Tonight marks the highly-anticipated Official Prince Tribute at the Xcel Energy Center. After a year of unofficial tributes at award shows and local fan gatherings, as well as performances from Prince's collaborators and contemporaries in honor of his purple majesty, this one is supposed to be the big (vegan) enchilada. From Chaka Khan and The Time to The New Power Generation and 3RDEYEGIRL, as well as icons like Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker, it should be a star-studded stellar tribute to one of the best to ever do it.
I have to say though, as a full-fledged Prince fanatic who has gone to just about every major Prince tribute event this year, I'm hoping this occasion means we can venture a bit deeper into his songbook. As classic as "Purple Rain" and "1999" are, part of me is afraid that this evening will consist of several back-to-back takes on "Nothing Compares 2 U." Thus, as a means of constructively channeling my excitement, here's five dream Prince covers I'm hoping for tonight.
"She's Always in My Hair" performed by Chaka Khan
While we're likely, and rightfully, going to be getting Chaka's excellent take on Prince's "I Feel For You" tonight, how amazing would her version of "Raspberry Beret's" b-side "She's Always in My Hair" be?
"How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" performed by Stevie Wonder
Absolutely anything and everything Stevie could possibly do tonight would be amazing, so if we could choose just one track, it would have to be Prince's beloved b-side to "1999," the minimalist "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" It'd be unbelievably perfect for Stevie.
"Electric Chair" performed by The Time
Let's be real, this is the true standout cut from the Prince-helmed Batman soundtrack, and hearing a finely-tuned The Time take on the funky and meticulously maniacal "Electric Chair" would be amazing.
"Animal Kingdom" performed by Doug E. Fresh
The human beatbox and amazing sound effect machine Doug E. Fresh will be in the house tonight, and would be perfect for Prince's vegan anthem "Animal Kingdom." From Prince's acoustic guitar and sound effect album The Truth, Fresh could easily knock those animal noises right out of the center!
"Dinner With Delores" performed by Mint Condition
Mint Condition, also known as Prince's favorite band, have performed some of the best tribute covers of His Purpleness this year, including the aforementioned "She's Always in My Hair." Given their flair for arrangements and going deep, it'd be amazing to hear their take on Prince's 1996 single that he only ever performed live twice.