Actor Tyler Perry recently presented a show-stopping performance to pay tribute to Prince — literally!
The Madea on the Run star posted a video of the tribute performance on Facebook Saturday. According to the caption, he stopped Friday’s night performance of his stage play to pay tribute to Prince by performing the hit song, “Purple Rain” himself.
“I stopped the play last night for this short tribute to Prince!!! Forgive the bad notes!! But look at how this man was loved!!!”
Even though Tyler Perry was the one that got things started, it did not take very long for his audience to chime in. As seen in the footage, a vast number of people joined in by singing along and holding up the flashlights from their mobile devices.
Once the song was over, the purple lights were turned off and Tyler Perry quickly snapped back into character — allowing the play to seamlessly pick up where they left off before paying tribute to the legendary singer.
Just watched Tyler Perry perform Purple Rain Live. #WOW
— Rachael Roberts (@rachaelann2293) April 22, 2016
See? Tyler Perry stops show and sings “Purple Rain”. https://t.co/zD5VzTT51v
— brad smith (@madbradsmith) April 24, 2016
The literal show-stopping performance of “Purple Rain” was not the first time that Tyler Perry has paid tribute to Prince in the days since the icon passed away. Tyler posted a lengthy message on Facebook Friday morning to show his respects to the longtime singer, songwriter, musician and entertainer — opening with the simple yet profound statement that “doves are crying today.”
Perry went on to explain an unexpected encounter that he personally had with Prince nearly 12 years ago when Tyler was performing at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. On the way to the theater, he received an unexpected phone call from Prince — a call that Tyler claims almost made him wreck his car.
“The voice said, ‘I hear you’re doing a bit of Purple Rain in your show. Do it again and I’m going to sue you… and I need 10 tickets and I’ll be there tonight.’ Click. I freaked out. PRINCE HAD CALLED ME!!!”
Tyler claims that he waited at that backstage door for Prince to arrive that night, hoping that he didn’t get out of his car with a large team of attorneys. When Prince arrived laughing and smiling, though, Tyler was somewhat assured that the legendary rock star was just joking when he had called him earlier threatening to sue.
“One of the first things he said was that he was a fan of mine. That blew me away. ‘Prince WHAT?’ I thought. Can you say mind numbing?! Anyway, we chatted for a while, but time seemed to fly by. Soon enough, I had to get dressed and start the show. During the play I would glance at him, and he seemed to be having an awesome time. Man! Prince was watching me perform!! And enjoying it!”
When he got to the part of the play where he would usually sing a few lines of “Purple Rain,” Tyler Perry stated that he looked down into the audience and apparently received a nod of approval from Prince to go ahead with the performance.
— Vulture (@vulture) April 22, 2016
However, he called his next step a “big mistake” — he had someone bring Prince a microphone so that he could perform the song himself.
“I had never heard that kind of roar from a crowd before. 3,400 people losing their minds!! He sang one verse and the audience was blown away. There was a standing ovation for him AT MY SHOW… He was done singing and the audience wouldn’t stop applauding him. I still had 20 minutes to go before MY show was over. I knew at that moment that I had just been educated by royalty!! The lesson: never give your microphone to a legend at your show!!!”
Tyler Perry continued his tribute by stating he always knew he was “in the presence of someone special,” “incredible,” and “brilliant. He stated that Prince “gave us so much of his genius that it is impossible to forget that he walked this planet.”
— The Night (@TheRisenKnight) April 21, 2016
Over the years, Tyler Perry has shared a number of heartwarming tributes for celebrities that he had the privilege of working with directly or simply respecting as a longtime fan — including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina Brown, and Doris Roberts.
[Image Credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images]