Ellen DeGeneres thanked Prince for taking a chance on her still fledgling show way back in 2003. The late icon performed on Ellen during the show’s first season, so DeGeneres made sure to make note of it during her tribute to Prince on April 26.
“Of all the bands and artists that I’ve had on the show, there was no one like Prince. He was an artist, he was an icon, a genius and he was kind enough to appear on my show in the very first season, in 2003, which you have to understand is a big deal because most stars wait to see if a talk show is going to be successful. They wait to see if it’s a cool thing to do before they say ‘yes,’ so he did it on the first season and it meant the world to me that he did that.”
Since Prince died April 21, tributes and memorials have poured in from all stripes of people. Among Degeneres’ talk-show cohorts, Stephen Colbert and James Corden both took time to talk about Prince’s impact on them. The latter even returned to the studio to film a tribute after the episode had wrapped. Just about every sports team in Minnesota has offered up their own tribute and, of course, there are the musicians. You have to see Bruce Springsteen’s excellent cover of “Purple Rain.”