Local Current Blog

Beyoncé pays tribute to Prince: ‘He dared to fight for what was rightfully his’

Beyoncé and Prince perform together at the 2004 Grammys. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Beyoncé has penned a foreword to Prince: A Private View, a forthcoming book of photographs by Afshin Shahidi. The photographs themselves, of course, are stunning — documenting Prince in settings ranging from Tokyo to Morocco to Paisley Park, coupled with Shahidi’s recollections. Given how rare public statements of any kind by Beyoncé are, though, it’s her contribution that’s made initial headlines.

Previously, all we’ve known of her foreword was a single sentence: “Truth be told, the word ‘icon’ only scratches the surface of what Prince was and what he remains to me.” The book comes out Oct. 24, and review copies have now been mailed to press, including The Current. You’ll have to pick up the book to read the full foreword, but we can share a few highlights.

Dated June 2017, the foreword is short but moving, with Beyoncé expressing her vast admiration for Prince’s art and innovation, calling him “my mentor” and particularly praising his vaunted independence. “He dared to fight for what was rightfully his: his freedom, wrapped up in words and music he created.”

She adds that when Prince wrote SLAVE on his face as part of his dispute with Warner Bros. in 1993, it “taught me a valuable lesson about ownership, entrepreneurship, and independence.”

In the final section of her foreword, Beyoncé reminisces about performing with Prince at the 46th Grammy Awards. Noting Prince’s impeccable style, “shy, almost mischievous smile,” and “commanding presence,” she says their shared rehearsals were full of “teachable moments” in which Prince shared “gems” — most of which “I will keep only in my heart.” The night of Feb. 8, 2004, she says, “will continue to be a highlight of my career.”

“Prince’s timing was genius and his sense of humor, spontaneous and unexpected,” she writes in conclusion. “At the end of the ‘Purple Rain’/’Let’s Go Crazy’/’Crazy in Love’ medley, I had no idea he would say what he did. We did talk about making a face but when he blurted out, ‘Don’t hate us ’cause we fab,’ it took everything I had to keep my composure.”

Over 100 of the images in the book have never been seen before, and we’ll soon be covering the book in more depth as part of our Rock and Roll Book Club. Preorder information is available at macmillan.com.

  • louise_1

    Give us a break. She is just trying to use Princes death for attention and to try and stay reverent. How low down of her. She is despicable . Prince hardly knew her. She is not a Shiela E.

    • Belladhanna

      Are you kidding? I’m not a big fan of hers, but Beyonce doesn’t need to “stay relevant”. Prince knew her enough to choose her for the duet and tell me please, how is she trying to use his death for attention when she was ASKED to do the foreword?

      I miss him as much as most people, hell more than most, but you’re being ridiculous now.

      • louise_1

        Don’t think so , hon. I don’t believe for one minute that she was asked. If anything, she probably had her pr make the contact. She’s obviously got you fooled also. She has almost turned me against the music industry.

        • Belladhanna

          OK even if she did ask her pr people to make contact, that doesn’t negate the fact that he said YES. She doesn’t have me fooled. I don’t care enough about her to be fooled, but I care enough about Prince that when people second guess his choices it irritates me.

          Any decent fan knows Prince didn’t do anything he didn’t want to in the latter part of his career. Let’s be honest. If he didn’t want her on that stage, she would not have been on that stage. Period. I don’t know why you don’t like her and I don’t care, but don’t go dragging Prince down your rabbit hole.

          And imvho, it was a great performance.

          • louise_1

            Sorry but in my opinion, and I’m entitled, Prince was an arrogant cocky prude man who thought he was above others. I respected him as an artist, but he seemed so rude to others. May he RIP

          • Belladhanna

            Oh in the beginning of his career I’m sure he was an ass, and especially when Purple Rain hit, definitely a jerk. I think he went through that thing some artists/entertainers go through where they believe their own hype.

            I had the pleasure of being in Minneapolis for a while and, nope he wasn’t a prude. But he was also shy unless he was comfortable around you. I also have the pleasure of being friends with someone who used to dance with him and she made him out to be human. He had his good and bad days like everyone.

            My all time favorite performer ever. I’ll miss him for a hundred years

        • Toni Wesley

          Who really gives a f@$k

  • abn

    No, she has nothing but admiration for Prince. I know in Phili and Baltimore she would talk about the respect and Love she had for in Prince, and this was before he died.
    She doesn’t need him to make money. She has plenty of that herself, and have surplanted herself a long lasting legacy of her own.
    Much respect to Beyonce.
    Long love the Prince
    May he continue to rest.
    Not a Beyonce fan, but you must give this woman her just due credit.

    • Belladhanna

      Exactly! She keeps people talking about her, so she stays relevant whether you’re a fan or not.

      The idea that Prince would share the stage with her if he didn’t want to is mind boggling.

      I do want to purchase this book though. Can’t have to many pictures of him! 😍

  • Denise Jackson-wilson

    Prince in an interview mentioned that Beyonce was so open to perfecting her craft. He did mentor her…he spoke about teaching her a type of pentatonic scale that would add another element to her sound. She is known for having an impeccable work ethic. As he is quoted: ” Don’t hate [them] because [theyre] fab!”

  • Denise Jackson-wilson
  • LuxLuxLux

    Looking forward to this book! I wonder what Prince made of the fact there’s like 100 writers and producers on Beyonce’s albums.

  • Haddie Jean Lewis

    She was asked by Prince. She was hesitant and was going to say no. Because her new album was dropping. The REAL entire story is online. Google it!! Remember L41A Prince spoke of. Beyonce stays relevant without Prince.