Stevie Wonder spoke with Anderson Cooper on Thursday (April 22) about the tragic passing of his friend Prince, who was found dead earlier in the day at his Paisley Park home and studio in Minneapolis.
Anderson showed Wonder a clip of Prince telling Larry King in 1999 about Wonder’s influence on his music, in which he said:
“I use Stevie Wonder as an inspiration, whom I look up to a great deal, just for the way that he crafted music and his connection to the spirit. Boy, back then I used him as a role model in trying to play all the instruments and be very self-contained and keep my vision clear.”
“He was a great musician,” Wonder said in response to the clip. “He loved music, he loved playing his instrument. And, you know, the times that we did jam together were amazing.” Wonder had joined Prince as recently as last summer when the artist put on a private show at the White House. According to Rolling Stone, the two reportedly played “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” together before the Obamas and many of their A-list friends.
“He brought all the various cultures together,” Wonder continued to Cooper. “And he could play classical music if he wanted to, he could play jazz if he wanted to, he could play country if he wanted to, he played rock, he played blues, he played pop. You know, everything. He was just a great musician.”
Cooper asked Wonder if he cared to perform something of Prince’s in his honor.
“I think I would probably break down if I do a song right now,” he said tearfully. “I’m just glad that I was able to say to him, ‘I love you,’ the last time I saw him.”
Watch the interview below: