Purple reign falls on 'Tonight Show'


It's not U2, but "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" will get its own multiple dose of pop royalty this month.

Prince will perform three consecutive nights on the program as he girds for the release of a pair of new albums. The mini-residency will run March 25-27; he also plans to hit the "Tonight" stage May 28 for Jay Leno's next-to-last night as host of NBC's venerable talk show.

No word on whether the notoriously press-shy musician also will sit down for a chat.

The announcement comes a week after U2 did a five-night run on CBS' rival late-nighter, "Late Show With David Letterman," in support of its new record. Prince's new albums, "Lotus Flower" and "MPLSound," will be available March 29 exclusively at Target. The $11.98 package also will include an album by rookie artist Bria Valente.

Prince's "Tonight Show" performances apparently are part of a larger rollout for the CD package in Los Angeles, according to an e-mail Prince sent to fans and media this week that included the usual wacky spellings, grammar and such. (partialdiff)