Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan top Prince tribute show lineup

By STEVE KARNOWSKI - Associated Press 16 September 2016, 12:00AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Stevie Wonder and members of Prince's inner circle will highlight a family-sanctioned Prince tribute concert in St. Paul on Oct. 13, organizers announced Thursday.

Prince's family originally planned to hold the show at the new NFL stadium in his hometown of Minneapolis. However, organizers said that it will be at the smaller Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. CDT Monday via Ticketmaster; some will cost $19.99 in tribute to one of Prince's hits.

The lineup also includes Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Anita Baker, Doug E. Fresh, Luke James, Bilal and Mint Condition. Prince's inner circle will be represented by Morris Day & The Time, Judith Hill and Liv Warfield. The New Power Generation led by Morris Hayes, along with members of 3RDEYEGIRL, also will perform.

"It's an all-star mix of classic and new artists, Prince-inspired as well as Prince family-type artists," said organizer L. Londell McMillan, a longtime attorney for the late superstar who is helping to manage his estate's entertainment assets.

Prince's family first announced the show in late July, but details were slow to come out. That had frustrated Prince fans across the country who'd made travel reservations without any guarantees of tickets, including Angela Reardon, of Birmingham, Alabama, who booked her flights, hotel and rental car two days after the first mention.

But she was philosophical about the long silence on the lineup. Having been a fan for 38 years, she knows Prince himself had a habit of waiting until the last minute before announcing his concerts.

"Just to be there with the Purple fans — that's important," said Reardon, who's also booked a VIP tour of Paisley Park, the studio complex in suburban Minneapolis where Prince lived until he died there of an accidental painkiller overdose in April.

The change from U.S. Bank Stadium to the arena that's home to the NHL's Minnesota Wild was a "business and creative decision," McMillan told The Associated Press. He said he thought they could have sold enough seats at the stadium, but the decision wasn't just about selling tickets.

"For this kind of show, you want it to be intimate. You want it to be right," he said.

It's telling how many fans booked travel without knowing any details, said Jeremiah Freed, aka Dr. Funkenberry, a longtime fan and friend of Prince who hosts a podcast and runs a website.

"I really hope for the fans' sake that it's everything they want it to be and more," Freed said.

By STEVE KARNOWSKI - Associated Press 16 September 2016, 12:00AM

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