Following the unexpected passing of Prince, Erika Jayne is remembering the late icon as one of the most influential artists in music, citing his ability to be free creatively as one of the lasting impressions of his legacy. "Prince was free. He was sexually free, he was free in all areas — free to be himself, free to be different. And he embraced feminine qualities, masculine qualities and I think that that kind of set the bar for everyone," she told The Daily Dish exclusively. "You could really be yourself, and wear lingerie on stage. [Laughs.] He had a sexual energy about him that was undeniable."
One of Erika's earliest memories of Prince took place when her mom took her to see his classic film debut in 1984's Purple Rain. "I fell in love right then and there. I had to have the soundtrack," she said. "I know every lyric to every song on Purple Rain. And I have never stopped being influenced or inspired by Prince."
Specifically, one of the videos released from the Purple Rain album left a lasting impression on Erika. "The first time I ever saw when he was standing up in the bathtub for "When Doves Cry" and, OK, I about had a meltdown," The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills singer told us. "I was a kid. And he was standing up in that steamy bathtub, f***ing amazing."
Years later she would get to meet the Purple one himself, after she worked with his former drummer Sheila E. on her debut album. "I was fortunate enough to attend a show in Vegas where she was playing with Prince and I got to meet Prince through her. And I even covered Vanity 6's "Sex Shooter" on my first album [2009's Pretty Mess]. I'm kind of obsessed with all things Prince and all things inspired by Prince," she said, before recalling her encounter with him. "My knees shook. I mean I was shaking, to be honest. I met him backstage before he went on and very briefly and it was a great experience. There's very few in the world that are as talented as that."
With Prince gone, Erika isn't sure another artist can step up and fill the void that's been left in the music industry. "I don't think there's anyone that's going to fill Prince's shoes," she said. "I'm just looking at his discography right now and I mean there's so many hits and so much material, it's going to be very tough for anyone to ever even compare to this man."
Born Prince Rogers Nelson in 1958, the Minneapolis native was a skilled singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor who became known for his flamboyant and eccentric persona. He won seven Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and sold over 100 million records during his illustrious career, which included the release of unforgettable singles like "Purple Rain," "1989," and "When Doves Cry."