Stevie Wonder, Jessie J, Chaka Khan, and more artists held a Prince tribute concert Thursday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Wonder and Chaka Khan played “I Feel for You” and “1999,” bringing a cloud of fan-fueled nostalgia to the whole arena.

Christina Aguilera was expected to appear in the show, but she had to desist due to a vocal illness. Doctors advised her not to perform until she was completely off the chain, so Jessie J stepped up to fill for Aguilera.

Wonder and Chaka Khan played “I Feel for You” and “1999.” Photo credit: Adam Bettcher / Getty Images /
Wonder and Chaka Khan played “I Feel for You” and “1999.” Photo credit: Adam Bettcher / Getty Images /

Anita Baker and John Mayer were also expected to appear, but they canceled their appearance just before the event took place. Doug E. Fresh, Cilal, Mint Condition, and Luke James also appeared at the concert.

“I want them to get some closure. It takes time to kind of get over it, and I see that they are grief-stricken,” stated Tyka Nelson, Prince’s younger sister.

A Prince spectacle without Prince’s attention to detail

The show was first announced in July, but details took some time to get settled as The Purple’s family had to deal with their grievance and the status of his belongings. The tribute concert took so long to organize also because there were too many artists invited. Prince’s family assured that there would be new tribute shows in the future.

At first, the show was going to be held at the NHL’s Minnesota Wild stadium, but L. Londell McMillan, Prince’s attorney who organized the concert and is helping distribute his assets, stated that the show needed to be more intimate. The Xcel Energy Center can seat up to 20,000 attendees, while the NHL Stadium can seat over 50,000 people. Prince had already held three sell-out shows at the Xcel Energy Center, only being compared to Taylor Swift.

The concert was labeled as “messy,” and perhaps a tad improvised, seeing that only two notable names made it to the show. The show had its share of slow moments, but it all served to remind the musicians and the audience that Prince’s legacy would live on and that no artist or performer would be the same as he was. The show went over its scheduled end time at 11 p.m., but the artists carried on and launched another dozen songs to the audience.

The last minutes of the concert were met with an instrumental jam, as the show performers stood in the shadows in the back of the stage. Then, the first notes of “Purple Rain” began to play and the audience exploded in emotion as the band played on the recording. No one sang “Purple Rain” on the microphone. Instead, a live recording of Prince was played as purple confetti dropped down from the arena’s ceiling.

Prince died of a painkiller overdose back in April. He was 57-years-old.

Source: Rolling Stone