2016 was perhaps the worst year on record for losing beloved musicians. And none more so, in our opinion, than Prince. The ultimate musicians' musician left us way, way too early.

Part of the appeal behind Prince's wild popularity across the decades, apart from his incredible songs, was the mystique that he created around himself. Stories and rumours regarding his outrageous behaviour continue to be in constant circulation, which is why this article from GQ Magazine is so fascinating. A collection of Prince's closest friends and colleagues have given us a glimpse behind the purple curtains at Paisley Park, and taster of what it was like to spend time with a true genius. 

Aside from his 'I'm uber-famous' weirdness, many of the stories also reveal other sides of the man born Prince Rogers Nelson – his wicked sense of humour, his generosity and even a sometime tendency for normalness. We've collected a few of our favourite quotes below:

He was gushing about this sweet-potato pie—“You have to try it, it’s so good”—and he sends his assistant out. And I’m in the kitchen and he says, “How do you turn on this oven?” I didn’t know if he was being funny. I turned it on for him, and he’s like, “Oh.” I’m, “Do you really not know how to turn on your oven?… Prince, have you never used an oven before?” I’m: “Of course he’s never used an oven. Why would he?
— Maya Washington (photographer; befriended by Prince after he discovered her online in 2014)
He always said the same thing whenever he was getting on the phone: “This is Prince.” Not “How are you doing?” Not “What’s up?” Kind of low: “This is Prince.”
— Van Jones: (political activist; met Prince after he tried to make a sizable donation to Jones's charitable organization anonymously)
We have a thing called Caribou Coffee in Minnesota, which is like Starbucks. He’d go over there, and he didn’t have any pockets. He didn’t have a wallet or any credit cards. He just had cash he’d carry in his hand—like, a $100 bill. And whoever took his order, they’d have a good day, ‘cause he’d buy his coffee drink and then just leave the whole hundred. He doesn’t wait for any change because he doesn’t have anywhere to put it.
— Morris Hayes (keyboard player; Prince's longest-serving band member, 1992–2012)
I said to him, “Come on, man—don’t you want to make another Sign o’ the Times, another Purple Rain?” I don’t know if I framed it exactly like that, but he said, “No, no—Jim, I’ve been to the mountaintop. There’s nothing there.”
— Jim Walsh (Minneapolis journalist who would later cover Prince for many years)