The world is still mourning the loss of Prince, who passed away at just 57 years old. Many of his fans would describe “The Purple One” as legendary or iconic. But supermodel Damaris Lewis came to know the “When Doves Cry” singer as a regular person, “just like you and me.”
“I think Prince has done an amazing job at building an immense amount of respectability around his career,” Lewis replied when I asked what it was like to be out in public with the superstar. Earlier this month, the model joined my show to chat about some of her charity work; this past March Lewis and Prince sat courtside at a Warriors/Thunder NBA game in California. “He says hello and does what he has to do but at the end of the day, people really respect his space.”
As far as any hang time with Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry, Lewis said that didn’t happen because they arrived to their seats just after the tip-off and left right at halftime.
“We are really big basketball fans,” she told me, just weeks before the singer’s demise. “I’ve been his dancer/muse since 2012; really good friend and we watch basketball. That day, we just went to the game.”
Prince played Oracle Arena, home to the defending NBA Champions, the following evening.
Lewis, who first met the “Purple Rain” singer six years ago, has been a guest on my show a handful of times over the past years. In one instance, I asked her what the kids she was mentoring through the Garden of Dreams Foundation could learn from Prince.
“Working with Prince, the one thing I notice is that he hears everything,” she noted. “He’s very observant and that’s important if you’re going to go in to a career in entertainment. You need to know what’s happening all around you at all times.
“Prince is definitely a person who has taught me to be very aware.”
Lewis’ comments reflect some reporting this past week from TMZ, which estimated Prince’s net worth at about $150 million. The website, which also broke the news of his death, said that figure could be much higher but Prince almost always refused to license his music catalog.
The reason? Like other artists, Prince was protective of his art, and was probably aware of others’ ulterior motives. This along with his notoriously private lifestyle and tight inner circle only added to the mystique and aura of the artist.
And in a day where so many public figures over-share their lives with others, this aspect of Prince’s life may have drawn fans closer to him. The artist has posthumously sold over 3.5 million albums and singles. His LPs “The Very Best Of Prince” and “Purple Rain” re-entered the Billboard 200 album chart as one and two respectively.