Countless American Idol judges and contestants over the years considered Prince Rogers Nelson among their most important musical influences. His untimely and sudden death was a huge loss to the music industry, and to his millions of adoring fans. After the announcement of Prince’s death last Thursday, many American Idol stars took to social media to express their grief, and pay tribute to the late music icon.

Prince peforms on American Idol season 5 (FOX/YouTube)

Prince performs on American Idol season 5 (FOX/YouTube)

Long time American Idol fans may remember when the legendary musician performed as part of the season five finale. The roar of the crowd was overwhelming in the auditorium when Prince took the stage. Judge Paula Abdul lept to her feet, unable to keep herself from dancing along. Even after fifteen seasons of American Idol, it still remains one of the favorite guest performances ever on the show for many fans.

As American Idol host host Ryan Seacrest tweeted after the singer’s death, “Prince’s influence was felt by all, whether you make music or just listen to it.”

After hearing the sad news of his passing, Oscar winning actress and former American Idol star Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to Prince on Broadway with the cast of The Color Purple.

Another former American Idol contestant, Kree Harrison, told Taste of Country that hearing the news of Prince’s death ‘tore her up.’ She took to Facebook and Youtube to share a tribute video of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” as made famous by Sinead O’Connor.

Former American Idol judge Steven Tyler told People he has “certainly had my moments of crying about him. He was a saint. He was a musician and he spoke my language so it’s a little harder to take.”

Read on for more reactions and tributes from American Idol judges and contestants from over the years below.


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