Jamie Foxx’s Unforgettable First Meeting With Prince at a New Year’s Eve Party in 1999

“All my cool went out the window,” he tells Howard about the night he met his idol

May 23, 2017

Before ever wanting to become a famous comedian or an Oscar-winning actor, Jamie Foxx wanted to be a musician. On Tuesday’s Stern Show, Jamie talked about the importance music held in his life and told Howard about the memorable night he met Prince, one his idols, at a New Year’s Eve party.

“I met him for the first time December 31, 1998. It was about to be 1999,” Jamie said. “All my cool went out the window.” As if meeting Prince wasn’t mind-blowing enough, to do it on the eve of 1999, the title of one of Prince’s biggest hit songs, made the run-in even more notable. So Jamie asked to take a picture with his idol.

“I fucked up,” Jamie admitted.

Prince told him no, explaining posing for photos just wasn’t something he did. As embarrassed as Jamie was, he got a chance to redeem himself during a different encounter with the Purple One. While visiting Minneapolis, Jamie received an invitation to meet with Prince at his Paisley Park home. After waiting around in an all-white room, Prince finally showed up wearing one of his unique outfits.

“He had a one-piece on, you know like Dorothy Hamill,” Jamie told Howard. “They were sewing him in this.” Aside from his attire, Jamie admitted to being captivated by Prince’s look, going so far as to call him “pretty.”

“He looked better than Halle Berry,” Jamie said with a laugh. He even joked he could imagine winding up in a relationship with Prince. “It would be crazy, like, if we dated … but nobody would trip because I’m like, I’m with Prince,” Jamie said.

All kidding aside, Jamie opened up about the impact Prince’s death had on him. “It hit me really hard because, not only did I know him, but I musically worshipped him,” he told Howard.

To this day, Jamie can still recite his favorite Prince lyrics word for word—a skill he showed off Tuesday. “I have a great memory, but when it came to Prince I knew everything,” Jamie explained.

It’s clear Jamie loves music but it took a while before those in the music industry loved him back. After a successful start in comedy, Jamie then tried to be taken seriously as a musician, but most still saw him as his character Wanda from “In Living Color.” In an effort to break into the music biz, Jamie threw house parties and invited recording artists and execs to come and rub elbows with him. One such party was thrown for rapper Puff Daddy and even though Jamie didn’t have much money to spend, he knew he’d be able to impress the hip-hop mogul. Jamie’s secret weapon: KFC.

“That’s Kentucky Fried Chicken but I put it on a nice plate,” Jamie recalled telling Puffy. Other A-list talents that would drop by Jamie’s house included Jay Z, Missy Elliott, and Pharrell Williams. He also told Howard about the first time a then-unknown Kanye West showed up to one of his parties.

“So I’m having another party and all of a sudden, this kid walks in with a backpack on, jaw kind of messed up,” Jamie said. Someone filled him in that Kanye was going to be the next big thing in rap but Jamie wanted to see it to believe it.

“I would always make people perform in my house,” Jamie continued. When he asked Kanye to spit some rhymes, he was instantly blown away. “I’d never heard anything like that. It was like a person from outer space, the way he was freestyling,” he told Howard.

Jamie soon earned a reputation of helping out up-and-coming talent. So much so, a young Ed Sheeran came knocking on Jamie’s door one day hoping Foxx could help him further his own career as a singer-songwriter. Jamie told Howard after hearing Ed play, he was so impressed by the performance he offered Sheeran his couch to sleep on.

“My couch is famous,” Jamie said, since he’s let so many household names on it. But Howard asked if Jamie was so certain Sheeran would make it big someday, why not sign him himself?

“I tell people all the time, I’m not a manager,” Jamie explained. “It’s a different muscle. You know what I’m saying? I’m an artist.”

Of course, Ed Sheeran did make it big. His most recent album “Divide” has sold millions of copies all over the world. In March, Ed told Howard about his time crashing at Jamie’s pad, calling Foxx, “a kind, gracious person.”

“My house is open because I feel it … all the young cats come to my house,” Jamie told Howard.

Watch Jamie on the new musical game show “Beat Shazam” premiering May 25 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.