Were Prince & Stevie Wonder Friends? This Tribute From One Legend To Another Will Make You Cry — VIDEO
Superstar singer Stevie Wonder has often performed and hung out with Prince, and the two musicians have both cited each other as huge sources of inspiration. So the Stevie Wonder CNN tribute to Prince is, much as you'd expect, A Thing Of Beauty. The CNN clip opens on an old interview with Prince in which he says “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. And 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.” However, casual fans might be wondering were Stevie Wonder and Prince friends? And, you know, exactly how well did they know each other?
According to the full length version of the video, they were friends jammed together and who meant a lot to each other. When Anderson Cooper asked if he would perform a Prince song, he appeared to tear up: “Yeah, I think I would probably break down if I do a song right now. I’m just glad I was able to say to him ‘I love you’ when I last saw him.” When Wonder is asked how Prince inspires him, he says, "He was a great musician...the times we did jam together were amazing, with the various people he brought together. And most of all he brought all the various cultures together. 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...and he was very cognizant of what his responsibility was as a musician and as a human being."
Wonder and Prince's last high profile music session was a secret concert at the White House last year. While rock and pop acts regularly play the White House, what made the concert so special was the emphasis on secrecy: it was billed as a "private party for friends and family" by an official at the White House. According to Rolling Stone, the two hour set included the two superstars sharing one stage: "When Prince invited up Wonder, the two shared keyboards on a version of Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and one other jam." The pair also seemed to share stages for Prince's speciality – unscheduled performances.
Check out the two of them cooking up some serious musical chemistry in a blurry-but-beautiful video in Paris:
So in the wake of Prince's untimely death, spare a thought for Stevie Wonder: losing your favorite musician is one thing. Losing a friend who means the world to you is a whole other story.