LONDON — It’s a well-established fact that President Obama and the first lady are big fans of Prince, who played a private concert at the White House last year for more than 500 guests.

So how did the president mourn the death of one of his favorite musicians?

News of the 57-year-old music icon’s death reached the president on Air Force One Thursday night as he was flying from Saudi Arabia to Britain. On Friday morning Obama and the U.S. ambassador to Britain, Matthew Barzun, mourned the loss by dipping into the ambassador’s massive record collection.

“It so happens that our ambassador has a turntable,” Obama said, “and so this morning, we played "Purple Rain" and "Delirious" just to get warmed up before we left the house for our important bilateral meetings.”

The president also reflected on his admiration for the musician.

“I love Prince because he put out great music, and he was a great performer,” Obama said. “I didn’t know him well. But he came to perform at the White House last year, and it was extraordinary and creative and original and full of energy, and so it is a remarkable loss.”