In his death, Prince left behind a timeless collection of music and memories that will forever be cherished by those who were close to him. Here are seven of the best stories about Prince from some of the people who knew him best — from Eddie Murphy to Lizzo.
Chaka Khan says Prince tricked her into meeting him
A longtime fan of Khan, there was apparently nothing Prince wanted more during his rise to fame than to meet the “Angel” crooner. So in 1978, he came up with a plan to make it happen.
In a 2016 interview with GQ, Khan said that Prince somehow got her number, pretended to be her good friend Sly Stone, and asked her to come to the studio.
“I said, ‘Okay, I’ll be right over,’” she continued. “The studio looked completely empty. Finally, I found this short little guy in this one studio with a guitar. I asked, ‘Where’s Sly?’ He said, ‘That was me.’ I said, ‘Who are you?’ He was just everyday about it. I wanted to strangle him. I said, ‘Okay, nice meeting you,’ and I left. So that’s how we met. He never let me forget it for a long time. He thought it was one of the funniest things that ever happened to him.”
Prince whooped Charlie Murphy in a basketball game
Do you remember when Charlie Murphy used to do the “True Hollywood Stories” segment on Chappelle’s Show? If not, there was one feature in particular where he spoke about a time when he and Eddie Murphy faced off against Prince in a basketball game. Dressed in formal gear, Prince earned a “landslide victory” and then took them inside for pancakes, according to Murphy.
Everyone thought it was a joke at the time, but it was actually the truth. Guitarist Micki Free told Esquire in 2017: “Charlie Murphy wasn’t lying. Everything that happened in that was for real. We went back to Prince’s house after the club. It was 1985, and there was a bunch of girls with Eddie [Murphy], myself, Charlie—rest in peace—and some other guys. And out of nowhere Prince says, ‘Do you guys want to play basketball?’”
Before he knew it, they were on the court, with Prince wearing a dressy blouse and tennis shoes.
“All I remember is when Prince made that first shot, it was all-net. I’m looking at him make shot after shot, like, ‘What the hell?’” Free continued. “Then at the end, they really did make us pancakes—blueberry pancakes. And they were good! Hanging out with Prince was magical.”
Lizzo credits Prince for a lot of her success
In addition to his music career, Prince was known for his humanitarian work and desire to help others. He mentored tons of people — from Janelle Monáe to Lizzo, whom he met when she was just a struggling artist. Across many interviews, Lizzo has credited Prince for much of her success and giving her the confidence to really chase her dreams.
Reflecting on one of her earliest memories with the singer in a 2016 interview with Fuse, Lizzo said:
“There was this wonderful moment when we were in the recording booth and there was this mic with all these scarves. It was so plush and I was like, ‘This is Prince’s mic. Can I get some essence?’ And I felt like I kind of transcended from just being just a vocalist into an artist. And that was a huge confirmation in what I was doing.”
Mere years later, Lizzo has become one of the world’s hottest stars, with legions of fans and several Billboard-charting hits. Who would have known?
Someone told David Alan Grier about a hilarious experience with Prince
Having met Prince decades ago, Grier seems to have plenty of memories with the “Darling Nikki” star. But there’s one that really stands out.
Speaking to Howard Stern in 2019, Grier reflected on a time when he traveled to Paisley Park in Minnesota and met with some people in Prince’s inner circle. While touring the property, one of the men told Grier about a bizarre experience that had once occurred when they were on tour and stopped at a hotel to rest.
In the wee hours of the night, Prince apparently called the man and told him he’d been hearing sounds through the wall.
Mimicking the singer and his distinctive deep voice, Grier said: “A motherf*cking voice is coming from the motherf*cking wall.” For obvious reasons, no one believed Prince at first. But as it turns out, a woman had hidden in a crawl space behind the bed and had been reading to Prince through the wall.
Eddie Murphy shares one of Prince’s hidden talents
In December 2019 appearance on The Tonight Show, Murphy said that Prince was a great skater. Reflecting on a “surreal” skate party Prince once held, Murphy noted that the singer even “had skates that would light up.”
We can all agree that that sounds so fitting.
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