'You gave me goosebumps,' he told the group
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Throughout his illustrious career, Prince had long been a supporter of fellow artists, elevating newer acts on his tours and through collaborations. “I don’t need to be any more famous,” he told EW in an interview conducted at his home and studio in Paisley Park last year, instead suggesting our reporter learn about his new producer-engineer Joshua Welton. “I want you to write about Josh, so that one day when he’s producing Beyoncé’s next record you can say, ‘I was on that.'”

Back in 2005, he had the same enthusiasm for other artists, including Beyoncé and her group Destiny’s Child. “He came to a show in Las Vegas, one in particular during Destiny’s Child last tour,” Michelle Williams told EW in an interview conducted Thursday, after news of Prince’s death broke. “They were like Prince is here. We were all excited and he came in like a beast in the night. We saw him backstage and he waited for us to come off stage. I’m telling you he was so swift. He was so encouraging. He said, ‘You gave me goosebumps.'”

Continued Williams, “His publicist, who had to make the statement today, she was Destiny’s Child’s publicist and she’s currently Beyonce’s publicist. We are all connected.” (“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, said in a statement provided to news outlets. “There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”)

In the same interview at Paisley Park, Prince also called Beyoncé one of his favorite artists of the moment along with Tori Amos, Rita Ora, Willow Smith, and Janelle Monáe. “I ain’t mad at anything she does,” he said. “Anything. Those are great songs.”

Williams, like many artists who came forward on Thursday after hearing news of Prince’s death, remembers his impact on music and pop culture. “I wanted to play the drums based off of his concert on VHS, the Sign of the Times concert,” she says. “I fell in love with music not just listening to the melodies and vocals but every instrumentation, saxophone, drums, keyboards, everything. Prince was a part of people making babies, getting married, breakups, getting together. He made such an impact and I hate that he’s gone and it’s not supposed to be.”