Prince to launch 'America' tour in Dec.


'Series of events' kicks off later this year with Sheila E. and Maceo Parker among guest artists.

Prince held a press conference at Harlem's Apollo Theater on Thursday to announce his "Welcome 2 America" tour, which starts in December. The concerts, which he called "a series of events," will include the singer-songwriter and his band and such jazz and funk acts as Maceo Parker, Sheila E., Cassandra Wilson, Esperanza Spalding, Mint Condition, Lalah Hathaway and Graham Central Station.

"Bring your friends, bring your children," Prince told the audience, "and bring foot spray because it's going to be funky."

Prince arrived on the Apollo stage at 6:25 p.m., with an introduction by Stephen Hill, executive vp entertainment and music programming at BET. Wearing a black velour jacket, the singer was vague about the concerts but told the crowd that they would not disappoint.
"Come early, come often," he said. "I have a lot of hits. ...No two shows will be the same."

There was no word on dates, venues or tickets for the tour.

Prince said a gold-plated Fender guitar that sat on the Apollo stage during the announcement will be auctioned off after the live run, with the proceeds benefiting the economic recovery group Harlem Empowerment Zone.

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