The singer opened up about the career-making occasion when speaking to Ebro Darden on Apple Music Hits.
“He takes me to Paisley Park and this place is like a dream. And he’s walking me through Paisley Park, I’m 18 years old. He has like 900 pianos,” said Keys.
Sharing a name with his 1985 song “Paisley Park”, Paisley Park was Prince’s recording complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota. It opened to the public as a museum and memorial to the artist following his death in 2016.
“[He says]: ‘This is the piano when I wrote ‘When Doves Cry’. This is the room that we sit on the floor with the purple things and we write songs.’ I could not believe it.”
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The singer continued: “Then he says, ‘This is the stage. We want you to perform a little set for my closest people.’ He would invite them to Paisley Park whatever he did. He had his own universe going.
Keys revealed, however, that Prince had a certain rule when in Paisley Park.
“He was like, ‘One thing. You can’t curse.’ And I was like, ‘Well he must not know me, because I curse.’”
Prince, who was famously hesitant to allow covers of his songs, eventually gave Keys his blessing to record a version of his song “How Come You Don’t Call Me” for her debut album Songs In a Minor.
The album, which debuted at No 1 in the US and the UK upon its release in June 2001, celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.