How Prince Introduced Misty Copeland to the World

Before Misty Copeland became a ballet superstar and the first Black principal dancer at American Ballet Theare, she appeared in the 2009 video for Prince's "Crimson and Clover" and accompanied him on tour in 2011.

Prince was a longtime fan of ballet.

Copeland had been dancing with ABT since 2000 and a soloist since 2007 when she got a call one morning in 2009. It was Prince. She told New York Magazine, "I was asked if Prince could have my cell number...I was literally still waking up. ‘What? Prince who?'"

The next day she headed to Los Angeles for the video shoot.

Years later, she accompanied him on select dates of the Welcome 2 America tour where she blended her classical ballet foundations with improvisation.

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She told 92Y that Prince made her listen to "The Beautiful Ones" repeatedly so she could get an intimate feel for the music.

The result of that work can be seen when she joined Prince to he perform "The Beautiful Ones" for the first time on television in 2011.

Prince even got his good friend Tavis Smiley to interview Copeland for his talk show. Producer Neal Kendall told TheWrap, “It was not about him, it was about how he could help someone he felt was worthy gain attention.”

Nelson George shared on Facebook that Prince was critical to funding his 2015 documentary on Copeland "A Ballerina's Tale." The film documents Misty's road to making history while recovering from a shin fracture in 2014.


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