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Controversy Tour (1981/2) Controversy Tour 1981/2
Dates & Venues Tour Timeline

Controversy Tour


The singer romped like an adolescent left at home.

Prince was joined by The Time for the Controversy Tour, whose live performances were very good, sparking tensions between the two and culminated in a fight in Cincinnati, back in the hotel after the tour’s final show. This rivalry was later immortalised in the movie Purple Rain.

As the venues of the Controversy Tour would be larger than his previous tours, Prince hired a set designer, and the shows would be more theatrical than his previous tours. Prince would begin each concert by reenacting the crucifixion in front of the set’s church window. 59 dates were played in total. To preserve the show on film, the 7th of March 1982 at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, was recorded and intended for release as a live album named The Second Coming. Prince was working on his breakthrough album 1999 around the time on this tour.

Prince | Controversy Tour
Photography by Bob Leafe


Bobby Z.
Dez Dickerson
Bass Guitar
Mark Brown "Brownmark"
Matt Fink
Lisa Coleman

Total dates played

  • 59 shows from 20 November 1981 to 14 March 1982

Sample setlist

  1. Uptown
  2. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?
  3. When You Were Mine
  4. I Wanna Be Your Lover
  5. Head
  6. Annie Christian
  7. Dirty Mind
  8. Do Me, Baby
  9. Controversy
  10. Private Joy
  11. Let’s Work
  12. Jack U Off
  13. Sexuality

Supporting album



Warner Bros. Records

13 November 1981
US Chart Peak
UK Chart Peak
Not charted

Prince Tour Trivia

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