Prince’s photographer describes working with the singer


(CNN) – Photographer Allen Beaulieu remembers Prince’s reaction to the pictures he took of the musician during their very first photo shoot in 1979. Prince’s eponymous second album was out. His chart-topper “I Wanna Be Your Lover” was all over the radio.

Beaulieu said, “And then I finally found out bad was good. And he goes, ‘No these are really bad.'”

His star on the rise, Prince then asked Beaulieu to shoot his next album cover. Beaulieu explained, “He goes, ‘Well the name of the album is ‘Dirty Mind’ and I want to be shot on a bed.’ And so it’s just the springs in the background. And on the back cover, of course I did shoot him on the bed. And he actually spray-painted the titles.”

In 1981, Prince released his fourth album, catapulting him to superstardom. The title track, “Controversy,” was a huge hit. Beaulieu also shot this cover.

Beaulieu said, “All night we’d be shooting. And he’d play the same song over and over and over again. It kind of got him in the mood.”

Beaulieu also hit the road with prince for his “Dirty Mind,” “Controversy,” and “1999” tours. The picture of prince’s eye on the “1999” record was also shot by Beaulieu.

When asked if he has a backstage picture of Prince that is his favorite, Beaulieu said, “One where he’s looking into the mirror and he’s got the light bulbs around him. Another photo is I got him on a pinball. It’s just so unlike Prince.”

The last time Beaulieu saw Prince was at Paisley Park during the filming of Graffiti Bridge, a sequel to Purple Rain.

Beaulieu said, “He came up behind me and gave me a big bear hug. That’s the last time I ever saw him. If I would have known that, I guess I would have held on a little tighter.”

Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota last April 21st. Toxicology tests concluded that he died from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl. He was 57 years old.

Fans from around the world have been visiting the late star’s home-studio to honor his life and legacy. Buildings all over the city of Minneapolis are lit in purple, Prince’s signature color, to honor his memory.

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