Following the recent announcement by the Revolution of their US tour this spring, more of Prince’s former band mates and various members of the NPG (the New Power Generation, Prince’s backing band throughout the 1990s and 2000s) will be following suit with a tour of their own.
Members of the NPG, along with the Revolution will also be performing at Celebration 2017, an event at Paisley Park held over 4 days from 23 April to mark the first anniversary of the icon’s untimely death. The two tours come off the back of the fan reception both acts received during their performances for the tribute official tribute show at the Xcel Enery Arena on 13 October last year. The NPG’s tour will be led by Morris Hayes, whom was not only a close friend and confidant to Prince, but has holds distinction of being his longest-serving band-member, having joined Prince’s band in 1992. Hayes said, “Prince’s music is here to stay and people want to experience that feeling of getting together. That was the biggest motivator for me.”
The NPG’s tour will begin at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, California on 22 May, and is expected to perform shows across America and Europe. The line-up will comprise of Hayes (on keyboards), and NPG stalwarts Tommy Barbarella (keyboards), Levi Seacer Jr (guitar), Tony Mosley (guitar and vocals), Sonny Thompson (bass), Kirk Johnson (drums) and Damon Dickson (vocals). They will be joined on vocals by Andre Cymone, Kip Blackshire and Marva King. Two other NPG members Michael Bland (drums) and vocalist Shelby J (vocals) will guest on an ad-hoc basis throughout. Prince’s former manager throughout the 1990s, Jill Willis, will head its promotion. The launch show will be recorded with the intention to release at some future point, but Hayes also confirms the band’s plan to write new material for a studio release. The dates of the Revolution’s tour are listed on our tour page, as will the NPGs dates as soon as known.
The tours come in the aftermath of the significant surge in Prince’s popularity since the star’s death on 21 April 2016. Having 18 studio albums and 6 compilation albums reinstated to music streaming services for the Grammy awards downloads of Prince’s discography rose 6,323% in the week following the ceremony. Warner Brothers, also have set the date to release Purple Rain Deluxe, the remastered version of Prince’s seminal album, which was due for release on the 31st anniversary of the original album, before pulling out for unknown reasons in April 2015. This deluxe edition, re-mastered with state-of-the-art sound, will be accompanied by a second disk containing previously unreleased material (possibly from that era), as well as two concert movies all to be released on 9 June.
This week Prince’s sister, Tyka, revealed he had told her three years ago, “I think I’ve done everything I’ve come to do.” Further revelations are expected to be aired with the publication of Mayte’s autobiography, The Most Beautiful, chronicling her marriage with Prince between 1996 and 1999, next month. In it, the former wife says Prince has never got over the tragic death of his son, Boy Gregory, just one week following his birth in October 1996.
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