Prince performs Valentine’s Day set for star-studded crowd
NEW YORK (AP) — Prince woke up early Saturday to share some love and hits on Valentine’s Day to a crowd that included former basketball star Michael Jordan, Beyonce, Jay Z and Chris Rock.
The pop icon performed an early morning concert to a star-studded audience: Questlove, Rosario Dawson, Nas and Queen Latifah, were among those dancing and singing to his rousing set in downtown New York City.
Wendy Williams danced onstage behind the keyboards throughout the first half of Prince’s two-hour-plus performance, and the pop icon selected celebs to come onstage later in the set. Among them, Rock, Latifah, Questlove, BET executive Stephen Hill and “Extra” host A.J. Calloway — who all danced to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” along with other non-celebs in the crowd.
The outside of 23 Wall Street was a bit chaotic as fans tried to get in to see Prince — some waiting outside in the brisk cold weather. Inside, it was hot with hit-after-hit. The singer’s performance celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Jordan sneaker.
An energetic Prince switched from guitar to keys and singing to dancing, and was backed by his mentees, singer Liv Warfield and female trio 3RDEYEGIRL.
“How many hits we got?” he asked the crowd. “Do you know who I am?”
Lights flashing bright blue, red and purple burst from the stage, where Prince shined, wearing a black and gold ensemble.
“Y’all all right? Turn the lights off,” he yelled several times.
He performed a number of popular songs, including “Controversy,” ″1999,” ″Little Red Corvette,” ″Nothing Compares 2 U,” ″Kiss” and “Hot Thing.” Those who tried to capture video or snap photos — including celebrities — were quickly stopped.
Actress Rosario Dawson danced onstage, looking into Prince’s eyes as she recited lyrics to “When Doves Cry,” which he performed on the keys, while rapper Nas sang from the middle of the crowd.
“Y’all mind if I play my guitar for a little bit,” he said as Latifah jammed on, sporting a fedora and glasses.
Other celeb attendees included football star Terrell Owens, Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, Mixed Martial Arts fighter Chuck Liddell, actor Tim Meadows and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Cynthia Bailey.
Prince — after being urged by fans who yelled “Purple Rain” — returned to the stage to close the night with the key song.
“I heard some people singing, but I want to hear everybody singing,” he said, extending the song.