Close colleagues, friends in Minnesota remember Prince

- Over the course of his career, Prince formed many lasting friendships with people in the Twin Cities. Many of his colleagues are now recalling their favorite memories of the singer they called a close friend.

The loss Kathleen Johnson feels is immeasurable.

“I had this great, great respect and honor and love for [Prince] and crush, everybody had a crush that it was always so cool,” Johnson said.

The singer and owner of Whole Soul Eatery in Minneapolis started working for Prince in the mid-1990s.

“Wow! You know prince is calling me at 3 am to do some vocals,” Johnson said.

Johnson also prepared food in Prince's kitchen for parties at Paisley Park.

“I would always say ‘Do you know what people would do just to take one of these pots and put them on the stove?’” she said.

Johnson's brother, Kirk, is Prince's drummer and right-hand man. Neither can put a price on what Prince did for them

“He knew what my mother meant to my brother and my family and he made sure she went out the right way,” Johnson said. “He had a good heart. He helped us.  He helped me keep my mother in our home through her death.”

Singer Germaine Brooks met Prince in 1978 when she was 14 years old, while she was part of the group, Girls.

Recognizing her talent in the mid-80s, Prince would watch her perform at First Avenue.

“Kirk [Johnson] and I were up in the balcony and Prince was like ‘Good show Germain’ and I was like so honored!” Brooks said.

John Command spent 1983 training Prince and his band on the dance floor for the singer’s hit film, Purple Rain.

“They whirled and twirled we did ballet stuff across the floor we had a ball!” Command recalled. “He was so beautiful, and so dear, and so funny and so shy.”

Also attesting to Prince's generosity? Thornton Jones, a long-time Minneapolis radio producer and DJ.

“He would drop money I know I didn't raise at the door,” Jones said.

Jones said he feels that with Prince gone, countless hearts are broken.

“I thank him for what he gave the world and what he will continue to give the world,” Jones said. “I just wish we would've been able to celebrate him and let him how much we loved him and how great he was to us and how proud we were him in Minneapolis and on the north side. The whole world loved him but not like we do. Not like we do.”


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