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Ellen DeGeneres pays tribute to Prince

‘The Ellen Show’ revisits Prince’s first-ever performance on the show

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Michael Rozman / Warner Bros.

Back in 2003, when Ellen DeGeneres first launched her talk show, she sometimes struggled to get big stars on the program. But one star in particular gladly agreed to show up for an interview and a performance: Prince.

DeGeneres paid tribute to Prince on Tuesday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, revisiting his first appearance on the show.

“You’ve heard me say it many times before, but the coolest part of having this job is that I get to meet incredible artists and heroes of mine, and they perform right here in front of me,” DeGeneres said. “And of all the bands and artists that I’ve had on the show, there was no one like Prince. He was an artist. He was an icon, a genius, and he was kind enough to appear on my show in the very first season in 2003 — which you have to understand is a big deal because most stars wait to see if a talk show is going to be successful. They wait to see if it’s a cool thing to do before they say yes, so he did it on the first season, and it meant the world to me.”

RELATED: Prince: His Life in Pictures

DeGeneres also played clips from his first interview with her, as well as his live performance of “Kiss.” Watch DeGeneres’ tribute below.