‘Saturday Night Live’ Honored Prince With Retrospective of Performances: ‘He Just Destroyed’

Gone but never forgotten. Jimmy Fallon hosted a tribute to Prince on Saturday Night Live on Saturday, April 23, taking a look back at the music icon’s many memorable performances, spanning from 1981 to the present day.

“Other people may have been on the show more times or performed more frequently, but there was always something different about a Prince performance — it was special, it was an event, it was Prince,” the SNL alum said by way of introduction.

The wide-ranging special included clips of Prince playing “Party Up” for his first appearance on the show in 1981 (pre–“Purple Rain”), as well as his thrilling performance of “Electric Chair” in 1989.

In 2006, the legendary musician performed a number of his biggest hits, including “Fury” and “Beautiful, Loved & Blessed,” and in 2014, he did an unprecedented 8-minute medley as a musical guest on the show.

Prince
Prince performs for 'SNL' on Feb. 4, 2006. Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

“Times have changed, styles have come and gone, but no matter what, Prince has never not been cool,” Fallon added.

The show also aired Prince’s never-before-seen surprise performance during an afterparty that took place following the show’s 40th anniversary special in February 2015.

According to Fallon, the Purple One made good on a dare when Fallon called out to the crowded room, “Prince, if you’re in the room, I dare you to come up and sing something with us.”

And sure enough, the late night talk show host recalled, Prince parted a star-studded room filled with the likes of Beyoncée, Jay Z and Paul McCartney to play a few songs on stage.

“He got up, and it was unbelievable,” Fallon said. “He just destroyed.”

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