Prince had a long documented history of helping women further their careers. The Purple One often wrote and mentored women musicians, but that's not where his advocacy ended.
In an interview to promote her novel Feminista in 2009, author Erica Kennedy shared how a demand from The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, as he was known at the time, landed her a gig interviewing him for InStyle in 2000.
My Prince interview is such an awesome and unbelievable story. I had just started writing professionally after quitting my PR job at Tommy Hilfiger. I had sent my clips to In Style and one Friday afternoon they left me a frantic message. Turns out they wanted me to interview The Artist (as he was called then) and it could happen at any moment so they wanted to have me on standby. Of course, I’m psyched, but I’m also suspicious because they had never worked with me and I was so green. So I asked, “Why me?” They tell me he specifically asked for an African-American female writer and I thought, Out of the whole Time, Inc. network, I’m all you got? At that point in my career, anybody would have been more qualified than me! So in the book, the idea that Sydney is offered this cushy contract, even though she was previously just a temp, is derived from the fact that I got drafted into the big leagues under the Prince Rogers Nelson affirmative action plan!
InStyle republished the article in full with accompanying photographs after Prince's death. Erica captures Prince's playfulness and spirituality beautifully. Her work did not disappoint.
Kennedy went on to become a New York Times bestselling author with her 2004 novel Bling.
She passed away in 2012 at the age of 42.
Photo: Steven Parke/InStyle;Twitter/Erica Kennedy