Five years after Prince's death, 'it's devastating'

Five years after Prince's death, it's still "devastating" for Pepe Willie, who was an early mentor to the pop star and briefly served as his manager. "I cried so hard for this brother," he sayd. (April 20)

Video Transcript


- Oh, yeah.


PEPE WILLIE: I was just about to go play golf. My daughter calls me up and says, "Dad, did Prince die?" And I said, "What are you talking about, did Prince die?" I said, "He got the flu. What are you talking about? You know, he's-- you know, he's fine." So then the phone rings and Owen calls me, Prince's first manager. And he says, "Did you hear?" And I says, "Oh, no." I said, "Don't-- what?" He said, "Turn on your TV set." I turn to the news channel. Boom. It was devastating. It was devastating. I'm standing in the living room with my underwear on watching the TV. I couldn't go anywhere.

I couldn't do anything. I was just in so much shock. It was unbelievable. I cried for him so hard, John. I didn't even cry at my father's funeral. You know what I'm saying? When my father died. I cried so hard for this brother, man. And-- and it was-- it was just crazy. I did not believe it. I loved him, man. And I still love him. I love his music. You know, I-- you know, I did everything that I possibly could for him. And in one interview that I did, I did-- I blamed myself. Because I said that if Prince was-- if I was still with him, he would be with us today. You know?

I mean, I felt that, you know. And it's devastating.