Photo: www.leroybennett.com

Sign ‘O’ The Times Set Design, 1987

“I’ve been very, very lucky to work with a lot of amazing artists and done a lot of amazing things. One of the highlights would be the opening night of Purple Rain Tour with Prince back in 84/85, it was in Detroit, and just listening to the scream of the audience. We just dumped thousands of flowers on them in the opening of the show. It was just like a rain flower forever. The whole experience of that was pretty amazing.” - LeRoy Bennett, on career highlights

Bennett is a legendary lighting designer who in 1980 got his start working with Prince on his Dirty Mind tour and has worked with the Purple One ever since. Bennett says getting that gig was the purest case of being in the right place at the right time. Back then, the 24-year-old Bennett was working as a lighting technician for a California production company, but his boss could see that what he really wanted to do was work on the design side of things. “My boss said, ‘The next client that comes through who doesn’t have a designer or a director in mind, I’ll put your name forward. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll go for that.’ That next artist that came through was Prince. “[Prince] is a great person for pushing people to their limits too. He saw in me the things that I didn’t realize. He put me in unique situations like putting me in the Purple Rain movie to light the live concert stuff.” 

Dirty Mind Tour Lighting Designer

Controversy Tour Production/Lighting Designer

1999 Tour Production/Lighting Designer

Purple Rain Tour Production/Lighting Designer

Purple Rain Movie Live Performance Lighting Designer

Parade Tour Production/Lighting Designer

Sign O’ The Times Tour Production/Lighting Designer

Lovesexy Tour Production/Lighting Designer

Graffiti Bridge Tour Lighting Designer

Nude Tour Production/Lighting Designer

Diamonds & Pearls Tour Production/Lighting Designer

Prince and the New Power Generation ’93
Production/Lighting Designer

*Prince threw a roller-skating party in L.A., on Valentine’s Day 2005, attended by Questlove and Eddie Murphy*

“…..Prince had the briefcase out on the floor. He clicked the lock and opened it, and took out the strangest, most singu­lar pair of roller skates I had ever seen. They were clear skates that lit up, and the wheels sent a multicolored spark trail into your path.

He took them out and did a big lap around the rink. Man. He could skate like he could sing…..”

- Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson