Stevie Wonder tops
all-star roster for Prince tribute concert
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[October 13, 2016]
By Todd Melby
ST. PAUL, Minn. (Reuters) -
Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera and Chaka Khan topped
the bill for an all-star concert tribute planned for
Thursday in memory of Prince, six months after the
influential pop star died of an accidental prescription
The show is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. local time (0030 GMT
Friday) at Xcel Energy Center, an arena in St. Paul, Minnesota,
about 30 miles (48 km) west of the Paisley Park home-studio
complex where Prince died in April at age 57.
The 17,000 concert seats, ranging in price from $19.99 to
$152.50, sold out in minutes. The concert will follow a free,
outdoor preshow party open to the public.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is expected to declare Thursday
"Prince Day" in honor of the genre-defying, Grammy-winning
performer, and several of St. Paul's biggest landmarks will be
illuminated in purple lighting at night.
In addition to Wonder, Aguilera and Khan, the three hours of
live music slated for the concert will include performances by
Anita Baker, Tori Kelly, the R&B ensemble Mint Condition and
members of two of Prince's backing bands - New Power Generation
Also on the bill are such members of his inner circle as Morris
Day & the Time, Judith Hill and Liv Warfield.
One well-known Prince associate who is reported to be missing
Thursday's tribute is his former percussionist Sheila E., who
the Minneapolis StarTribune has said was booked for a show in
New York as part of her own tour.
Remembered for such hits as "Purple Rain," "When Doves Cry"
"Let's Go Crazy" and "Kiss," Prince blended elements of jazz,
funk, R&B, disco and rock in a prolific output of more than 30
albums that have sold over 36 million copies in the United
States alone since 1978.
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He was also known as fiercely determined to maintain creative
control over his music, famously changing his name to an
unpronounceable symbol for several years during a bitter contract
battle with Warner Bros.
The value of his musical legacy, including an extensive cache of
unreleased recordings said to be locked in a vault, has been
estimated by some to exceed a $500 million, when factoring in future
royalties, retail sales and commercial rights.
Prince left behind no will. A Minnesota probate court has spent
months sorting through numerous claims by would-be heirs to
determine how his estate will be divvied up and controlled.
Paisley Park was opened to public tours earlier this month.
(Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles;
Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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