Springsteen, 66, opened his show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday, April 23, with Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
“Everyone in the band was wearing something purple,” an eyewitness tells Us Weekly. “Bruce said the show was dedicated to Prince and said he was the best.”
During the emotional performance, The Boss’ stage was lit up with purple spotlights as the audience sang along to the iconic tune. “It was so awesome,” adds the concertgoer.
Prince was found dead at the age of 57 at his Minnesota compound, Paisley Park, on Thursday, April 21. An autopsy was performed on Friday, but results are pending.
Rudolph’s Prince cover band, Princess, also performed a special tribute on Saturday at the Paramount Theatre during the Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin.
“Dearly beloved, we are here tonight to celebrate and honor the beautiful and genuinely unique, one-of-a-kind, most brilliant, most special, most magical, most f–king incredible Prince Rodgers Nelson,” the 43-year-old said, referencing the intro of the seven-time Grammy winner’s 1984 hit “Let’s Go Crazy.”
The Saturday Night Live alum, who often played Beyoncé opposite Fred Armisen as Prince on the show, continued, “It’s gonna be hard. We’ll probably cry. He was our hero. We loved him, and he’s completely shaped our world. We’re gonna do this together, all right?”
Throughout the night, Rudolph, who rocked a shiny purple outfit, and her bandmate Gretchen Lieberum performed some of Prince’s biggest hits, including “Controversy” and “Jack U Off.”
In Las Vegas, John, 69, briefly paused his sold-out Caesars Palace residency show on Saturday night to share an anecdote about the time he and Prince stayed at the same hotel. John joked that he caught the “Kiss” singer coming home from a party at 8:15 a.m. as he was getting ready to start the day.
“You were a purple warrior. We loved you. We salute you,” he said before singing “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” as images of Prince were displayed on the screen above the stage.
Several artists, including Mavis Staples, Ellie Goulding and LCD Soundsystem, also paid tribute to Prince at the Coachella music festival in Indio, California, over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Yesterday I lost a dear friend,” Staples told the crowd. “He was my son … my angel.… I’m talking about Prince. I was on [his label] Paisley Park for seven years. During that seven years, I adopted him. He was the most beautiful spirit I ever met. He was a gentleman.… He was respectful.”
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