Aretha Franklin was among the many legendary artists to salute Prince after the music icon died Thursday at the age of 57. “He was definitely an original and a one-of-a-kind. There was truly only one Prince,” the soul singer told MSNBC’s Brian Williams after learning of Prince’s death. “He put his stamp [on his sound]. Prince is gone but his music lives on.”
Franklin said she was leaving her hotel when a doorman approached her and informed her that Prince had died. Speaking to MSNBC, Franklin also discussed Prince’s appeal and legacy as well as his musical vaults stocked with unreleased music. “There was a mystique about him that made you want to know a little more about him,” Franklin said. “Kind of like Stevie [Wonder], he was one of those artists that loved to go into and stay in the studio.”
At one point during the interview, Franklin speculates whether the Zika virus played an active role in Prince’s death, since he was reportedly suffering from flu-like symptoms in recent weeks. An autopsy for the singer is taking place Friday in Ramsey, Minnesota, CNN reports.
Unlike Prince, Franklin warned fans not to expect any posthumous unreleased music from her estate. “I really don’t have any shelf music,” she admitted.
The singer concluded by saying that she’d remember Prince as “a very, very unique musical individual who was so into his music. He was music to the max.” Franklin joins music royalty like Mick Jagger, Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elton John and countless more artists who have paid tribute to Prince.