EXCLUSIVE: James Denton Talks Prince's Legacy in Minnesota Hometown: 'He's Just Really, Really Beloved Here'

by Antoinette Bueno 2:38 PM PDT, April 24, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Prince was an international icon, but there was perhaps no place he was loved more than in his hometown of Chanhassen, Minnesota.

ET caught up with The Good Witch actor James Denton, who also resides in Chanhassen -- a small city 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis -- to talk about the legendary musician's presence in the neighborhood.

"Everyone loved him here, and it was home for him, so nobody bothered him," Denton told ET's Jennifer Peros exclusively on Saturday outside of Prince's memorial at his Paisley Park complex. "We'd see him riding his bicycle down to the strip mall. It was real funny -- a very normal guy."

"I was always a fan of his talent, but for my wife, growing up here, it's just been a tough week at our house, as it has for a lot of people," he added. "He's just really, really beloved here, and I think that says a lot about him."

WATCH: Inside Prince's Private Memorial -- 'It Was a Beautiful Ceremony to Say a Loving Goodbye'

Denton also talked about the musician's famous late night shows for the community at Paisley Park, Prince's creative home for 30 years.

"You'd see the lines out here, and then you would know he was playing that night, just for the neighborhood," he shared. “He had these epic late night concerts where he would go on at 2 a.m., and everybody would have pancakes. It was this crazy, real community thing. I think he charged like $10 for the pancakes."

The 53-year-old Devious Maids star said he respects Prince for choosing to stay in Minnesota even after achieving fame, noting that even though "he kind of transcended everything," stardom didn't seem to change who The Purple One was at his core. In fact, while Prince's legacy will live on despite his death at age 57, it's his presence in his Minnesota community that will especially be missed.

"He managed to keep that mystery," Denton reflected. "You never really could figure him out. He’s such an interesting cat, from the beginning. And staying here in Minnesota, out of all the places he could have lived? I think that’s just because he had roots here, and he was at heart just a real sweet, normal guy."

"This is just a little tiny, rural western suburb of Minneapolis," the actor added. "But boy, did everybody here just love him."

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE: Sheila E. on Prince -- 'He Was in Pain All the Time, but He Was a Performer'

Prince's close friend and former fiancee, singer Sheila E., recently talked to ET about what made Prince's Paisley Park estate so special.

"It's very comforting," she said. "It's welcoming and it's warm. It's a monument. It's a museum."

"It's a beautiful place," she continued. "A lot of his friends, a lot of us who've been with him a long time, we've recorded a lot of music there."

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