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The Time kicked off the tribute with an old-school performance of their hits “Jungle Love” and “The Bird,” both of which were produced and co-written by Prince (under the pseudonym Jamie Starr) and featured in 1984’s Purple Rain. The band (first formed by the legendary artist himself in Minneapolis), dressed in gold and black blazers and shades, moved to the rhythm and showed off their moves as they put on an energetic show.
“The sky is purple and the First Avenue Club is sold out, but you have tickets to the hottest show on the planet,” host James Corden said as he set the stage. Beyonce and Jay Z were among the audience members shown getting up out of their seats to dance along.
Mars then took the stage to perform Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” Mars, dressed in the singer’s signature sparkly, purple suit, strapped on an electric guitar as he jammed to the song and played a solo guitar riff. “Make some noise for Prince, y’all,” he said as he exited the stage and received a standing ovation. The “24K Magic” singer also took the stage earlier in the night for a solo performance of his track “That’s What I Like.”
The live remembrance of Prince, who died April 21, 2016, of a fentanyl overdose, was announced by the Recording Academy one week before the ceremony, though the performers were kept under wraps until showtime.
Over the course of his eclectic career, the late singer sold over 100 million records worldwide and won seven Grammy awards, a Golden Globe award and an Oscar for best original song score for Purple Rain.
James Corden hosted the 59th annual Grammy Awards at L.A.’s Staples Center, where The Weeknd, Lady Gaga and Metallica, Beyonce, Katy Perry and more artists also performed.
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