Susannah Melvoin, co-lead singer of the Family and Prince’s onetime fiancée, told the origin story of “Starfish and Coffee,” revealing that the original Cynthia Rose was a somewhat peculiar girl who was in her class in grade school, and her teacher’s name was Kathleen. Melvoin said Cynthia was “otherworldly” and that “all of us were ordinary, except for her.” She said that every day Cynthia told her that her favorite number was 12 and that for breakfast she had had “starfish and peepee.” Then one day Cynthia told Susannah that her favorite number was actually 20. Susannah said she told Prince the story of Cynthia Rose several times and one day he asked her to write it down. That day he went to his studio and recorded “Starfish and Coffee,” almost like a gift for her, with many of the details from her real story. But some had to change. “He said it can’t be ‘Starfish and Peepee.'”
Susannah’s sister Wendy, who played guitar in the Revolution for years, said, “He had an ability to make you want to be your best self. Every note I’ve played since then, I’ve thought, ‘Would he like that?'” She also said he liberated her. “He was a great girl,” she said. “He was a better girl than me. But he saw me as a musician. And now I don’t see myself as a female musician; I’m a musician.” She spoke of into introducing him to Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew and Joni Mitchell’s Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter and Hejira. She said the best way to remember him was to be creative. “Being creative is how you can talk to him,” she said. “If you’re being creative, he will talk to you.”
Manuela Testolini, Prince’s second wife, said, “I fell in love with him because of his passion for humanity.” Omarr Baker, Prince’s younger half-brother, said, “when he talked to me, he talked not as a superstar. He talked to me like a brother.” He said it was Prince who had taught him how to ride a bike. Mayte Garcia, his first wife, said Prince was a great father for the few days that their son was alive. She said that the child’s name was Ahmir, which is Arabic for Prince.
At the end of the evening Reverend Michael Beckwith asked all in attendance to give Prince one last standing ovation. The crowd stood and applauded.