Remembering Prince: The Many Tributes To The Purple One


As news began to trickle out of Paisley Park on April 21, fans of Prince feared the worst following reports of a medical emergency at the Minnesota complex. Sadly, those fears came true following the accidental overdose on painkillers by the man born Prince Rogers Nelson. An outpouring of love and respect from across the music community came in response to The Purple One’s passing and has continued to flow throughout 2016.

The beloved musician was only 57 years old at the time of his tragic and untimely death. There’s little doubt the unexpected circumstances surrounding his passing contributed to the grief shared by his fans, friends, family and fellow musicians. In an instant the man whose songs had soundtracked our lives, who style had turned our heads and whose personality bowed to no one was now gone. The world, it seemed, was a bit less funky that fateful day in April.

I was lucky enough to attend a Prince concert and witness the charisma, showmanship and musicianship that jumped from the stage while he played. Those songs, his standout hits, came one after another, electrifying an eagerly enthusiastic audience from all walks of life. And while I can’t ever experience that again, it’s clear his songs will live on as they already have through the numerous tributes performed by musicians from across genres and generations in honor of The Purple One.

Almost immediately musicians began covering Prince in concert, on television and elsewhere. For awhile it seemed his music, rightfully so, was being celebrated and re-created by someone new on nightly basis. The world was getting some of its lost funk back, thankfully.

JamBase documented over 30 such cover performances this year (access them and other Remembering Prince articles here). Below you’ll find 10 of those covers debuted in the days following Prince’s death, each serving as a celebratory reminder of the wide range of his remarkable talent and helping to keep his spirit and music alive.

“Purple Rain” – Slightly Stoopid Featuring Bob Weir Angelo Moore & Karl Denson :: TRI Studios :: Mill Valley, CA :: April 21

“Let’s Go Crazy” – the Disco Biscuits :: Terminal West :: Atlanta, GA :: April 21 (Captured by Brett Walford)

“Raspberry Beret” – Chris Robinson Brotherhood :: Mystic Theatre :: Petaluma, CA :: April 21 (Captured by nowiknowuryder)

“Purple Rain” – Mavis Staples :: Coachealla :: Indio, CA :: April 22 (Captured by ednla)

“Comfortably Numb” (with “Purple Rain” instrumental jam) :: David Gilmour :: Royal Albert Hall :: London, UK – April 24

“Purple Rain” – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band :: Barclays Center :: Brooklyn, NY :: April 25

“Sign O The Times,” “Raspberry Beret” & “Purple Rain” – My Morning Jacket :: Revention Music Center :: Houston, TX :: April 28 (Captured by Jay Elias)

“Controversy” – Umphrey’s McGee :: First Avenue :: Minneapolis, MN :: April 28 (Captured by nanarussell3877)

“1999” / “Purple Rain” – Herbie Hancock, Arthea Franklin & Others :: The White House :: Washington D.C. :: April 30

“Let’s Go Crazy” – Paul McCartney :: Target Center :: Minneapolis, MN :: May 4