Prince was a petite person with a gigantic shadow. Even a bona fide legend like Bonnie Raitt was so intimidated to be the same room with the late “Purple Rain” icon that she basically changed her whole life before making a pilgrimage to Paisley Park for a 1980s summit.
In fact, Raitt, 72, told Kelly Clarkson on Thursday (April 21) on the singer’s syndicated daytime talker, she was so freaked out at the prospect of appearing in a video with the Purple One that she gave up drinking and lost a bunch of weight beforehand.
Raitt said Prince thought the singer/blues guitar legend had been so mistreated by her label that he invited her to his Minneapolis recording compound to work on an album together. But before they could get convene their six-string summit, she had a skiing accident the resulted in a broken thumb, which pushed back their collaboration for a few months.
“I was like 35-40 pounds heavier and I went, ‘You know, if I do a video with this guy — if the songs works and it’s really sexy — I gotta do something… I gotta work on this,” Raitt said with a laugh. Using her cast as an excuse to lose weight, Raitt said she stopped drinking and found a group of sober friends to hang out with and realized, “‘You know what? This feels really good.’ So I lost 20 pounds before I worked with Prince.”
The crowd erupted in applause and Clarkson remarked, “I love that that’s what did it!” Raitt added, “I was so terrified of being in a video with him and not… [him] looking and saying all that sexy stuff to me and going, ‘I don’t think people are gonna believe that.’”
In March, Raitt was honored with the Icon Award at the 2022 Billboard Women in Music event, where she took an opportunity to bring up the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine during the show.
After delivering a quiet acoustic performance of the John Prine-penned “Angel From Montgomery” alongside Jackson Browne on bass, the 10-time Grammy winner made a special dedication. “That’s for the women of Ukraine,” she said.
In conclusion, she added,”My heart is heavy for the people of Ukraine, and I know the Russian people are not in agreement — so many of them — with what’s being done. I pray for all the people who are working hard for peace, including the man who started the war. May he have a transformation.”
Raitt will release her first new album in six years, Just Like That…, on April 22.
Watch Raitt on the Kelly Clarkson Show below.