Throughout his life and career, Prince was known for lifting up the women around him. He employed female engineers and producers when there were even fewer of them than there are today. He empowered and mentored female artists. But he didn’t limit his gift of empowerment to the musical field.
In 2009, the ballerina Misty Copeland got a call from none other than Prince. Back then, Copeland was still years away from becoming the first black principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. She was, to put it simply, not yet Misty Copeland.
Nonetheless, Prince identified Copeland as the dancer he wanted for the music video for his 2009 song “Crimson and Clover.” She said yes, performed in the video, then joined him on tour, too. In a new interview with Cosmopolitan, Copeland explained what it meant to be hand-picked by such a musical juggernaut ― and how it changed her belief in herself.
“I began to understand my full potential,” Copeland said.
“I had times when, as an African-American woman, I felt that I didn’t belong in the ballet world,” she added. “Having someone say, ‘I trust you and your talent,’ was all it took to start feeling like I could be in control of my career and make things happen on my own.”
That was just Prince. Empowering women throughout his life, selflessly trying to help bring up the many artistic geniuses around him.