It's long been rumored that '80s pop icons the late MichaelJackson and Prince had a feud. Whether or not this is true, it didn't matter Fridaynight when Prince played the Forum in Inglewood,California duringhis "21 Nite Stand" tour. The "Purple Rain" singer paid homage to the King OfPop.
When performing a cover of The Time's "Cool," Prince's 7-memberband the New Power Generation fusedthe song with a rendition of Michael's "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" from his"Off The Wall" album.
It was subtle. Prince didn't offer any set up orexplanation, but the crowd loved it. For this part of the show, Prince pulled onstage VIP guests, protege Sheila E. and Academy Award winning actor CubaGooding, Jr., to join the party. A surprisingly wild Cuba ended up tossing his jacketoff the stage.
Prince also acknowledged Michael during an interpolation ofKool And The Gang's "Hollywood Swingin'" that he dubbed "Inglewood Swingin'."An original lyric refers to seeing Kool And The Gang in concert. Prince alteredthe artist name to Michael Jackson.
Prince also paid a nice compliment to Alicia Keys. The newmom and wife was a surprise guest who sang as a duet with Prince his song "HowCome You Don't Call Me Anymore?" the b-side to his hit "1999." Alicia's versionappears on her 2001 debut, "Songs In A Minor." Alicia was at her vocal best,and had the new mom afterglow even in simple fitted black pants, coat, heels,and hair pulled back in a basic bun.
Prince fawned over Alicia. After she joined him at hispurple grand piano for the song, he pumped his hands in the air, and chanted"What about this? What about this?" He referred to her as "beauty personified"and literally patted himself on the chest in awe.
When Alicia sang "How come you don't call me anymore?" duringone run through of the chorus, Prince joked that it might have something to dowith her husband Swizz Beats.
Prince was having such a good time that he commented that hehad too many hits, and even dismissed his lack of radio airplay as of late. "Idon't care if I'm never on the radio again. I love music," he said.
During his 1-hour-and-40 minute set on a custom stage shapedlike his famous logo, he offered newer songs and classic hits, "Purple Rain," "Cream,""Adore," "Raspberry Beret," "Let's Work," "Sign O The Times," "Darling Nikki,""If I Was Your Girlfriend," "Dance, Music, Sex, Romance," and "Controversy." Inaddition to The Time's "Cool," he also performed songs by some of his other proteges,an instrumental of Vanity 6's "Nasty Girl" and Sheena Easton's "You Got TheLook."
He changed his outfits as often as Lady Gaga does at anaward show, and the 52-year-old veteran could still dance as well as anyentertainer half his age.
After his third encore, I anxiously waited 30 minutes,hoping he would return to perform "Kiss," "1999," and "I Wanna Be Your Lover."When the VIP section dispersed, the cleaning crew started sweeping the stage,and the engineers manning the projectors hanging from the ceiling abandonedtheir posts, I foolishly assumed the show was over.
I was disappointed to find out later that Prince hit thestage again for a fourth encore. I would have loved to see it.
I'm thinking about catching the show again while he's stillin town.
- Alicia Keys