Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera to headline Prince tribute concert

Stevie Wonder performing at the BET Awards in Los Angeles in June 2016 with Tori Kelly.
Stevie Wonder performing at the BET Awards in Los Angeles in June 2016 with Tori Kelly.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera will headline the long-anticipated tribute concert to late pop legend Prince, his estate announced on Friday (Sept 16).

The family said the concert - the first and perhaps only public memorial to the music icon - would take place Oct 13 at the 20,000-capacity XCel Energy Centre in St Paul, Minnesota.

Soul great Wonder will lead the lineup along with "Queen of Funk" Chaka Khan, whose collaboration with Prince revived her career, and Morris Day, Prince's contemporary from Minneapolis who played his rival in the 1984 film Purple Rain.

Younger artists to take part will include pop singer and dancer Aguilera, rock songwriter John Mayer, young breakout sensation Tori Kelly and R&B producer and singer Bilal.

Two of the backup bands from Prince's long career, the New Power Generation and 3rdEyeGirl, will perform all the songs with the guest artists.

"The family is extremely excited to provide an opportunity for the world to participate in the tribute for our brother Prince," his half-sister Sharon Nelson, said in a statement late on Thursday.

Prince, one of the most influential and prolific artists in pop history, died on April 21 at his Paisley Park estate outside Minneapolis-St Paul from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers.

Prince was cremated shortly after his death and members of his Jehovah's Witness held a private service, but there has yet to be an official event.

The 57-year-old singer, who was outwardly a model of health, had made no arrangements related to his death and a number of people have come forward to claim to be heirs.

His siblings put his estate in the hands of a professional administrator which has sought to keep Prince's business side in operation.

A week before the tribute concert, Paisley Park - Prince's cloistered studio and headquarters that is hallowed ground for many of his fans - will open for paid tours.

Prince's sister Tyka Nelson had initially said the concert would be held at the new US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis which has a much higher capacity at 66,200.

Prince had a history with the XCel Energy Centre, home of the Minnesota Wild hockey team. He played three sold-out nights at the arena during his 2004 US tour.

Tickets will go on sale for the tribute show on Monday, the family said.