The president, in London to meet with Prime Minister David Cameron, said he “warmed up” for important meetings Friday morning by playing a couple classic Prince songs.
In a joint press conference with Cameron, Obama said that he’s staying at the home of the U.S. ambassador, 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 fondly recalled Prince’s secret performance for the president and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, at the White House just last summer.
“I love Prince because he put out great music and he was a great performer,” Obama said. “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, and so it’s a remarkable loss.”
The president also released a statement Thursday, after Prince’s sudden death at 57, calling the entertainer a “creative icon.”
“Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer.”
Obama’s statement continued, “‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said – and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him.”