Tuesday (June 7) would’ve marked the 58th birthday of the legendary Prince Rogers Nelson, or better known as just Prince. Fans all over the world paid tribute to the late artist, including singer Alicia Keys who posted her performance of the song “How Come You Don’t Call Me,” at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22.
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) June 7, 2016
Keys was given permission by the Prince of funk himself to remake the track back in 2001 for her studio album, Songs in a Minor. In her shared clip, she tells the story of that memorable exchange.
“First time I heard that song I was like ‘wow,’ so I recorded it,” she said. “Then I found out that I had to ask the song writer if I could put it on there. The songwriter happened to be named Prince.”
At the time Prince had never allowed anyone to sing one of his songs before, making the young artist nervous.
“I just felt like what am I gonna say? How am I gonna convince him?,” she recalled. “He was like, ‘You know I never let anybody do my songs, right?’ I was like, ‘I heard that before,'” she continued. “He was like, ‘But I’ve been watching you. I’ve been seeing what you’re doing and I’d love for you to do my song.’”
In the words of the Keys herself, “there are many Kings, but there is only one Prince.”