For most of us, Prince was the most rarefied of music royalty who we couldn’t touch. But for those who got to see past the purple veil of mystery, he could also be a regular, down-to-earth gentleman.

Celebrities React to the Heartbreaking News of Prince’s Death

India.Arie remembers Prince coming to her rescue in the sweetest—and most ordinary—way. “We know he had this mystique,” she tells ESSENCE, “but last time I saw him, he sat next to me and said, ‘Do you need anything?’ And my feet hurt—it was a post-Grammy party. So I said, ‘I need some socks,’ and—do you know?—he brought me socks. What a loss.”

Remembering Prince’s Reign as a True Fashion Icon

Like the rest of the world, India.Arie is mourning the loss of the musical legend, who died today at 57. “Just too soon,” she says. ‘People say that when someone passes, but this just feels too soon. Prince was in his creative power! It’s shocking, and it makes me so sad and, frankly, kind of mad. I just loved him and he was so kind to me.”

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