Prince was honored in Los Angeles on Friday night (May 6), where fans of all ages — and wearing an array of purple — gathered for a memorial tribute at City Hall.
Among the friends and collaborators of the late artist to appear, speak and perform some of his greatest hits were Stevie Wonder, who delivered a soulful “Purple Rain,” Faith Evans, Aloe Blacc, and Eric Benet, who took on Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” In between performances, a DJ filled in the blanks with a repertoire of mostly Prince songs — with a Kiss tune or two thrown in for good measure.
“Losing prince was like losing a member of [our] musical family,” said Wonder, adding that he “still can’t imagine Prince gone.”
Friday’s memorial concert attracted thousands to the area surrounding Grand Park where food trucks were set up and a nearby grassy area double as a dance floor.
Though the event primarily celebrated Prince’s life, it turned solemn for a brief moment as a flock of doves were released during a performance of “When Doves Cry.”
In conjunction with a live broadcast, local radio station KJLH asked listeners to request their favorite Prince songs and interviewed several Prince collaborators, including members of The Time.
Though Prince’s home base was Minnesota, the Purple Rain singer had longstanding ties to the City of Angels, as well. The video to his 1991 hit “Diamonds and Pearls” featured L.A.’s own City Hall as a backdrop, and Prince’s first album, For You, was recorded in California and mixed in L.A., along with several other of the singer’s subsequent releases.
— Additional reporting by Gail Mitchell