Obama played Prince tracks before visiting the queen

US President Barack Obama paid tribute to pop legend Prince on Friday and revealed he had played "Purple Rain" and "Delirious" that morning before visiting Queen Elizabeth II.

Obama, who is on a four-day trip to Britain, said he and US ambassador Matthew Barzun had played the two Prince tracks at the ambassador's residence at Winfield House in London.

"And so I'm staying at Winfield House. And it so happens that the ambassador has a turntable," Obama told a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

"And this morning we played Purple Rain and Delirious just to get warmed up before we left the house for important bilateral meetings like this." Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited the queen at Windsor Castle, her weekend residence to the west of London, on Friday before heading to Downing Street for talks with Cameron.

"I love Prince because he put out great music and he was a great performer," the president said.

"I didn't know him well. He came to perform at the White House last year and was extraordinary and creative and original and full of energy. And so it's a remarkable loss." Prince, whose pioneering brand of danceable funk and virtuoso talents made him one of the most influential figures in music, died suddenly on Thursday at his secluded compound in Minnesota. He was 57.

Ambassador Barzun is a well-known fan of indie music, hosting bands such as "Belle & Sebastien" at his residence, a mansion in Regent's Park.