Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan led the stars at the long-awaited tribute concert to Prince on Thursday night (13Oct16).
The star-studded show was held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the singer’s family previously saying they hoped it would give fans some “closure” following Prince’s death in April (16).
Chaka was one of the first acts to take to the stage, and delighted the audience as she brought Stevie out to duet with her on I Feel For You. The song was written by Prince but was a hit for Chaka back in 1984. Clearly enjoying himself, Stevie belted out the song and wowed the crowd with his signature harmonica skills before the pair performed one of Prince’s most beloved songs – 1999.
Tori Kelly, Doug E. Fresh and Jessie J were among the other musical stars at the concert, with the British singer a late addition to the line-up after Christina Aguilera cancelled her scheduled appearance at the event due to a “vocal illness”.
A representative for the singer broke the news just hours before the concert, saying that Christina “has been advised by her doctors not to perform due to a vocal illness she has been trying to shake all week.”
Her cancellation comes after John Mayer pulled out of the concert earlier this week (beg10Oct16) due to a “change of schedule”, while singer Anita Baker also cancelled her appearance at the event shortly before it was due to begin. A reason for her decision is not known.
The concert was opened with a taped message from President Barack Obama, with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman also present at the event, announcing that Thursday was “Prince Day” in the capital of Minnesota.
Several of Prince’s family and friends were present for the musical celebration, including his younger sister Tyka Nelson, ex-wife Mayte Garcia and close pals Morris Day & The Time, Judith Hill and Liv Warfield.
Nelson previously told the Associated Press that the family are considering the concert as a form of public memorial for Prince.
“I want them to get some closure,” Nelson told the Associated Press of Prince’s fans. “It takes time to kind of get over it, and I see that they are grief-stricken.”
Prince died aged 57 at his Paisley Park compound after an opioid overdose.