Pam Warren, a.k.a. DJ Pam The Funkstress, has passed away. She was 51.
A native of the Bay Area and one of the first rap DJs, Warren first rose to prominence as a West Coast battle DJ in the late ’80s and early ’90s. She later became a member of pioneering Oakland hip-hop group The Coup.
Her lengthy list of accomplishments include serving as Prince‘s touring DJ — hence her nickname Purple Pam — until his death in April 2016.
She was also a talented chef and went on to become the chef and co-owner of Piccadilly Catering in the ’00s.
Warren recently underwent organ transplant surgery and had been in critical condition. A GoFundMe page had been set up by her mother to help Helen to help with mounting medical bills.
Longtime friend and fellow DJ Sterling James posted on Facebook an emoji of a purple umbrella with rain falling on it and wrote: “Dear Queen, Sister, Friend … I will miss you so.” He posted on Twitter: “Prince just needed his DJ. I’ll see you again my friend.”
No official statement has been issued about her death. Details for a memorial service are pending.