Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Med. Examiner's Office: Autopsy Results Likely Weeks Away; Prince Autopsy Complete: Body Released to Family; Campaign Manager: Trump Is Playing "A Part"; New Polls: Trump Leads In Indiana, California; New Polls: Trump Leading Cruz In California, Indiana; The Prince Of Fashion. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 22, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Good evening. John Berman here in for Anderson tonight. New details in the death of Prince, mixed with the same disbelief that we're even having this conversation at all.
Chuck D says it is hard to talk about his friend in the past tense. Prince, he says, was the future. He was music.
You'll hear more from him in a moment, as well as others who knew Prince well and miss him deeply. We're going to also speak with someone who saw Prince twice in the last week of his life.
And we begin with all we're learning about final days. Late today, authorities released a few specifics, very few, on the investigation, saying the autopsy is finished, but a report, including, they say, what, if any, drugs were in his system. That report might take weeks.
So the timeline you're about to see is also incomplete. It does, however, include exclusive video, what could be the last video of Prince alive. Here's CNN's Chung Law.
KELLY COLLINS, EMPLOYEE, THE HAIR DISTRICT: I looked outside and saw a gentleman riding a bike and noticed right away that it was Prince.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kelly Collins, seeing what she and others at the mall say was their famous neighbor, couldn't resist recording, even though he indicated he didn't want to be filmed.
COLLINS: I was looking at him, especially after hearing that he just not been feeling well the day before.
LAH: That video taken on Saturday, just five days before Prince's death. Prince had not been feeling well for weeks.
On April 7th, anxious fans in Atlanta with tickets to see Prince learned two shows that night are postponed. According to the Fox Theater, Prince is ill, battling the flu.
But one week later, April 14th, Prince takes the stage in Atlanta. The makeup concert, two shows, 80 minute sets. No sign of illness. He finished to a standing ovation. Prince seems to relish the moment, tweeting "I am #transformed."
The next day, April 15th, Prince is flying home to Minneapolis. His private jet makes an unexpected detour, an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois. Rushed to the hospital, but Prince doesn't stay long. Instead, continuing his flight back to Minneapolis.
The next day, Saturday, April 16th, is when Kelly Collins says she sees Prince on that bike ride.
He didn't look ill at all?
COLLINS: He looked like Prince. Yes, he looked really good.
LAH: Did anything appear wrong with his health?
COLLINS: No, I was actually shocked to see him riding his bike after learning that just the day before, you know, his plane had landed and he wasn't doing well.
LAH: That same day, Prince posts this announcement, an impromptu dance party at his residence, Paisley Park. Michael Holtz, who has deejayed two dozen times for Prince at his intimate parties, went as a spectator to the Saturday night gathering. Prince speaks to the small crowd of about 200 people for 20 minutes, he says.
MICHAEL HOLTZ, PRINCE'S STUDIO DJ: He addressed the crowd. He's like, hey, you know, if you hear any news, give it a couple days before you waste any prayers.
LAH: How did he look Saturday versus the other times?
HOLTZ: Just the same.
LAH: The same?
HOLTZ: Yes, just the same. As far as any other time I've seen him. He was always healthy looking and always energetic and, you know, he was definitely a worker. I mean, he had that worker mentality like, you know -- nothing's going to keep him down. You know, and I thought we were going to be seeing Prince well into his 80s.
LAH: The next day, Sunday, April 17th, Prince tweets "#feelingrejuvenated." Feeling well enough that he heads out to a local live music spot.
Tuesday night, Prince came here to the Dakota Jazz Club. He sat at this table, watched some live music and talked to the staff. They say nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
LOWELL PICKET, CO-OWNER, DAKOTA JAZZ CLUB: He was here for that show on Tuesday.
LAH: And everything seemed fine and normal?
PICKET: Well, it's like any other night when he would come. LAH: The sheriff's department says the next night, Wednesday, April
20th, Prince is dropped off at his home at 8:00 p.m. He spends the night alone. No one is concerned until the next morning when employees can't reach him. They find him collapsed in an elevator, then a panic call to 911.
DISPATCHER: Person down not breathing.
PARAMEDIC: CPR started.
DISPATCHER: 10-4. CPR started.
LAH: The CPR fails. He is pronounced dead at 10:07 Thursday morning. There remain big gaps in Prince's last days. Did he visit any doctors? Did he take any prescriptions?
SHERIFF JIM OLSON, CARVER COUNTY, MINNESOTA: That is part of the investigation, and that would be our normal protocol.
BERMAN: Kyung Lah joins us right now.
Kyung, any sense of the timeline of the autopsy, when we might learn a cause of death?
LAH: What we did hear from the sheriff's office today is that the autopsy is done. It was completed in four hours today.
But here's the important part. The results, the toxicology report, some of those further final details that might explain all of this, that won't be available for days, perhaps even weeks. What the sheriff's department is saying is that in part -- as part of their investigative process, they're also going to talk to possible doctors, look at any local pharmacies, his medical history and perhaps even start to pull some of the surveillance video if Prince did visits some of the local areas here. John.
BERMAN: All right, Kyung Lah, thank you so much.
Our next guest actually saw Prince on two occasions in just the last week. He's also known Prince since his earliest years performing. John Bream is a pop music reporter for the "Minneapolis Star Tribune" as well as a Prince biographer. He joins us tonight.
John, you were at the party at Paisley Park this Saturday that now has received so much attention. What was that like?
JOHN BREAM, POP MUSIC REPORTER, MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Well, there had been all this mystery about this plane emergency landing in Illinois the night before. Prince, I think, just wanted to clear the air and show that he was alive and well.
So he came on stage, said a few things, played "Chopsticks" on a brand new piano. Didn't seem anything out of the ordinary other than he said something that turned out to be sadly ironic, "Don't waste your prayers just yet."
BERMAN: Was that strange to hear from him? Or was that the type of thing, you know, that he might say ordinarily?
BREAM: I think that's a typical cryptic Prince remark. He often says things that you have no idea what they mean. He may have no idea what they mean. But he was just sort of implying -- that was his way of saying, hey, I'm OK. I'm alive and well, I think.
BERMAN: Did he look well to you? Did it seem as if there were any health issues he was dealing with?
BREAM: To me, he looked the same, but I was further back. I talked to, you know, someone who was there who thought he looked a little pale, like someone who had just been suffering from the flu.
BERMAN: The flu will do that to you. You also saw him I guess this past Tuesday at a jazz club in Minneapolis. You know, what was he doing there? And did he look all right there?
BREAM: He was at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis. He was seeing a performer by the name of Liz Wright, who's a blues, soul, gospel, folk singer. He was sitting upstairs on the balcony in his kind of private table where they pull the curtains around him.
And I ran into some of his people down below in the -- near the restroom area. And I saw him after the concert. He stayed for the whole thing.
He walked out single file with all of the people in his entourage. He had his cane thrust -- kind of slung over his shoulder strutting out with the usual Prince attitude. Looked the same as usual to me.
BERMAN: You had a long relationship. I mean, Prince is someone you've dealt with for decades. You've written a lot about his albums. And over last day, obviously, you know, when you're dealing with such genius, there's been a lot of praise. But he was so prolific. It wasn't all great, and you wrote some reviews that didn't make him too happy.
BREAM: Well, my job is to give honest assessments, and he didn't always agree with things I wrote. Maybe he was a little thin skinned at times. And, you know, if I wrote something negative, it might upset him.
There were times when he had me banned from his downtown club, Glam Slam, for a while. He burned one of my reviews live on the "Arsenio Hall Show." He doused me with the squirt gun guitar at "Purple Rain" when I was sitting in the seventh row. That was a little bit more playful.
But he respected me, and he read everything I wrote about him. He even responded to some of the things I would say, not instantly.
For instance, and this will give you an idea of his humor, we did this long interview in Denver and an apropos nothing, in the middle of something, he said, he referred to a line I had in the story seven months earlier where I suggested maybe he was wearing an afro wig. And he turned to me and said, that's no wig, that's my real hair, and John Bream, what's up your hair, where did it all go. And we both burst out laughing, of course.
BERMAN: Yes, we've been hearing about his sense of humor all day. That is funny. And if he burned your review, that is the ultimate sign of respect, I think, from an artist to a critic.
John Bream, thanks --
BREAM: And he didn't know I was in the studio audience that night.
BERMAN: He didn't know?
BREAM: He didn't know that I was there. No, it was the night after the Grammys. I'd been in L.A. to cover it, so I was actually in the "Arsenio Hall" studio audience. And I poked my friend I was sitting next to. I said, ah, that's probably my review, andI didn't know it at the time.
BERMAN: Well, congratulations on that. As I said, the ultimate sign of respect for a critic. John Bream, thanks so much for being with us.
BREAM: Thank you.
BERMAN: Prince may have been a deeply private person, but he had a wide circle of, as we've been learning, friends, admirers, collaborators.
CNN political commentator Van Jones, he was all three. He joins us now along with "Rolling Stone" contributing editor David Wild.
You know, Van, we were talking to Sheila E. this morning on "New Day," and she said Prince didn't know how to not work hard. He was just constantly working.
Let's talk about the last few weeks. You know, despite the fact he apparently had a really bad flu, he did that concert in Atlanta. He had that party Saturday night. He was at that nightclub watching an act on Tuesday. Does it surprise you that he kept this pace up when he might have been ill?
VAN JONES, FRIEND OF PRINCE: No, not really. I mean, well, first of all, you have to remember that, you know, he was incredibly healthy guy and a health conscious guy. If you're going to Paisley Park, get your cheeseburger before you get there, because when you get there, it's going to be vegan vegetarian, you know, stuff and water, and that's it. So, you know, I can't tell you how many cheeseburgers I've gotten on my way to Paisley.
So but also, you know, people call it work. I don't think he saw it as work. He saw it as just expressing himself. The same way you and I might breathe or watch, you know, the news or, you know, debate about something, that's s how he saw playing music. That's how he saw writing. That's how he saw engaging with the world.
And so yes, he -- and of course, all the great ones -- you remember Michael Jordan had the flu, and he still went out there and almost -- he helped to win a championship. The great ones play through that kind of thing, and he did not want to let his fans down.
When he had to reschedule Atlanta, he was very upset about that. He wanted to go back. He was glad he was able to go back. So I'm not surprised about anything that this guy does or did.
BERMAN: You know, David, it just seems there's no halfway. There was no halfway for Prince. You know, his first album way back when, he wrote and sang all the songs. He played every single instrument. You know, producing was so important to him at every step of the way. There were just no half measures for Prince.
DAVID WILD, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: No, I remember talking to one of his engineers who had worked with him on "Diamonds and Pearls" who said he was literally the hardest working man in show business. No disrespect to any other icons who had that title.
And I think the end for him came when Prince called and said on Christmas day, you know, let's get to work. And he wanted the night or the Christmas dinner off, and Prince didn't. There were no breaks for Prince. I think he had endless creativity.
BERMAN: You know, one of the things I read is one of the reasons he ended up playing all the music is no one else was willing to wake up as early he was to do the work that needed to be done to make all of the albums. He was the one sleeping three hours.
And Van, you know, you worked with him on things well beyond music. It wasn't just music that kept him moving. He was passionate about so many issues.
JONES: Yes. I mean I think that people see him as a musician, and what I try to say is he was a genius. He had a deep well of genius. And music was the only thing complicated enough and magical enough to express it. But that genius showed up as a humanitarian.
He was the principal architect behind Yes, We Code, which is an initiative that is getting kids from the hood ready for Silicon Valley jobs. He was a major philanthropist behind Green for All, which is getting solar panels out to poor communities.
You know, he was just an incredible humanitarian. But he did not want that known. And so he would give out money anonymously.
You've got people all across the country that have programs that have Prince's money. They don't even know that they have Prince's money, because he was so -- he said, listen, I have had enough attention. I don't want attention. What I want is for us to lift up those people who need attention.
And so, you know, he was an incredibly passionate person. He also was a news junkie. And sometimes I'd get off the air, and, you know, I hate to see a phone number coming from Minnesota, because he was going to let me know in one or two funny to him lines what I had gotten wrong that night.
BERMAN: I have my mom. You have Prince, Van Jones.
BERMAN: You know --
JONES: And by the way, I'm wearing these glasses, because I had ordered these glasses. I was going to surprise him and wear them on the air, because they're circular like his glasses. And they arrived finally at my house yesterday, the day that he died. So I'm wearing these glasses. I was going to surprise him, but I guess he's watching from a different place.
BERMAN: That's a tribute there.
David, it is interesting, right, because the hits were all written a long time ago, but he changed what he was doing in some ways, right? He put more emphasis on performing and doing other things even musically when maybe the writing wasn't as commercially successful as it had been.
WILD: I think Elton John once told me that great artists have a purple patch, a period where they can do no wrong. And the best, like Stevie Wonder and Prince, have a few. But for Prince, I think, you know, the CNN, I've been a part of the '60s, '70s, the '80s music episode is coming up.
And the truth is Prince owned the '80s. And the problem with that is the '90s and then the 21st century, it's hard to compete with what he did. No one could compete with those hits, not even Prince, in a way.
But I'm shocked by when you go back through the body of work, he did great work all the way through. There -- you know, it just was -- you can only be new, you can only be the fresh Prince once.
BERMAN: Yes, but he was Prince and will be Prince forever.
David Wild, Van Jones, thank you so much.
Just ahead for us, think you've got talent? Next, Public Enemy's Chuck D on a moment that no artist nobody could forget.
CHUCK D, PUBLIC ENEMY: Prince was getting down. We was in the audience. He pointed at Flavor and I. He said come up on stage. Let's jam. And we got up on stage and jammed. You know -- you know, he's the master. You know, the master calls.
BERMAN: Let's go crazy. The cast of Broadway's "Hamilton" last night paying tribute to Prince.
Venues across the Twin Cities this weekend, they'll be screening Prince's 1984 film, "Purple Rain," and on Sunday, at city hall in Minneapolis, the tower bells will ring out with Prince songs. That should be something.
One performer who can speak directly to the many musical faces of Prince is Public Enemy's Chuck D, who joins us tonight.
Chuck D, first of all, we're so sorry for the loss of your friend. And yesterday, I know when you learned that Prince had died, you tweeted, "It's like earth is missing a note," which is such a lovely thing to write, first of all. What went through your mind when you heard he had died?
CHUCK D: How? Why? Just like everybody was asking. It's a little surreal.
I think it's -- we're at a point where people like Prince, who actually is probably the main dude in music for the last 30 years, could do it all. The giant of our time is a guy like Prince, and when he transitions on, everybody feels it, because he's at the top of that list. And significant. Very significant in our lives, you know.
BERMAN: I know you had the opportunity to collaborate with him on an album in 1999 at Paisley Park. What was that like?
CHUCK D: In 1999. Go figure.
CHUCK D: 1999. Not the opportunity, but the honor. And I swear, you know, I was recording a cut called "Undisputed" on his -- to the "Rave Un2 the Joy," a fantastic album. And I knocked out vocals. We were back and forth in the exchange, and I swear to God, he told me to wait out in the lobby. And I was looking through the window like a kid, and it was like he was fixing a salad.
And I've been in studios, I've been around every single musician you can name, you know, of note, and I had never seen a dude that it was like his second nature, third nature just to -- he was and is music.
I had the honor and privilege to actually, you know, befriend him on stage and studio and just, you know, and just kicking it in a person to person type thing. So it was an honor, yes.
BERMAN: I'm so glad you're talking about his talent, because I'm obsessed with his musical skills. You know, you know skill. You know talent. I mean, how good was he? CHUCK D: He could do it all. In ball, they talk about Michael Jordan
could do it all. In music, it starts with Prince. The rock guys would look at Prince, and they could say what they want, but when Prince had an axe and he had that guitar, ain't nobody could mess with him.
All the black bands, the funk bands, they look at Prince, ain't nobody could mess with him. The one-man dynamo.
And when it came down to putting it down on the stage and conceptual, nobody could mess with him. And he had the ability to be revolutionary in technology and boldness and daring and also saying the things publicly, politically that artists seem to shy away from. Prince wasn't shy, especially in these last 20, 25 years. He was going at it.
But Prince, at a drop of a dime, if he said he wanted to play any arena or any stadium, he could fill it, pack it, and not only just fill it, pack it, but satisfy them.
You know, a lot of people can get people through the door, but can you send them home awe struck? Can you put the a-w-e in audience? Prince did it every time. And even -- and did the after party, too.
BERMAN: Do it twice, three times a night.
You had a chance -- he performed with Public Enemy. You were you on stage performing with public enemy and Prince. I think we have a picture of it. What was that like?
CHUCK D: Yes. You know, we happened to perform with Prince. Prince was -- we were in Australia, Melbourne, the Rod Laver Arena. Prince was getting down. We was in the audience. He pointed at Flavor and I. He said come up on stage. Let's jam. And we got up on stage and jammed. You know -- you know, he's the master. You know, the master calls.
And you know, we were talking to Sheila E this morning, and she said, you know, Prince wouldn't want people to mourn today. He'd want people to celebrate. You know, he'd want people to dance, to party. And in some ways, we've been hearing his music for the last 24 hours, and you can't help but dance.
CHUCK D: Well, you know, I think one of the things is to celebrate people while they're here. He didn't make music to fit in any category. He didn't make music to fit in any industry structure. And he always busted it up with just being better and being the greatest at any time. And then telling you about it.
So it was no hype. You know what I mean? The dude was the deal. The dude was the deal.
He was -- his latest tour was just sitting down at a piano and playing. Duh. I mean, cats talk music. They'll talk, I write songs, I write music. That dude was music. With Prince, it's hard to mic. He was -- he was everything in one.
One dude, you know. Dynamo. I don't think anybody can compare, to him. Nothing compares to you, Prince.
BERMAN: Chuck D, thank you so much for your time. And we are so sorry for your loss.
CHUCK D: No, it was our loss. It's the world's loss. It's not a personal thing. And I'm pretty sure he would be clear to tell everybody that.
BERMAN: Thanks, Chuck D.
CHUCK D: Thank you.
BERMAN: We're going to have more on Prince coming up, including his epic fights with the music industry and the legacy that he left as a businessman.
And later, you will hear the Trump campaign's behind closed door pitch to top party members and a promise that the Trump people see and are voting for will not be the Trump that they get if he wins the nomination.
BERMAN: Way before Taylor Swift took on Apple, there was Prince was taking on the record companies. From the start of his career, he fought to make music on his own terms. It wasn't easy. There were contract fights, copyright battles and most famously, the name change.
More on all of it now from CNN's Jason Carol.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He burst on the music scene as a teenager in the late '70s, and from the beginning, he rebelled against the industry. Prince turned down his first contract offer, because he wouldn't have creative control.
Beyond his musical genius, he was also known for his unyielding defense of the rights to his art, his music.
PRINCE, MUSIC ARTIST: I don't consider it proper that my creations belong to someone else. I can go up to a little kid on the street and say, do you know that I don't own "Purple Rain," and they're appalled by that.
[20:30:03] CARROLL: Prince semi-autobiographical movie "Purple Rain" mirrored the success of the companion album in 1984. Well like so many musicians, Prince didn't own the rights to his music, not even his name.
JONES: That was a searing injury for him. He said hold on a second. My mother named me Prince. How can a corporation tell me I can't use the name my mother gave me? CARROLL: In the early '90s Prince went to war with his record label Warner Brothers in a very public way, writing the word slave on his cheek during performances and for meetings with Warner executives.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL SENIOR EDITOR: He led the way for artists to feel like they could speak back to record companies, and say what they wanted. It wasn't so much money as what that he wanted to speak out as an artist, they have control over his own work.
NELSON: I think once I started writing slave on my face, I pretty much knew the outcome. I mean you have to understand that that word on one's face pretty much changes the dynamic of any meeting you're in when they see it.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Yeah. How did people react when they did see it?
NELSON: Well, the record company didn't really say too much.
CARROLL: The battle with his label is so intense, Prince eventually changed his name to a symbol, impossible to pronounce. His fans for a time referred to him as the artist formerly known as Prince.
Was the name change just some sort of way of having some sort of control over his art and who he was?
JEM ASWAD, BILLBOARD SENIOR EDITOR: Whether they were symbolic actions, because Prince was eccentric. Or whether they were actual legal ways to try to get around to get out of his contract isn't really clear.
CARROLL: Just about two years ago, Prince and Warner Brothers finally settled their differences, he returned to the label after some 18 years. And while financial terms were not disclosed, Prince regained ownership of his catalog and of course his name, but he still battled the industry he called exploited. Last summer Prince withdrew his music from all streaming services, except Jay-Z streaming service, title.
It isn't clear who will now control the artist's vast collection of music, both published and unpublished. What is clear though through all the legal battles, name changes, his music thankfully lives on.
Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: What a legacy. Joining me now, Sasha Frere- Jones a music journalist and cultural critic and Brian Hiatt, senior writer for Rolling Stone, and Bryan you interviewed Prince back in 2014 the interview is going to be published in an upcoming edition of Rolling Stone. What did you know from him about why he had such a bad relationship with the big labels in music industry?
BRIAN HIATT, ROLLING STONE SENIOR WRITER: I think it's really about his desire for control and for freedom. I think he wanted to have complete control over not just his music but his artistic life. You know, when to record, and when to release. And then so, you know, that was the essence of it. It's also just he wanted to be the only one making these decisions.
BERMAN: And Sasha, that control extended I supposed beyond the recording studio too, when he was performing, he wanted control over the venue, control over the concert hall, control over everything.
SASHA FRERE-JONES, MUSIC JOURNALIST: Absolutely true. Definitely.
BERMAN: To the point where I was reading you were saying that he -- at one point he took 100 percent of the receipts for every venue he performed in?
FRERE-JONES: This happened recently, so I'm not sure exactly how many shows it applied to, but I definitely ended up at a show in downtown Manhattan which I didn't even believe was happening, I couldn't, you know, why didn't I know about it, it was Prince, but it was true.