ST. PAUL, Minn. - Thousands of fans from all over the world jammed St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center Thursday night for a musical tribute to Prince.
Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Tori Kelly and Doug E. Fresh were part of the concert lineup. Prince's ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, also performed. Prince's inner circle, including Morris Day & The Time, was also in attendance.
Pop star John Mayer bowed out, citing a "change of schedule." Singer Christina Aguilera has canceled her appearance due to a "vocal illness." And while singer Anita Baker was supposed to be in the lineup, she was a no-show as well.
The Prince family-sanctioned concert originally was planned for the Minnesota Vikings' new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, but was moved to the smaller 17,000-seat Xcel Energy Center. The concert was sold out.
"I’ve been a fan since purple rain and I bought every record,” said Quentin Dean, who grew up in Sweden but now lives in Washington D.C. "It’s a way to celebrate and experience this community because they loved who he was,” he said.
Jason and Jo Raffaala just moved to Minnesota from Newcastle, England.
"It’s different than a normal prince concert which we’ve been too a number of times before, this time it’s people coming to say goodbye,” said Jason.
The night began with a video montage of Prince, followed by a video message from President Obama. The evening continued with song, dance and memories of the "Purple One."
By the end of the night, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan had the crowd partying like it was 1999 all over again. Kahn sang Prince's "I Feel for You," a 1984 hit for her. Wonder and Khan then performed Prince's hit "1999," with the crowd clapping and dancing along.
Tyka Nelson described the Thursday night concert at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul as a public memorial to Prince. She says she sees that fans of her brother are grief-stricken, and that makes the celebration of Prince's life and music "so, so important." She says there "definitely" will be future concerts.
Prince died of an accidental painkiller overdose at his Paisley Park recording complex in April.