President Obama, in London to meet with the British prime minister, joked that he “warmed up” for those meetings this morning playing Prince’s “Purple Rain” and “Delirious.”
Obama has long been a fan of the musician, who died yesterday at the age of 57.
The president said he is staying at the U.S. ambassador’s residence and “it so happens our ambassador has a turntable, and so this morning we played ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Delirious’ just to get warmed up before we left the house for important bilateral meetings like this.”
Obama called Prince’s death a “remarkable loss.”
“I love Prince because he put out great music and he was a great performer. I didn’t know him well, he came to perform at the White House last year and he was extraordinary, and creative, and original, and full of energy.”
Obama referred to a secret concert Prince gave in 2015 which was billed as a “private party for friends and family” of the president and first lady. The musician reportedly gave a two-hour performance that included “Raspberry Beret.” He also invited Stevie Wonder up, and the two shared keyboards on a couple of songs.
The event drew some criticism after the White House declined to release news of the event or names of attendees. The public found out about it after Al Sharpton tweeted that it was an “unbelievable experience.”
Obama released a statement Thursday calling Prince a “virtuoso” and quoting the musician, who once said “a strong spirit transcends rules.”
“Nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him,” Obama said.