took you, you were just glad she did. Yes, sometimes she strained to get some notes. Yes, sometimes she missed them. But you know what? Nobody really cared. She snared you in from the moment the notice went out to the time she stopped.
At time of writing, details are still sketchy, but the one thing that is certain is that never again will I hear the words “Mackenzie, I see you Papi, hugs your face” nor will any of us ever hear that voice grabbing you by all your senses and french kissing you into the ground until there's nothing left but pure and utter pleasure.
Diva, I never knew your real name and, in all honesty, I don't care. To me, and your hundreds of fans in Second Life and real life, you are nothing but the true Diva. You’ll live on in our heads and our hearts.You leave a huge hole that will never be filled, but your talent towers over that hole, filling it with the memory of your gift for song, story telling and love. If there's a heaven, there's going to be one hell of a show up there tonight. I hope Whitney and Lady Ella take good care of you.
If life is a game of cards, somebody is cheating.
Fly free, sing sweet and, when my time comes, save me some front row seats.
We won't forget you Babygirl.
Diva Stone 1982 -2017