Pur­ple joy farewell for Prince

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

PRINCE was re­mem­bered as an in­ge­nious artiste and closet hu­man­i­tar­ian, but mostly as the provider of decades of joy, as artistes flocked to his na­tive Min­nesota for his re­cent sole pub­lic memo­rial ( far right).

Prince died on April 21 from an ac­ci­den­tal painkiller over­dose at his sub­ur­ban Pais­ley Park com­pound, which re­cently opened up to tourists for the first time as his es­tate seeks to en­sure fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity.

The long-planned con­cert, tak­ing place nearly six months af­ter Prince’s sud­den death, opened un­ex­pect­edly with a trib­ute from Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

“Thank you, Prince, for all the great works you have done. You will be in our hearts for­ever,” Obama, who is a fan and had in­vited him to play at the White House, said in a brief video mes­sage.

Stay­ing true to Prince’s le­gacy of in­fec­tious funk mu­sic, the con­cert spent lit­tle time on tear­ful re­mem­brances. In­stead, a pa­rade of singers close to Prince took turns on his hits be­fore a pur­ple sea of 20,000 fans at the XCel En­ergy Arena in Min­nesota’s cap­i­tal Saint Paul.

As Chaka Khan, who re­vived her ca­reer as the queen of funk with an as­sist from Prince, sang her sig­na­ture song I Feel For You, she brought to the stage soul leg­end Ste­vie Won­der, who ac­com­pa­nied on har­mon­ica.

Won­der, whom Prince cited as a role model, sported a pur­ple shirt un­der his suit as he joined Khan on an­other feel-good an­them, 1999.

Chore­og­ra­pher Mayte Gar­cia, Prince’s ex-wife, then came out in a leop­ard-print dress and match­ing bikini top, per­form­ing an el­e­gant belly-dance in which she bal­anced a sword on her head. The Mid­dle East­ern beat mor­phed into Prince’s 7. Gar­cia did not ad­dress the crowd, let­ting her feel­ings be known with a beam­ing smile in­stead.

De­light­ing an au­di­ence made up mostly of lo­cal fans, the con­cert opened with Mor­ris Day, Prince’s child­hood friend in Minneapolis who played his ri­val in the clas­sic 1984 film, Pur­ple Rain.

Day led his band The Time in funky tracks in­clud­ing his best-known, Jun­gle Love, which Prince co-wrote un­der a pseu­do­nym.

Singers Luke James and Bi­lal pulled off Prince’s most inim­itable trait – his pow­er­ful falsetto – with James bring­ing in The Pur­ple One’s sex ap­peal to Do Me, Baby.

Ana Moura, the Por­tuguese singer Prince cham­pi­oned, tran­si­tioned from her own songs into Lit­tle Red Corvette, adding a touch of her fado genre’s mourn­ful­ness.

In one of the more som­bre mo­ments, Judith Hill, the last in a long line of Prince pro­tegees sang The Cross from his 1987 al­bum,

one of his more overt­lyre­li­gious tracks.

“I know that Prince is alive and well and he is happy right now,” she said. – AFP

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