in memoriam

Aretha Franklin Mourns Prince and Wonders If He May Have Died of the Zika Virus

The Queen of Soul and the Prince. Photo: Getty Images

Tributes and remembrances continue to pour in for the legendary artist Prince, who died Thursday at his estate in Paisley Park. Aretha Franklin spoke with Brian Williams on MSNBC, saying she had heard of Prince’s death from the doorman at her hotel. “It’s such a blow. It’s really surreal. It’s just kind of unbelievable,” said Franklin. “He was definitely an original and a one-of-a-kind. Truly there was only one Prince.” She added, “Prince is gone but the music will go on.”

Then, in something of a left turn, Franklin speculates as to whether Prince may have fallen victim to the Zika virus. “They’re saying flu-like symptoms,” Franklin said, unprompted. “I’m wondering if it has anything to do with this Zika virus.” (According to the CDC, it’s rare for adults to die of the Zika virus, though the virus can cause birth defects.) No doubt, Prince’s death at the relatively young age of 57 comes as a shock to many.

You can watch the interview below:

Aretha Franklin: Prince May Have Died of Zika