By Robyn Collins
Dwight Yoakam was working on his new record, Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… when he heard the tragic news that Prince had died.
In tribute, the singer known for his guitar twang recorded a bluegrass version of “Purple Rain,” reports People.
“It was the day that Prince died [and] the third day we were tracking the record. I had been watching the news coverage when it first broke and continued as I got ready to leave the hotel for the day’s sessions,” Yoakam said. “I went to the studio, and everyone was kind of experiencing a bewildered sort of shock about it, and I felt deeply saddened. the fact that he was found alone at his compound just seemed … a tragic punctuation to the sense of the loss for millions that he had brought such joy to with his music.”
Prince was just 57 when he was found dead inside his Paisley Park compound from of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl.
“We were all lamenting it, and I said, ‘It just feels like we should record “Purple Rain.”‘ I had always loved the simplistic beauty of that melody and refrain.”
Yoakam got the go-ahead from Lenny Warnoker, the label executive who originally signed Prince to Warner Bros./Reprise Records.
When asked about his connection to the iconic song Yoakam replied, “The first time I heard it, it stopped me in my car. I thought it spoke volumes about the honest willingness of the person who wrote it to bare his heart to the world through his music. Prince, I never really knew you, but I’m sure going to miss you.”
Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… is scheduled for release September 23.