Portland singers with Prince: ‘Greatest experience’

The pop superstar and Rock Hall of Famer died at 57

Ashley Minnieweather, left, and Saeeda Wright sang backup to Prince on the 2015 Hit-and-Run tour. April 21, 2016 (KOIN)
Ashley Minnieweather, left, and Saeeda Wright sang backup to Prince on the 2015 Hit-and-Run tour. April 21, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Saeeda Wright and Ashley Minnieweather are heartbroken over the sudden death of pop superstar Prince. The Portland women went on tour with him in 2015.

“It’s just the greatest experience I’ve ever had and the greatest ride I’ve ever had in my life,” Minnieweather told KOIN 6 News Thursday afternoon.

Prince (right) and Saeeda Wright (background) during the Hit-and-Run tour in 2015 (Courtesy: Saeeda Wright)
Prince (right) and Saeeda Wright (background) during the Hit-and-Run tour in 2015 (Courtesy: Saeeda Wright)

“To feel that he’s gone it’s just heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking,” Wright — also known as Mama Sae — said. “Heartbreaking is the word.”

They said Prince, who was 57, was gracious with a kind and gentle spirit they’ll never forget.

“One of my fondest memories is every time we got done with a show, he came and he thanked us. ‘Thank you for being here.’ Yes!” said Wright.

“Clearly it’s an honor that we even get to step on the stage with him,” she said. “So for him to turn around and thank me for my gift, thank me for being here, he just never put himself above you, like you’re Prince.”

The 2 women did about 12 shows with Prince on his 2015 Hit-and-Run tour and said it was a huge rush to perform with the superstar.

The energy on stage was overwhelming, they said.

Ashley Minnieweather sang backup to Prince on the 2015 Hit-and-Run tour. April 21, 2016 (KOIN)
Ashley Minnieweather sang backup to Prince on the 2015 Hit-and-Run tour. April 21, 2016 (KOIN)

“He was very sensitive to the spirit of a person opposed to just your talent,” Wright said. “Your talent didn’t impress him. Your spirit is what impressed him, your personality, how you treated other people. That’s what impressed him.”

“You kind of get caught off guard just looking at him perform,” Minnieweather said. “You’re just like, ‘Oh my gosh!'”

And no matter what people wanted, they said Prince put the music first.

“His creativity, his ability to think outside the box, it’s never suffered because of the industry,” Wright said. “He was a trendsetter. He didn’t fit into anyone’s box.”

Wright and Minnieweather said it was an honor to have been part of his music and legacy.

“Disappointed he had to go so soon,” Wright said.

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