'I was on a helicopter': Jon Batiste's surprising connection with Beyoncé's Break My Soul and life lessons from Prince
Jon Batiste shares stories of a nerve-wracking helicopter ride comforted by Beyoncé’s song, invaluable advice from Prince, and a memorable 4 a.m. performance for Madonna.
Jon Batiste (Source: Page Six)
Grammy-winning maestro Jon Batiste has seen life from different altitudes, literally and metaphorically. From helicopter rides to stints with music legends like Prince and Madonna, his experiences are as rhythmical as his music. The recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen was a ticket for fans into the symphony of his life's anecdotes.
Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” - A Helicopter Jam for Batiste
“I was on a helicopter," revealed Batiste. "I don’t like helicopters, and I needed some emotional comfort. The helicopter ride was three hours (roundtrip). Looking around, you can’t see anything but the ocean. And I’m not a great swimmer. I put on the headphones, and I listened to “Break My Soul” — probably 56, 57 times!”
Quite a playlist loop, isn't it? If you ever find yourself up in the air for three hours, take note from Jon Batiste.
A Gem from the Prince's Treasure Chest
Life's greatest lessons often come in whispers, and for Batiste, it was a word from the late, illustrious Prince. The wisdom imparted was as mysterious and profound as Prince himself. “That was his musical advice and life advice. I was a kid. I was about 19 or 20, so I wasn’t having a dialogue with Prince. I was with Prince,” reminisced Batiste, laughing, “but it wasn’t like we were having a conversation. But whenever we did speak, I tried to get some nuggets of wisdom out of him. And he said, “Privacy,” and I remember that because he was talking about more than just music.”
A single word, so resonant, that it struck a chord with Batiste, a lesson in life and music.
Late nights and Madonna's parties seem synonymous. Batiste's recollection of performing at an Oscar party for the Queen of Pop was a highlight of the night. "The best part," said Batiste, "was hearing from people the next day—and still to this day—that ‘You woke me up … at 4 a.m.” It was supposed to be a midnight performance, but as Batiste candidly puts it, “but M (goes to her own time).”
Next time Madonna keeps you up, Jon, we know what song will help you float through.
These memories, as shared by Batiste, offer a glance into the life of an artist intertwined with legends, music, and some nerve-wracking experiences. A three-hour helicopter ride with Beyoncé's melody, a word of wisdom from Prince, and a late-night show for Madonna; such is the musical tapestry of Jon Batiste's life.
(Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)