Since the untimely passing of Prince, the world has mourned in the only way it knows possible – dancing, singing and generally celebrating the life of a man who wiggled his way into the lives of the worthy. In the fine tradition of celebrating the heroes that helped shape their lives and ideals, the Prince covers are flowing in abundance with no signs of stopping. Here’s a few of our favorites that have hit the musical streets (warning, most of them feature “Purple Rain’”, that guitar solo hits us in the feels you guys).
Bruce Springsteen opened his set in Brooklyn with “Purple Rain”. The stage was awash in purple, mourning the great star with his rendition of the sweeping ballad. Springsteen did Prince right.
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With its haunting melody and truthful tone, “Purple Rain” was the dominant choice. In David Gilmour’s case he chose to mash-up “Comfortably Numb” with the familiar guitar riffs of Prince epic tune.
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The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon managed to grab sensual sensation D’Angelo. The crooner brought premier Prince cover band Princess into the mix (we’ll talk about those goddesses later). Featuring Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum, the mood was sober and worthy of the man himself as they covered “Sometimes It Snows in April”.
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Over in the trenches of Coachella, the man made his mark in the least likely of places, namely during indie rocker Sufjan Stevens’ set as he teamed up with Gallant. Again, they chose to cover “Purple Rain”.
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Liz Phair made her mark, covering the Prince written hit “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Like Springsteen, she stood in a hazy purple light, the rockstar’s version of a half-mast flag.
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This one would’ve either made Prince cringe or smile with delight because it is a quintessential Minneapolis tribute. Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould played the legendary venue First Avenue (home to the Purple Rain film) on April 22nd and was more than happy to join local punks punks Suicide Commandos for a rousing cover of Prince’s “When You Were Mine.”
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Finally, Princess’ whole set in during the Moontower Comedy Fest in Austin Texas was basically like a spiritual awakening featuring the soul of the man himself. Rudolph and Lieberum’s heartfelt journey covered some of the hits, but also the integral part of Prince’s catalog that tends to get overlooked by the newer fans. Kicking things off with ‘Let’s Go Crazy’, there hasn’t been a better tribute so far. They did end with ‘Purple Rain’, but Rudolph tears made it sincere (and their guitarist NAILED the solo).
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Having covered David Bowie’s “Heroes” the previous weekend at Coachella, it was fair to assume a dance collective like LCD Soundystem would pay tribute to Prince during weekend 2 and boy did they ever. Instead of the obvious choices many other have delivered (“When Doves Cry,” Purple Rain”), James Murphy& Co offered their take on the title track from Prince’s fourth studio album from 1981. If there ever was a track that was perfectly scripted for LCD’s high energy beat packed sets, its the Prince classic…