Nearly a week after Prince's unexpected death, Padma Lakshmi is remembering him as "a huge influence" on her life. The Top Chef host recalled meeting the late icon and what it was like to be around him, sharing that she even danced with during his last Saturday Night Live performance.
"He was very mischievous. You think that's an act, but he's very witty. He had a great sense of humor," Padma told People. "I didn't know how small or how much shorter he was than me when I first was talking to him like this. That was a shock. He was 5'2". And barefoot, I'm 5'9". It was incredible to see him live."
Padma also recalled the profound influence he had on her in the wake of his death on April 21. "He was a huge influence on my life and my adolescence. I grew up with Prince," she said. "I remember seeing Apollonia when I was a teenage girl and doing my makeup like that. It was a really big part of my growing up."
As it turns out, the feeling was mutual as Prince was also a fan of Padma's work. "He was a Top Chef fan. He was very generous," she said. "He was funny. He knew what it was."
Padma opened up about his passing on Instagram last week, but elaborated to People, noting that his death has been one of the hardest to deal with. "I don't remember being this upset when any other performer passed away. Not Michael Jackson, not anybody. Bowie, yes, because I know Iman and David," she said "And I knew Prince too, but I wasn't that close to him. But I just knew him. I've been depressed all week."
Check out some of Padma's vintage modeling photos and see if you can spot any of Prince's influence, below.