Friday 28 October 2016

Stevie Wonder to top the bill at Prince tribute show

Published 16/09/2016 | 03:41

Stevie Wonder will play a tribute concert to Prince next month, along with stars including Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan and Anita Baker (AP)
Stevie Wonder will play a tribute concert to Prince next month, along with stars including Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan and Anita Baker (AP)

Stevie Wonder will headline a Prince tribute concert in the US next month, with stars such as Christina Aguilera and Chaka Khan also appearing.

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The gig in St Paul on October 13 has been sanctioned by the family of Prince, who died of an accidental painkiller overdose in April.

Prince's family originally planned to hold the show at the new NFL stadium in his home town of Minneapolis, but it will take place at the smaller Xcel Energy Centre in St. Paul.

Tickets go on sale on Monday with some priced at 19.99 dollars (£15) in tribute to one of Prince's biggest hits.

The line-up also includes John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Anita Baker, Doug E Fresh, Luke James, Bilal and Mint Condition.

Prince's inner circle will be represented by Morris Day & The Time, Judith Hill and Liv Warfield. The New Power Generation led by Morris Hayes, along with members of 3RDEYEGIRL, will also perform.

"It's an all-star mix of classic and new artists, Prince-inspired as well as Prince family-type artists," said organiser L Londell McMillan, a lawyer for the late superstar who is helping to manage his estate's entertainment assets.

Prince's family first announced the show in late July, bu t details were slow to come out.

Mr McMillan said it took a lot of work and time to put the details together because so many artists were involved. He also held out the possibility of additional tribute shows at some point.

The wait frustrated Prince fans across the country who had made travel reservations without any guarantees of tickets, including Angela Reardon, of Birmingham, Alabama, who booked her flights, hotel and rental car two days after the first mention.

But she was philosophical about the long silence on the line-up. Having been a fan for 38 years, she knows Prince himself had a habit of waiting until the last minute before announcing his concerts.

"Just to be there with the Purple fans - that's important," said Ms Reardon, who has also booked a VIP tour of Paisley Park, the studio complex in suburban Minneapolis where Prince lived.

The Xcel Energy Centre can seat up to 20,000 guests depending on how it is configured, compared with up to 55,000 for concerts at the American football stadium.

However, its acoustics are considered to be very good for a hockey arena, whereas the sound was muddy for the football stadium's inaugural concerts last month, by Luke Bryan and Metallica.

Mr McMillan said he attended both those shows, and while he praised the stadium and its staff, he did note that "Prince was a stickler for sound".

He added: "For this kind of show, you want it to be intimate. You want it to be right."


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