The Annenberg Space for Photography’s REFUGEE exhibition found a way to turn somber news into a good time Thursday evening, following the news of Prince’s sudden death earlier that morning. Kristin Davis and Tracee Ellis Ross attended the exhibition of artwork that showcased the diverse populations of refugees dispersed all across the globe by international photographers, but were still impacted by the recent death of the “Purple Rain” singer.
After the beloved musician came up in conversation, the “Black-ish” star told Variety about the time she met Prince backstage at a concert with her mother, Diana Ross.
“I was like 13 years old with my mom and we were wandering around backstage. He turned around to walk away and he was wearing chaps, and his butt was out,” Ross said while laughing. “I was literally this 13-year-old child so disgusted.
“I was like, ‘What is that?!’ And my mom was like, ‘That is what you call cool,” Ross recalled, adding that she now understands the singer’s “magic” as an adult.
Davis couldn’t fight back the tears when she spoke about Prince on the red carpet. Variety quickly handed the “Sex and the City” actress a tissue that she used to dab her symbolic purple eye makeup, which matched a purple pendant and earring set, a gift from her former co-star Sarah Jessica Parker.
“I grew up in the South and I felt like a misfit, and for anyone who felt like a misfit Prince was there for you,” Davis said tearfully. “He created his own reality, he was original and sang with such passion that connected all of us.”
Celebrity attendees such as James Marsden, Amy Adams, Kristen Bell, Rashida Jones and Mindy Kaling admired the showcase of international photography before most of the guests poured into a tent outside to enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and music from UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo. People in the room quickly stopped reaching for snacks when the Beninese-born Grammy winner paused her prepared set and began singing, “You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me oh-on.” Kidjo continued to play the duration of Prince’s “Kiss,” while the crowd sang and danced along.
(Pictured: Tracee Ellis Ross)