Foo Fighters Turns Prince’s ‘Darling Nikki’ To A Grunge Classic
The late icon, Prince once said, “I don’t like anyone covering my work,” but Foo Fighters might be an exception.
It all started in 2003, when the band reached out to Prince and asked permission to release their grunge cover of the controversial classic “Darling Nikki,” in U.S. which had been released as a B-side to their Australian single “Have It All.”
Although, Prince denied the request, he later agreed to a music-licensing request from Foo Fighters who wanted to play the song at MTV’s 2007 VMAs. Prince agreed to the band’s request at the last minute, the night before the show.
Prince’s former assistant, Ruth Violette Arzate later recalled in an interview what the late singer thought of Foo Fighters’ cover and she quote:
“‘They did a good job. I do like the way Dave [Grohl] keeps the integrity of the song in his performance.'”
During that same year, Prince also did his own rendition of Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” at his iconic Super Bowl Half Time performance. The late drummer Taylor Hawkins told MTV in 2007:
“The thought went through my head that maybe he was doing it as a sort of ‘fuck you’ to us.
“Either way, it was pretty amazing to have a guy like Prince covering one of our songs and actually doing it better than we did.”
“Darling Nikki” was originally taken from Prince’s 1984 soundtrack album Purple Rain. Its sexually-explicit lyrics gotten a lot of critics when it was released as a single. Watch Foo Fighters’ cover of “Darling Nikki” during MTV’s 2007 VMAs and at the Great Prince Tribute in 2020 below.