On Friday, May 6, thousands of die-hard fans gathered at City Hall to pay tribute to the life and legacy of musical icon Prince Rogers Nelson. Organized by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and community leaders, the event boasted a phenomenal lineup of performing artists, including Stevie Wonder, The Time, Faith Evans, Eric Benet, Deitrick Haddon, Aloe Blacc and others. The dynamic tribute also featured live portraitists, gourmet food trucks and entertainment to keep Prince’s legacy alive among the people of Los Angeles.
The eclectic crowd of old and new generations alike appeared as sea of purple, with fans donning purple hair, eye shadows, hats and shoes, while others were dressed in full “Prince” ensembles with ruffled cream shirts and skinny velvet suits. The crowd danced for hours as Radio Free 102.3 KJLH, Fusicology and other sponsors kept the spirit of Prince alive, playing such hits as “When Doves Cry”, at which point several doves were released in a moment of solidarity.
The night continued with special covers of Prince’s greatest hits including Raspberry Beret, performed by Deitrick Haddon and Wanna Be Your Lover, led by Eric Benet. Aloe Blacc also made a memorable tribute to Prince with his rendition of Diamonds and Pearls, befitting for the steps of City Hall, where Prince originally filmed the visual for the song.
As the night closed, Prince fans were in for a huge surprise, when living legend and long-time friend of Prince, Stevie Wonder, showed up and showed out on stage, singing a soulful rendition of Purple Rain. The entire line-up of performers joined Wonder in unison, making the experience for fans a night to remember Prince’s legacy, creativity and musical contributions. “I think the only thing we can do, in the spirit of Prince, is to learn to truly love one another. We can’t just talk about it, but be about it,” Wonder declared.