Maybe three weeks isn’t long enough to really process the loss of a legend like Prince, because it is still more than a little unbelievable that at 57 he is now no longer alive. But even in the face of such a tragic loss, the band must play on, and we look to honor the purple one’s legacy as we mourn his loss.
There have already been some Prince tributes, and there will no doubt be more throughout the rest of the year. But the show that Crescent Ballroom has lined up to pay homage to one of the greatest musicians of all time is as grandiose as the artist himself.
At least 14 DJs and bands, five poets, two spoken-word artists, and others are scheduled to perform at the massive benefit.
The Stateside team linked up with Leah Marche and Pfister of Black Poet Ventures to gather up a hugely talented group of Phoenix artists to put on the tribute, with the proceeds going to the School of Hip Hop PHX and the Limelight Youth Theatre, both nonprofit entities.
“I definitely heard about some tribute shows around the Valley, and a lot of them are money-driven with the wrong intentions. With this specific one with Crescent, when I found out all the proceeds are going to nonprofit organizations, I thought that was the only fitting tribute you can do for Prince because he was really big in his philanthropic life. So that to me is a true tribute to someone of his caliber, and that's why I was eager to be a part of this tribute show,” says Tina Estes, one of the many artists on the bill for Tuesday night show.
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Besides Estes the evening will also feature performances by The Stakes, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, Mystic Blu, House of Stair, Bones Haus, DJ Mitch Freedom, and many others, as well as storytelling, dance, poetry, and live painting. The lineup is eclectic because Prince was an icon who made contributions that reached far beyond his acclaim as a musical artist.
Like the late David Bowie who we lost earlier this year, Prince’s very existence challenged people's preconceived notions about sexuality, gender, art, and fashion.
“He made a lot of statements about people fighting for their rights as far as the music business goes, and it will be a legacy of being true to yourself and fighting for what’s yours in the music business and being comfortable in your own skin. ... Prince was a short man, and he wore heels and wore makeup. I think he made a statement as to say: Be whoever you are and be out and loud and proud no matter what it is,” says Mystic Blu, one of the artists on the bill.
The show goes down tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door, but reduced to $5 for people who wear purple or other Prince-inspired attire.
This article was updated at 12:35 p.m. on 5/17/2016.