Legendary musician Dionne Warwick says she didn’t know who Doja Cat was before the rap artist decided to sample her song, “Walk On By.”
Talking with ET’s Deidre Behar from the carpet of the Kennedy Center Honors, the iconic singer, 82, said she has had the chance to connect with Doja, 28, since the release of “Paint the Town Red,” even if she was unfamiliar with her work.
“Did you know who Doja Cat was?” Behar asked.
“No, I didn’t. I didn’t. No idea,” Warwick responded, adding that she didn’t even know that the “Agora Hills” singer had used her song in the first place.
According to Warwick, her granddaughter told her that Doja had taken inspiration and used the beat and backing vocals from “Walk On By.”
“You have so many beautiful decades of music you have given the world. And then to hear you on the radio constantly with Doja Cat’s ‘Paint the Town Red.’ Now all these young kids are really becoming familiar with your work. How does it make you feel? Do you hear it on the radio?” ET asked her.
“No I didn’t, my granddaughter did and she called me,” the “Heartbreaker” singer clarified.
As for her familiarity level with Doja now, she said she not only knows who she is but has made contact with her to offer up some kind words.
“Yes I have, as a matter of fact,” Warwick said, confirming they have talked. “I told her I hope this helps you as much as it helped me.”
Warwick was one of five performers celebrated Sunday evening at the Kennedy Center Honors in New York. ET also spoke with fellow honorees Billy Crystal, Queen Latifah, Renée Fleming and Barry Gibb about their inductions throughout the evening.
In terms of what the honor means to her, Warwick said she is happy to finally get her flowers and that it means just as much as any other commendation she has received.
“I’m thrilled on getting them while I can still smell them,” she told ET. “It’s just important as most of any honor that has been given to me, I feel I earned and I earned it.”