On April 22, one day after Prince died at the age of 57, Alicia Keys paid tribute to the late music icon at the Tribeca Film Festival with a performance of his song “How Come You Don’t Call Me.” Today, on the icon’s birthday (June 7th), she posted the video of that performance.
“How Come” was a part of her 2001 debut album Songs In A Minor. During the performance, Keys revealed just how special the song is to her: she told the audience the story of when she asked him over the phone for permission to cover it.
“[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.’
She continued, “He was like, ‘You know I never let anybody do my songs, right?’ 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.’”
What an honor!
Listen to Alicia’s story and watch her April 22nd performance below: