Golding writes that thirty minutes before she even knew she was to speak with Williams, the interview was thrown in her lap by her boss, Datwon Thomas.
“She’s going to call you at 5 o’ clock,” Thomas said. “Ask her any and everything about Prince.”
Well, with that in mind, let’s heck it out:
At the Vibe offices, we were frantically trying to juggle how to cover the breaking news of Prince’s unexpected passing with our own grief, sadness, and if we’re being honest, a sense of abandonment. Michael was gone. Whitney was gone and now Prince. We didn’t know just two days after his death, his body would be cremated and a private ceremony would be held. If we did, maybe we’d savor our tears and hug one another a little tighter as we wallow in the agony of it all. It was too much to digest and work through, and now I was to ask one of the industry’s most sought after figures how she was copping.
Not a minute after five, Ms. Williams-who insisted on being called by her first name-was on the phone. With deep sighs and through thoughtful commentary, Terrie expressed her admiration for a man who she referred to as gracious, kind and despite being larger than life on stage, was surprisingly down-to-earth.
Still knee deep in my own disbelief, I was caught off guard with the way the name Miles, as in Miles Kind of Blue Davis rolled off her tongue. There was a familiarity in her voice that was divorced of the reverence most fans have of the famed musician. This isn’t to say she didn’t appreciate his music, but the two worked together and were fast comrades, so I guess seeing his genius from the lens of friendship allowed for the mystique of stardom to fade, and in its place, a shoulder shrug with a bit of a humble brag sprinkled on top when she referred to him as Miles and not just Miles Davis.
It was because of Davis she was first introduced to Prince, which is a story in itself. After I mentally gathered the prestigious elbows she’s rubbed, we were able to talk, and just like everyone else who used Prince’s music to get through, she too realized 57 years just wasn’t enough.
VIBE: So why don’t you tell me how you met Prince?
Terrie M. Williams: I met him through Miles Davis who was a very good friend and client of mine and-
VIBE: I’m sorry. Hold on. You said you met Prince through Miles Davis?