Lianne La Havas pays tribute to Prince: ‘He treated everyone like it was their birthday’

Pair worked together in Prince's final years

Lianne La Havas has spoken about Prince, remembering her friend fondly and revealing the songwriting hints he passed on to her.

La Havas and Prince became unlikely friends in the musician’s last years, with Prince performing live at her home in Leyton, east London in 2014.

Speaking for the first time since his death, La Havas told BBC Radio 2‘s Jo Whiley that Prince’s presence made others instantly feel good. “He treated everyone like it was their birthday, you’d always feel really special around him,” she said “There was an older brother/ mentor role that he assumed. I was happy to hear what he had to say and the suggestions that he had to make.”

SEE MORE: How Did Prince Die? A Look At The Evidence Currently Available

Expanding on the precise tips and advice he passed on, La Havas added: “I remember one time he emailed me about song subject matters. He said ‘Have you ever written a song about a place that you can go to? Maybe it would be good if people could actually go to that place’. He referenced ‘Abbey Road’ and I thought that was good advice. There have been numerous things like that which I carry with me. There was a sense that he needed to impart his wisdom and whoever was close to him at the time was lucky enough.”

Meanwhile, her favourite memory of her time with him involved a special live performance. “He invited me to sing with him at Essence Festival in New Orleans and he invited me on stage to sing in front of 80,000 people. We played ‘Sometimes It Snows In April’ together. I remember him teaching it to me in his hotel troom the night before on guitar. He was on piano and that’s one of my fondest memories.”


Last week police confirmed that they are looking into the possibility that Prince died from an overdose.

After police officials confirmed that Prince was found with prescription drugs at the time of his death, it was announced that investigators are looking into whether Prince died from an overdose and whether he had been prescribed drugs in the weeks leading to his death.

However, police have denied reports that they have asked for help on the case from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). A warrant has also been granted to search Prince’s Paisley Park home as part of the investigation.

Since his death, tributes to Prince have ranged far and wide with President Barack Obama stating “Today, the world lost a creative icon” and musicians including Madonna, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Katy Perry leading the tributes.