Rosario Dawson Recounts the First Time She Met Prince


Actress Rosario Dawson will never forgive herself for disappointing Prince with her lack of musical skills during their first meeting back in 1998.

The Sin City beauty was just 19 when Prince got a hold of her phone number and invited her to his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota to record a spoken word piece for his 1999: The New Master remix album.

Rosario, who the late superstar called the “voice of a generation”, jumped at the opportunity to meet her music idol – but the get-together was cringe-worthy from beginning to end.

The actress reveals the first look she got from Prince was one of disdain as soon as she stepped out of the car.

“He had a limo pick me up, that had a white shag carpet…,” she recalled on Live With Kelly on Friday (21Apr17), the first anniversary of his death. “Of course, I’m wearing all black so I walked out covered in white fuzz, so as soon as he saw me, he was like, ‘Hmm…'”

Once inside Prince’s studio hideaway, Rosario failed to impress again after the singer suggested they warm up with an impromptu jam session.

“Then, one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, he goes, ‘OK, before we do the recording, let’s jam out or something.’ He puts you on the spot!” she exclaimed. “And I was like, ‘I really can’t play anything,’ and he goes, ‘Oh come on, everyone can play something!’ (I said), ‘No, no, I really can’t.'”

Prince ignored her protests and instructed her to get on the drums, but he quickly nixed that idea when he heard her efforts: “He was like, ‘Yeah… no…'” she laughed.

The curt exchange left a lasting impression on Rosario and she was hanging her head in shame for the rest of the day.

She said, “If you listen to… what I did, the monologue, it’s a brilliant thing that he wrote, but it’s probably the worst acting that I’ve ever done because the entire time I was just sitting there like, ‘I just disappointed Prince. In Paisley Park. Who does that?’.”

And the star was secretly kicking herself for not picking up a few drumming tips from her cousin when they were younger.

“I was so mad,” she explained. “My uncle (Shannon Dawson) is a musician, he was in a band called Konk… and his son plays drums. We’ve always talked about… (forming a band), like, go play punk or whatever (as kids), and I was sitting there like, ‘Yeah, I didn’t get around to that.'”

Prince eventually forgave Rosario for her musical shortcomings and they became good friends, and after the New York TV chat, the actress took to Instagram to pay a sweet tribute to her late pal, who died from a drug overdose on 21 April, 2016.

Purple Rain in NYC in honor of his majesty Prince and his Purple Reign… #LegendsNeverDie

A post shared by rosariodawson (@rosariodawson) on

Sharing a photo of Times Square with her camera lens covered in raindrops, she wrote, “Purple Rain in NYC in honor of his majesty Prince and his Purple Reign… #LegendsNeverDie”.”

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