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Article

Prince: Janelle Monae celebrates her 'fearless' mentor, says 'He stood for the weirdos'

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This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com.

Sometimes the best way to deal with grief is to face it head on.  

That’s exactly what Janelle Monae did in the wake of her mentor Prince‘s death this week.  

Monae, 30, dedicated her entire set at Jazz Fest 2016 in New Orleans on Friday to the late pop star, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.  

“Oh, we’re gonna party. We’re gonna celebrate Prince,” she said after taking the stage. “My entire set is dedicated to him. He was free. He was fearless. He was music. He was rock and roll. He was on beat.”

She continued: “I am because he was. We’re gonna break boundaries, just like he did.” 

Monae performed two of Prince’s songs, “Take Me with U” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” in addition to her own set, and talked about his legacy throughout her time onstage. 

“He stood for the weirdos. He stood for the unique and he stood for those who couldn’t stand up for ourselves,” she said. “This is a time when we have to protect ourselves as human beings. Not black or white. As human beings.”  

After her performance, Monae, who collaborated with Prince on “Givin’ ‘Em What They Love” on her The Electric Lady album, continued to eulogize the late star on Twitter.  

“Truthfully, I am in a state of shock & disbelief that my close friend, my confidante, & hero has passed,” she wrote. “This is a different kind of pain.”

She added: “I pray the world knows how much of a selfless giver and kind human being you were. Just a giver to so many.” 

Prince was found unresponsive in his Minnesota estate on Thursday morning and pronounced dead shortly after. Since the news of his death, countless stars and fans alike have paid tribute to the 57-year-old star with dance parties and heartfelt social media posts.