9 People Prince Counted Among His Closest Friends
Revolution drummer Bobby Z was one of Prince's oldest friends, going back to their school days. In 1985, Prince referred to him as his "best friend," though added that was not a "spectacular drummer."
Khan recorded a cover of Prince's "I Feel for You," eventually winning a Grammy in 1984 for it. She would later sign to his record label and frequently tour and perform with him throughout the '90s.
Day was one of Prince's oldest friends, and the pair played together as teens, though they later had a falling out as Day grew jealous of the control Prince exercised over Day's group The Time. But they repaired their friendship, and Day said he still counted Prince as a close friend in 2013.
The pair denied for decades that they'd been involved, but their musical chemistry kept them collaborating even after Easton's career died down in the 1990s and Prince became embroiled in his battle with Warner Brothers.
Prince was a fan of Donatella's threads and frequently wore her clothing and came to shows. But the pair had a personal relationship as well, and Versace recalled that at one point he rented an entire club out between the two of them so they could listen to music and talk.
"You understand, in my life, the only other person I spoke with or speak with more than Prince is my mother," Hall recalled to MSNBC Live Friday. Apparently Prince reached out years back as a fan, and the two struck up a long-lasting friendship.
Graham, the former Sly amp the Family Stone bassist, was instrumental (no pun intended) in Prince's conversion to the Jehovah's Witness faith. They remained friends and collaborators afterward; Prince considered the older man a mentor.
Tavis Smiley revealed this week how, as he was just starting out in his career, Prince called him out of the blue. Smiley thought it was a joke. But Prince was offering him the opportunity to do a televised interview, and the pair struck up a 20-year-friendship, talking frequently on the phone and sharing connections.
Prince was a huge basketball fan, and he and Lee were a frequently spotted courtside pair. Lee threw a block party in Brooklyn Thursday night to honor his friend, which he dubbed the "PRINCE We Love You Shockadelica Joint."