Many of Prince‘s long-time friends and fellow musicians were completely caught off guard after learning about the sudden death of the legendary artist Thursday afternoon – Stevie Wonder being one of them. Stevie remembered his friend’s legacy in the music industry on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, saying it was a “shock” and he “didn’t believe it,” when he first heard the news of Prince’s passing.
Stevie Wonder was visibly shaken and clearly heartbroken as he reflected on his friendship with Prince.
“As I find it so hard to believe, you know, in this journey of music, we as artists that sort of create the reflection of society and reflect the people that really wanted to see a better world, a better people, a unity of people, all those things, as did his music do, and will continue to do for those of us who will continue to listen to it–It’s a heartbreak to lose a member of that army of love.”
In an interview with Larry King in 1999 of all years, Prince called Stevie Wonder an “inspiration” who he “looked up to a great deal.” Prince spoke highly of Stevie Wonder’s musical prowess during the interview. Prince played all 27 instruments on his debut album, “For You” in 1978.
“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.”
Stevie Wonder spoke with Anderson Cooper on how Prince was an inspiration to him and on the fun the two had jamming together.
“He was a great musician. He loved music, he loved playing his instruments, and you know, the times that we did jam together were amazing with all the various people he would bring together and most of all he brought all the various cultures together . . . He was very cognizant of his responsibility as a musician and a human being.”