Columns

Obama Kicks Off Meetings with Cameron with a Couple Prince Tracks

A woman takes the flowers her child was holding to place at the Prince star and memorial at First Avenue in Minneapolis on April 22, 2016, a club where he often performed. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

At a London press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron today, President Obama said the death of Prince is a “remarkable loss.”

The White House put out a statement Thursday after the music legend’s body was found at his studio compound outside of Minneapolis.

“Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince,” the statement from Obama said. “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.”

Today, Obama was asked what made him a fan.

“I love Prince because he put out great music and he was a great performer. I didn’t not know him well. He came to perform at the White House last year and was extraordinary and creative and original and full of energy,” Obama replied.

“And so, it is a remarkable loss. And I’m staying at Wyndfield House, the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. 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,” the president quipped.

Obama paid tribute not only to Prince but the Queen, saying his London visit was in part to wish a happy 90th birthday to Elizabeth II.

“The queen has been a source of inspiration for me, like so many people around the world,” Obama said. “She is truly one of my favorite people, and should we be fortunate enough to reach 90, may we be as vibrant as she is. She is an astonishing person and a real jewel to the world, not just to the United Kingdom.”