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Autopsy Underway for Music Icon Prince; Sex & Music: Inside Prince's Complicated Love Life; Prince's Secret Songs: Inside His Musical Vault. Aired 14-14:30p ET
Aired April 22, 2016 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:30] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You are watching CNN on this Friday afternoon. Thank you so much for being with me. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
We begin this hour as we did just around this time yesterday. Prince, a musical knight, is gone. And we may soon be getting answers to the mystery surrounding his sudden death.
I want you to first take a look at the front pages. These are newspapers from all around the world. And in classic Prince fashion, skies everywhere have been turning purple. People are running everywhere to remember the genius of Prince and his artistry, including the president of the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I love Prince because he put out great music and he was a great performer. I didn't know him well. He came to perform at the White House last year and was extraordinary and creative and original. And full of energy.
And so, it's a remarkable loss and I'm staying at Winfield 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Our ambassador has a turntable. And by the way, I mean, these pictures coming in from all the memorials, the flowers, the candles enveloping his home, Paisley Park, just west of Minneapolis. And this Billboard cover, a tribute to a man who topped charts and rocked souls.
There were all-night parties in Brooklyn, outside of Spike Lee's home and Minneapolis where Prince played to standing room only crowds and the people that admired Prince, feeling his loss today and some too distraught to fully express what they're feeling. Watch what happened with Stevie Wonder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVIE WONDER, SINGER: The heartbreak is to see this man who's so talented be taken away from us but I know that the Almighty God has far greater things for him to do.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Is there any song you want to sing a little of or play a little of? I don't want to put you on the spot if you're not up for it.
WONDER: Yes. I think I would probably break down.
WONDER: If I do a song right now. But, you know, he was incredible. And I'm just glad that I was able to say to him, I love you the last time I saw him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I can tell you that a little later on he did play and you will hear it later on. Right now, what every Prince fan wants to know is what happened? How did we lose such a musical legend at age 57?
I can tell you that an autopsy is under way, and just about two hours from now, we could learn more about what happened when the local sheriff's department is holding a news conference. So, stay tuned for that.
Let's begin our coverage with Stephanie Elam. She's outside Paisley Park with more on the investigation and the stream of fans -- I see those purple balloons, Stephanie. Set the scene for us.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brooke.
It's just -- it's awe-inspiring to see the people coming out here. I'm here since the middle of the night. You can see how people are coming out here. They've been coming since the sun has come up, continuing their procession here to pay respects.
So many people showing up wearing purple, so many people bringing their children in purple. You see people bringing flowers, there's notes and even artwork that people out here because this was really -- Prince was a native son. He's from Minnesota. He never left. He always counted this as his home.
And that's one of the things that people believe that's why he stayed here was the very fact that he could be himself. People would see him out and around in town. He would ask for some privacy and they gave it to him.
So, he would go and take care of errands like he -- anybody else and kind of crazy talking about a superstar known throughout the world for his music. Music that is influenced so many artists.
Justin Timberlake with a statement just related to that, that Prince is a part of each one of his songs. And I know throughout the years, Brooke, you probably the same way, you would listen to a song and you're like, that sounds like Prince, influenced by Prince. BALDWIN: Oh, yes.
ELAM: You would hear that message. Definitely. So the loss being felt here may be a little harder just because they were so proud that this iconic artist continued to call Minnesota home.
[14:05:05] BALDWIN: Hmm, hmm. Yeah. Talking about this for two hours yesterday, singing every word to every song we played for folks all around the world.
Stephanie Elam, thank you so much.
You know, the power of Prince, his energy, you feel it everywhere, even on Broadway. The casts of "Hamilton" and "The Color Purple" couldn't contain themselves after the final shows last night. Singer and Oscar Award winner Jennifer Hudson leading the crowd in "Purple Rain."
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
BALDWIN: Hmm. Prince's majesty touched so many even in the galaxies far, far away. Let me show you this, purple nebula. NASA took a photo and tweeted it in Prince's honor.
Joining me now, former Access Hollywood host, Shaun Robinson, and "Fusion" executive director, Dodai Stewart.
So nice to talk to you. I hate the circumstances. We're all feeling it.
Dodai, I want to begin with you. You wrote a beautiful piece talking about the Prince's startling contradictory image, one of filthy purity, or pure filth and feminized masculinity slithered into the American consciousness.
Talk to me about that. And how, you know, you write about his blackness and his sexuality.
DODAI STEWART, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, FUSION: Well, he was really sexy from his head down to his toes. And I think it was part of us -- core part of the self expression. But it wasn't aggressive. It was flirty. It was seductive. It was respectful of women and that's part of what made him such an icon.
BALDWIN: And, Dodai, I'm going to come back to you in a second.
But, Shaun, you went to what, one of his parties? Tell me about that.
SHAUN ROBINSON, FRIEND OF PRINCE: You know, I was fine, Brooke, right before I started this interview but seeing all those tributes now --
BALDWIN: I know. Goose bumps.
ROBINSON: Yes, it gives me goose bumps. Gives me goose bumps and brings just everything back. Yeah. I think maybe I went to maybe 25 concerts. Prince is doing a string of concerts here in L.A. a few years ago and I think I went like every single night.
There was one night I didn't go and I was in my hometown of Detroit and I got a call from him, his assistant that said, Prince want you to introduce him on stage tonight. I'm like, oh great. One night I'm not there. He wants me to introduce him stage. I said I'm so sorry but I'm away.
You know, gosh. I mean, I can't -- I can't tell you, Brooke, about the community of people that Prince brought together. This is one thing that I hadn't had a chance to say yet in the interviews I'm doing. I've been reaching out to a lot of my friends who were personal friends of Prince's, also, and would always, you know, come to his house. He would gather all of us.
You know, he would throw a party. We would all be there. We knew we would see each other the next time at Prince's place. Or we would see each other at his house at a concert, or at dinner, something like that. And that sense of community that we had, the nuclear is now -- it's now gone.
And that's really, really tough to really grasp and realize it's no longer going to be.
BALDWIN: I love how hearing that, he brought the people together, I was talking to a friend of a friend, as well, saying after shows in a hotel room and get this phone call from someone saying, show up in the lobby at this time. You've be driven to this place and then a huge party this he's bringing all these people together.
And also, Dodai, you bring up the fact that he was a Gemini and how that -- he epitomized this duality. Explain.
STEWART: Yes. I think he was full of contradictions. He could play at the piano very softly but also just shred on guitar. And he would have lyrics about, you know, am I a man or woman, am I straight or gay? And just like inhabiting that, the dual nature of his zodiac sign.
[14:10:05] BALDWIN: And how you say, you know, no black man would wear -- no straight black man to wear makeup let alone have women, you know, falling at his feet.
STEWART: He looked gorgeous. He was so sexy.
BALDWIN: Shaun, I was talking to Latoya Jackson yesterday on TV saying to me how it all sort of brought back the death of her brother, and you're saying that when Michael Jackson died, it crushed Prince, right?
ROBINSON: Right, right. I was working at that time, I was working for my old show "Access Hollywood" and when Michael died, you know, I reached out to Prince as a reporter and as a friend. And I remember his assistant was saying, you know, this is -- he's not -- he's not really sure how he feels because this was a death that really impacted him and also made him aware of his own mortality. He saw that all of the accolades giving that people, the word was
giving Michael Jackson and I think it even made him if I could speak for him, I think it even made him more aware of how people revered him and how they looked at him.
BALDWIN: Do you think that changed him at all?
ROBINSON: Pardon me?
BALDWIN: Do you think it changed him at all?
ROBINSON: You know, he did not personally speak with me about those kinds of feelings, Prince would really keep inside. But he -- I remember him telling us stories about Michael Jackson and how, you know, they had this -- I don't know if you would call it a friendship but it was definitely a mutual respect that those two had for each other.
And, you know, he was -- when you talk about what this change Prince, the fact that he changed so many of us, is what I really focus on. He was always -- I don't know, Brooke, if you heard me talk about this before but he was always pushing us. I mean, the people in his circle who he would allow in his inner circle -- I mean, there have, been times when it was just me, Prince and one other person and we would have these long, very long intimate conversations and he was always pushing us to do better., to be better, to level up, as I like to call it. And to use our platform to help other people, like what are you doing to change the world?
He didn't want to have -- the quickest way to lose Prince's attention was to just, like, talk about the weather, just something light or just, you know, something with no substance. He wanted to have really deep conversations with the people that he was around. He wanted to talk about changing the world and --
BALDWIN: He wanted you to bring it because he brought it. Professionalism. Discipline. We're talking to someone later who started his vault who I know will tell me tales of just how exceptional he was and how he was so involved in just every aspect of his life, his business, everything else.
Dodai Stewart, thank you. Shaun Robinson, thank you so much.
And again, as we continue to hear these incredible anecdotes, we will also get a little bit more on the investigation into Prince's death. That news conference coming up in just a bit. Of course, we'll take it live for you.
Coming up next, though, sex and music. Prince's love life was epic. It was complicated. Hear which type of women he was attracted to and a tragic loss of his son.
Plus, I just mentioned the secret songs inside the vault. Prince reportedly with hundreds of unreleased songs. We'll talk live to the sound engineer who started the vault.
[14:18:18] BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN on this Friday afternoon. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.
It's not clear where the quote came from but friends and fans of Prince are reviving it today, nothing how spot on it is. The quote is this, Prince, quote, "The only guy who can steal your girl and her wardrobe." The super star's life was full of love and love lost.
CNN's Randi Kaye has more on the women who not only stole Prince's heart but inspired so much of his work.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She was his drummer, then eventually his fiancee. As Sheila E told it to "The Daily News", somewhere in the middle of a European tour, Prince mouthed to her during a song, "Marry me" and the answer was yes. The two had reportedly met at one of his concerts in 1978.
SHEILA E., PRINCE'S FORMER FIANCEE AND DRUMMER: I was walking backstage to introduce myself and he was in the mirror and he shook my hand and he goes, "I know who you are." And I went, huh? He says, "I've been following your career."
KAYE: She later signed a contract with Prince's production company and Prince oversaw his first album "The Glamorous Life."
Another of Prince's loves was his protege Denise Matthews. The former model who became a singer began dating Prince after meeting him at the American Music Awards in the 1980s. "Jet" magazine said she later claimed Prince was the only man she ever truly loved. Prince called her Vanity and built a group Vanity 6 around her, encouraging her to be sexy and record such memorable songs as "Nasty Girl."
After several years together, she and Prince split. When she died earlier this year, he dedicated a song to her on tour.
[14:20:01] Madonna also had a relationship of sorts with Prince. The two dated briefly back in 1985. Prince later helped produce her 1989 album "Like a Prayer", which he was also featured on. The two sang a duet for the track "Love Song."
Years later, the friendship soured. Though just last fall, Madonna attended one of Prince's famous late night jam sessions at Paisley Park in Minnesota. After her own concert, she grabbed a VIP seat as Prince took the stage for his own 2:00 a.m. show.
Prince met the stunning Carmen Electra when she was just 18 around 1990. They dated for a while and Prince produced a rap album for her. It was Prince who decided she should change her name to Carmen. She recalled how it happened to Oprah. CARMEN ELECTRA, DATED PRINCE: The name of the song was "Carmen on
Top". My name's Tara so I was confused. I loved the song. I love it. But he said, uh-huh. You're not Tara. You're not Tara. You're Carmen.
KAYE: Prince's first wife Mayte called him her first crush.
MAYTE GARCIA, PRINCE'S EX-WIFE: I got married when I was 22. I can't really pinpoint a time when it became romantic. I think it evolved, you know, through the heavens. I don't know.
KAYE: As she tells it, they first met when he asked her backstage at one of his concerts. She was 16. She eventually joined his band and the two started seriously dating. They married on Valentine's Day in 1996.
Mayte Garcia was her full name. Prince was smitten so it's no surprise she inspired many of his songs including "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World."
But the marriage wasn't meant to be. The couple lost two children, one son lived for only a week. The other was a miscarriage. Mayte told reporters it was hard to move forward as a couple after that. They split in 1998 and divorced in 2000.
Prince tried marriage again in 2001 marrying Manuela Testolini. "People Magazine" reported the two met while working for his charitable foundation. He was 43. She was just 24.
When they tied the knot, the magazine reported his new wife actually took his last name Nelson which the singer never used. This marriage reportedly lasted five years. After which she filed for an amicable divorce.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
BALDWIN: From Prince the lover to the creator, he made a lot of music. Reportedly, he released 39 albums during his life. But that is far from all of his works. Prince had what is known as the vault to stash secret music never released.
And with me now, the woman who ultimately helped start the vault. She is Susan Rogers. She was Prince's sound engineer.
Susan, thank you so much for taking the time today.
SUSAN ROGERS, PRINCE'S FORMER SOUND ENGINEER: Thank you for having me.
BALDWIN: So this was -- take me back -- what, '83? Just he had a lot of loose tapes lying around and you said, hang on a second, we need to put this somewhere?
ROGERS: When I joined him in '83, it was before we built Paisley Park and there was a warehouse he rehearsed and he was amassing tapes pretty quickly. And, occasionally, he'd asked me to grab this title and that one, and I realized I needed to be able to find them.
And I started to bring them together, getting them in one room and eventually we had to rent a storage facility, a document storage facility just near the rehearsal space so that we could have all these tapes so they could be in a safe place, and we began cataloging them then.
That's when as we were doing the blueprints for Paisley Park, the idea came up of making a not only a tape storage space but one that could serve as just a protector of some of the things that belonged to his legacy.
BALDWIN: So take me inside Paisley Park and inside of this vault. How big is it? How many tapes? CDs? What have you?
ROGERS: OK. I'm relying on memory. It's been a long time since I've been there. It would have been the early -- mid-'90s was the last time I was there. So, it may have changed. But at that time, it was the size of a really large bank vault, maybe like a master bedroom in a home.
The door is like a vault door. It was underground and it could serve as a storm shelter, in case there was a tornado warning or something like that.
BALDWIN: No kidding.
ROGERS: Rows and rows -- oh yes. Rows of steel shelves and packed with analog tapes in those days. When it became obvious analog was dead and now, we're working in digital, I suppose, I would hope someone from Prince's crew would have transferred those analog tapes to digital, which take up far less space. But for all I know, those analog tapes are still there.
[14:25:00] BALDWIN: How many people do you think have the combination to get in the vault?
ROGERS: Oh, I don't know. I'm sorry. I can't answer this question for you. I assume whoever is managing Paisley Park, certainly must be able to get in and out. I assume that whoever is his head engineer would also have full access, because that's what you would need to do, run in and grab stuff.
But now, I mean, for the past 15 years, I would also assume that he would be storing things in secure servers somewhere.
BALDWIN: Uh-huh. Talk about, you know, hearing about Prince's perfectionism, you know, really involved in every aspect of his work, his business, the instrumentation, everything. But you have a note, what, for young musicians that he wasn't a perfectionist everywhere.
ROGERS: Of course. Yes. A lot of musicians may feel that perfectionism is the gold standard and what you want to aim for and can hold you back because you'll never get everything perfect. At some point, you have to call it done and you have to release your creations.
He was -- Prince was a perfectionist with the execution of his music. It was the timing and the pitch were perfect, perfect, perfect. He was in the time I worked for him not at all a perfectionist about the sound quality. He let me cut corners in the interest of going as fast as possible. And believe me, a lot of corners were cut.
BALDWIN: Susan Rogers, I am so sorry you lost a friend and thank you so much. I'm hanging on all these different stories and details. I think everyone is watching. Thank you so much.
ROGERS: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Still ahead, we know with Prince's autopsy under way, we'll talk more about the investigation into his death and the events leading up to him being found unresponsive in an elevator at that Paisley Park studio. Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will join us on that.
Also, performance politics? A revealing new audio tape obtained by CNN, what Donald Trump senior adviser is admitting behind closed doors about the Republican frontrunners', quote/unquote, "real persona". We'll talk about that, next.