Prince would have been 58 today. In honor of his birthday, Alicia Keys pays tribute to her idol. Happy Birthday, Prince,” Keys wrote on Instagram. “The one and only. ???????????? Thinking of you today… My tribute to you.”
The homage is a filmed version of her Tribeca Film Festival performance of the song “How Come You Don’t Call Me” at the Highline Ballroom on April 22 of this year, just a day after his passing.
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) June 7, 2016
The track is special because she was able to remake it for her 2001 album Songs in A Minor. In the clip, Keys shares an anecdote about how she managed to get the Purple One’s permission to redo the cut.
“[Prince] had never allowed anybody to sing that song before,” she says. “The day came and somehow we arranged a phone call with Prince. At the time, I had never spoken to Prince before. I was so nervous. I was like, ‘What am I gonna say? How am I gonna convince him? I don’t want to beg him. But I kind of want to beg him.’
“He was like, ‘You know I never let anybody do my songs, right?’” she continued. “I was like, ‘I heard that before.’ 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.’”
Watch Alicia retell this story about “one of the masters and the greatest teachers and most incredible beings” below.