Stevie Wonder Thursday described Prince as "a great musician, a great producer, great song writer" — and was nearly overcome with emotion when asked to perform something that reminded him of the music icon who died at age 57.
"I think I would probably break down if I do a song right now," Wonder told Anderson Cooper on CNN
during an interview from his Los Angeles home.
Prince, who was pronounced dead after collapsing in his Minnesota home, once described Wonder, 65, as a role model and an inspiration.
"He was incredible," Wonder told Cooper. "I'm just glad I was able to say to him I love you the last time I saw him."
The performers had appeared together on several occasions, including the BET Awards in 2006 and in Paris four years later.
"The times we did jam together were amazing," Wonder said.
He described Prince as "someone who allowed himself to be himself and encouraged others to be themselves.
"He was very free — and to do what he did without fear was a wonderful thing because it's always great. It is always great when we don't allow fear to put our dreams to sleep — and he didn't."
Wonder cited 1984's "Purple Rain" as his favorite — "the whole album was incredible" — adding that Prince "was able to mix the blessing of life of God and, yet, the marriage of sex and passion.
"He had fun doing it," Wonder said. "It is rare for me that I can feel with every single breath how he just passionately loved music."
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