Prince, Mary J. Blige (photo: Getty Images)
Mary J. Blige stole the second night of the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, bringing the elusive Prince on stage as her surprise guest.
Four songs into her set, the Queen Of Hip-Hop Soul stopped her band from playing Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing," a song she covered on her 1992 debut album What's The 411? "I got a real good friend in the building. He's one of the most amazing artists to ever walk the earth," she said as she introduced Prince.
The 12,000 attendees at the MGM Grand Arena went nuts as the iconic soul artist emerged from backstage, donning '70s-inspired attire—an afro, big-framed, gold metallic glasses, flame-print shirt, turtle neck, and silky, yellow bell bottoms that matched his guitar.
Prince didn't say a word. He took his place as a member of the band and helped Blige and company resume her classic Chaka Khan cover, a fitting feature for Prince, considering he signed Khan to his NPG Records and produced her 1998 album Come 2 My House.
Blige, who couldn't stop blushing about Prince's appearance, told him that she was "so blessed to have you here" and asked him to "sing with me tonight." "I know you have to be very particular about who you be messing with," she said.
They agreed to sing his song, "Nothing Compares 2 U," as a duet. The crowd roared when Prince sang his opening lyric. Mary stood there, mesmerized, rocking with her hand on her hip. The song worked perfectly as a duet, as they sang to each other.
Feeling the moment, Prince asked the crowd, "Y'all mind if I play this thing," before taking center stage like a scene from his movie Purple Rain.
As they wrapped, Blige said, "Thank you Prince," as she bowed to him and offered him a hug and kiss.
As he exited, she kept the energy level high with "Just Fine."
Mary just raised the bar for the rest of the night.