He was only 57 and had just performed a week beforehand, less mobile than usual behind a piano but commanding the stage as always.
His indomitable presence, despite only standing at 5-foot-2, gave pretty much everyone who watched him the impression that he would simply play on forever.
I remember him walking out -- I knew I’d kicked his butt; I was like, "I got him! " -- and by the time he got into the car they had called an emergency meeting with the Revolution: “Set up the gear, as soon as I fly in we're going to start rehearsing.” He just said, “I can't allow Sheila to be better than me.” After the Purple Rain Tour, I toured Europe for two months on my own, then I did the movie and then I opened for Lionel Richie in ‘86 -- and I was exhausted. Prince was listening to me say that one day and said, “I'm getting ready to change my band -- you want to play? We had dinner at Prince's house and to hear Miles talk, in his coarse voice, “Yeah, Prince told me you was a bad mother.“ Well okay, thank you, Miles, for that compliment! Is it true Prince proposed to you onstage during the Sign O’ the Times tour?
” That was it -- I joined the band and then we started the Sign O’ the Times Tour. You were in the band during that 1987 New Year’s Eve show at Paisley Park when Miles Davis sat in. It seems like you had a different relationship with him than just about anybody -- there weren’t many people in his bands that he treated as peers. Yeah, it was during “Purple Rain.” There were a couple of songs that I really loved, and sometimes in the middle of playing “Purple Rain,” like, my eyes are closed and I don’t know where I am and I don't know that I'm in front of 20 or 30,000 people. Was he seeing Wendy Melvoin’s twin sister Susannah [who he dated in 1984-86] at the same time?
Damaris, who was present at Paisley Park right after Prince died, said, “To clear it up with ‘Extra,’ I've never dated Prince.
I was just his dancer and his muse, and he was one of my best friends.” Lewis shared her mantra for coping with the singer’s death, saying, “It’s not the finger that touches that you remember, but it’s the touch that the finger left.” She went on, “It’s not the body, but the soul and a time like this we need to keep spreading the purple love, keep making sure his legacy lives on and really truly truly know this was a man that had such a personality, such a giving spirit.
But it was at least fitting that Prince died at home, instead of aboard a jet thousands of feet in the air, or at a hospital across the country from his hometown of Minneapolis.
They were talking about this young kid who was in the other room, playing all the instruments and producing and writing by himself.
So you actually joined Prince's band -- one of the hardest-working bands in the world -- to take a break. Prince turned around and looked at me -- we knew we had connected, we had gone to that peak musically -- and he proposed.
When the world found out that Prince had been found dead in the elevator of his Paisley Park compound, the news came as a devastating blow.
He just didn't show that side of himself to the public. What was it like recording your early albums with him? But a few years later you began performing with him again occasionally. Just as close, hanging out, but in a totally different way. I think it was four or five years ago, during the 21 Nights [residency] at the Forum in L. To me it seems like it was last week, but that's part of our relationship -- sometimes we wouldn't talk for a long period of time and then start talking like it was yesterday.
We were in the studio every single day, just hanging out and playing, and he was writing music for other people and I’d help him. I knew towards the end of the [1988-89] Lovesexy Tour that I was going to leave. It was the hardest [breakup] I ever had, because I had to break up with my best friend. I'd come back and play here and there, sometimes I’d play the full two hours. I don't even know what's going on in the world since I heard the news. It’s weird enough being in Paisley Park, walking in there and smelling him and him not being there.