Usher, 41, kicked off the sexually charged performance with a rendition of Prince’s 1982 single “Little Red Corvette” before he transitioned into the 1984 hit “When Doves Cry” accompanied by Escovedo on the drums. He wrapped up the show with a sultry version of the 1986 track “Kiss.” FKA Twigs joined Usher on stage where the “Cellophane” songstress channeled her sexiest dance moves with the “Confessions” singer.
The performance was a preview of Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince, a tribute concert in honor of “Purple Rain” hitmaker. The show will be recorded on January 28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and will air on CBS later this year. It will feature performances from Beck, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Chris Martin and Juanes in celebration of Prince’s music and influence.
This isn’t the first time Escovedo, who was Prince’s ex-fiancée and one of his proteges, has honored the late singer. She headlined a tribute to the “When Doves Cry” crooner at the BET Awards in 2016 where she performed a selection of his hits including “Earthquake,” “Erotic City” and “Let’s Work.”
Usher, for his part, also paid tribute to Prince in a special performance at Coachella in April 2016 where he performed “I Would Die 4 U” and “1999” with Major Lazer.
The late pop icon died from an accidental fentanyl overdose in April 2016 at his Paisley Park recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. He was 57.
Escovedo immediately responded to news of death via Twitter. “My heart is broken. There are no words. I love you!” she wrote at the time. Later, she released a statement to Us Weekly saying, “The meaning of the word loss has taken on new meaning this day. Thank God, love lives Forever.”
The “Glamorous Life” singer recounted her relationship with Prince in the 1980s in her 2014 memoir, The Beat of My Own Drum. She recalled that the Minnesota native proposed to her by mouthing “Marry me?” on stage while performing “Purple Rain” in 1987.
“He blew me a kiss, turned to the audience and took the most amazing guitar solo ever,” she recounted. “For the rest of that year my relationship with Prince was a dream.”
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