Let us remember the legendary Prince through his spirited and spectacular live performances!

Prince Rogers Nelson, known simply as Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Prince was renowned as an innovator, and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, soul, psychedelia, and pop.

The legend unfortunately passed away at the age of 57 on April 21, 2016 due to causes yet unknown. We honour his memory and his contribution to both society and the world of music through some of his best festival performances.

  1. Coachella (2008)

Coachella was probably one of the most memorable festival performances of Prince. His set began with a medley including Jungle Love along with Morris Day and Glamorous Life along with Sheila E. He then unleashed his classic like I Feel For You, 1999, U Got the Look, Little Red Corvette as well as some relatively modern hits like, Cream, Musicology, and Seven. The highlight of his performance was probably when he performed a soul wrenching performance of Radiohead’s iconic song Creep.He also took some time out to make an emotional anti-war statement. “We’re ushering in a golden age,” Prince told the almost 60,000 strong crowd “Young people will lead the way.” 


2. Montreux Jazz Festival (2009)

Prince owned the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2009. His set included tracks like When You Were Mine from Dirty Mind, and a rather apt All The Critics Love U In Montreux in addition to the staple fare of hit after hit. Purple Rain along with covers of All Shook Up and Jimi Hendrix’s Spanish Castle Magic were among the highlights of the night.


3. Roskilde Festival (2010)

Prince performed at the Orange stage, Roskilde’s largest, in 2010. The massive crowd was treated to a series of hits from Prince’s illustrious career. His set list included tracks like Let’s Go Crazy, 1999, Kiss, Little Red Corvette and Nothing Compares 2 U. The big finish was of course his classic, Purple Rain. As the song started, Prince said, “We love playing this song,” and the audience definitely loved him playing it.


4. iHeart Radio Festival (2012)

Mary J. Blige is obviously an extremely powerful vocalist and knows how to own the stage. So when she invited a legend like Prince on stage, only great things were bound to happen. The crowd went into an uproar when the snazzily dressed Prince walked on stage. They first performed Sweet Thing by Chaka Kahn and Rufus, with Mary singing and Prince on guitar. The duo then proceeded to perform Nothing Compares 2 U, a song originally written and composed by Prince for his side project The Family. The song didn’t receive real recognition until the video for Irish recording artist Sinéad O’Connor’s version hit heavy rotation on MTV and became a worldwide hit.

5. His guest appearance at North Sea Jazz Festival (2013)

In 1998, Larry Graham recorded a solo album under the name Graham Central Station, GCS 2000. It was a collaboration between Larry Graham and Prince. While Graham wrote all the songs, except one co-written by Prince, the album was co-arranged and co-produced by Prince, and most of the instruments and vocals were recorded by both Graham and Prince. Graham also played bass on tours with Prince from 1997 to 2000. He appeared in Prince’s 1998 VHS Beautiful Strange and 1999 DVD Rave Un2 the Year 2000. Prince repaid the favour by joining in with his guitar, mid-song, at Larry’s performance at the North Sea Jazz Festival.


6. Essence Music Festival (2014)

Prince originally headlined the superdome in Lousiana in 1984 when he embarked on his iconic Purple Rain Tour. He then returned 20 years later to headline the Essence Music Festival and then finally a decade later again in 2014. 2014 also marked the 30th anniversary of his Purple Rain tour. So it made sense that most of the tracks on the set were from his classic album. Backed by his band the New Power Generation, Doug E. Fresh, Nile Rodgers and Janelle Monae, Prince also covered Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson in addition to performing some songs by his all-female band project 3RDEYEGIRL.