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Cyndi Lauper Remembers Friend Prince


It is a small club, this group of one-named musicians who have the power to make this kind of artistic explosion. This past week, we lost one. Prince died at his home in Minneapolis Thursday. The day before, I'd been talking with '80s pop icon Cyndi Lauper. I was interviewing her about her newest album. We'll bring you that conversation next Sunday. But when the news broke about Prince, we called her back. She said she got a phone call with the bad news while she was working on a new project.

CYNDI LAUPER: It kind of just threw me for a loop because he didn't really drink and certainly didn't party - that's for sure. You know, he wasn't that kind of guy, you know?

MARTIN: Lauper went on to tell me about the ways Prince supported her over the years - coming to her shows, giving her business advice. She recorded her version of his song "When You Were Mine" for her breakout album.


CYNDI LAUPER: (Singing) When you were mine I gave you all of my money.

MARTIN: The other memory that was front and center for her involved one of Prince's shows. She had gone to watch him, and they ended up performing together unexpectedly.

CYNDI LAUPER: I just remember jumping on stage one time. I went to go see him at the Garden. It was kind of a treat to actually go out to see a concert. And of course, if you're going to go out to see a concert, you might as well go see Prince because he's fantastic. And he was on stage singing. And then - I was in the VIP section - he says, OK, everybody should go on stage and sing now. And they had this strange thing where you lined up, and he would sing, and you would answer. And I was in line. And he sand, and I sang back to him. And he opened his eyes, and he said, Cindi? And I said, yeah, they told me to come - you know? It was kind of great.


PRINCE: (Singing) Oh, girl, when you were mine I used to let you wear all of my clothes. You were so fine. Maybe that's the reason that it hurt me so. I know.

MARTIN: Do you have a favorite Prince song, or a song that you find yourself going back to right now?

CYNDI LAUPER: Well, "Purple Rain" - that one was just awesome. I think "Purple Rain" because when I saw him do the Super Bowl, and it rained like that, and he just - he looked like he put his ring up to the sky and God came and worked the heavens. And he worked the music.


PRINCE: Don't it feel good?

CYNDI LAUPER: And it was so inspiring. Nothing compares to that. Well, I guess nothing compares to him.


PRINCE: (Playing guitar).

CYNDI LAUPER: He was a great, great artist - one of the great artists of our time. And I'm so grateful to have known him and to have been in the music business and come up around the same time because it was magical.


PRINCE: (Singing) I guess I should've known by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn't last. See, you're the kind of person that believes in making out once - love them and leave them fast. I guess I must be dumb 'cause you had a pocket full of horses.

MARTIN: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.