Purple Rain tour kicked off November 4, 1984 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan for seven concerts. The tour ended April 7, 1985 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida which was renamed for the show, “Purple Bowl Stadium.” The five month tour followed the release of the Purple Rain album on June 25, 1984, and the Purple Rain movie on July 27, 1984.
98 CONCERTS WITH $1.7 MILLION TICKETS SOLD
Prince, Sheila E., and Apollonia 6 performed 98 shows in 32 venues on the 1984-1985 Purple Rain tour. They sold over 1.7 million tickets. Cities included New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Memphis, Miami, and Toronto.
MADONNA PERFORMED WITH PRINCE ON FEBRUARY 23, 1985 IN INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA
Prince and Madonna were both signed to Warner Bothers Records, and each released one of the best selling albums in history in 1984. Six months after Prince released Purple Rain, Madonna became a household name with her Like A Virgin released on November 12, 1984.
On February 23, 1985, she shocked the audience attending the Purple Rain concert at The Forum in Inglewood, California by joining Prince to perform “Baby I’m A Star.”
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN PERFORMED WITH PRINCE ON FEBRUARY 23, 1985 IN CALIFORNIA
Bruce Springsteen released his classic Born In The U.S.A. album on June 4, 1984, just three weeks before the Purple Rain was released.
On February 23, 1985, history was made as three of the greatest stars in music– Prince, Madonna, and Bruce Springsteen united on stage at The Forum in Inglewood, California to perform one of the songs from the Purple Rain soundtrack, “Baby I’m A Star.”
INSPIRED BY RECORDING SETTING ‘PURPLE RAIN’ MOVIE AND ALBUM
Prince released his Purple Rain soundtrack on June 25, 1984. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1984, he became the first artist to simultaneously have the number one album (Purple Rain), number one song (“When Doves Cry”), and the number one movie (Purple Rain). The single “Purple Rain” was certified gold, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number four on the R&B chart.
Prince won two Grammy Awards in 1985 for Purple Rain: Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special, and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for the title song. He also won a third Grammy that year for Best R&B Song for composing Chaka Khan’s cover of “I Feel for You.”
Prince also starred in the movie with Apollonia, The Time, his band The Revolution. The film opened January 1, 1984 and grossed over $80 million.
On March 25, 1985, Prince received an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner presented the award, which he accepted with Wendy and Lisa from his band The Revolution.
Sheila E and her band performed as one of the opening acts on the Purple Rain tour. She would also return to join Prince on “I Would Die 4 U”/“Baby I’m a Star.”
Prince planned for Vanity to star in Purple Rain, but after disagreements caused her to stop working with him, Patricia Kotero was cast in her role and was renamed Apollonia. Vanity 6 was also renamed Apollonia 6, and the group opened the Purple Rain tour, Apollonia also joined Prince and Sheila E. later in the show to perform “I Would Die 4 U”/“Baby I’m a Star.”
WENDY AND LISA
The Purple Rain tour was the first tour including Wendy and Lisa in Prince’s most famous band, The Revolution, which was featured in the movie.
The Purple Rain Revolution lineup
Prince-guitar and keyboards, Wendy Melvoin-guitar, Lisa Coleman-keyboards, Dr, Fink-keyboards, Brown Mark-bass, Bobby Z-drums
WENDY MELVOIN REPLACED DEZ DICKERSON ON GUITAR IN THE REVOLUTION
For the Purple Rain movie and tour, Wendy Melvoin replaced Dez Dickerson on guitar. She formed a duo with keyboard player Lisa Coleman known as Wendy and Lisa. They left the group after recording the Parade album in 1986.
NOVEMBER 11, 1984 SET LIST IN DETROIT BEGINNING WITH “LET’S GO CRAZY”
Set list for the November 11, 1984 concert at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan:
“Let’s Go Crazy”, “Delirious”, “1999”, “Little Red Corvette”, Instrumental interlude: “Yankee Doodle”, “Free”, “Father’s Song”, “God”, “Computer Blue”, “Darling Nikki”, “The Beautiful Ones”, “When Doves Cry”, Encore 1- “I Would Die 4 U”, “Baby I’m a Star”, Encore 2 -“Purple Rain”
Words 4 Prince by the beautiful Apollonia Kotero 💜
My Dear Prince,
I have never known you to leave the stage so early.
4 long, dreadful months have passed since God welcomed you home. I miss you so much, the pain is unbearable, making it hard to breathe. Grief, depression, anger, and loneliness are like those bullies who taunted me in grade school. They have been relentless. My life has been a vortex of rage and despair. Waves of sadness washing away the pieces of my broken heart. My own personal hell on Earth. I feel like your widow.
I see you everywhere. I see you in everything. I know you wanted to live. You were so happy to be getting your music back. You told me of all your plans. Your plans for me. For A6. I was so excited because you were going to bring me back to Paisley Park to see the finished Purple Rain Room with our images in murals painted on the walls. You wanted to celebrate with A6 and present to us our Platinum Albums.
The weekend of April 15, 2016, you knew I was on my way to see you. I kept calling your manager to confirm my arrival, and continued to call for you desperately to no avail. On the morning of April 21, I woke up to the worst day of my life. Suddenly my phone began to scream with calls,texts,alerts! I hear messages from Jill Jones, Susan Moonsie and Brenda Bennett. I return their calls. “No…No…” It must be someone else. An employee. A fan possibly? They said something horrible happened inside your home. I turn on CNN. It has to be a hoax. It’s a mistake I thought.
After what feels like broken glass ripping at my heart, they confirm my worst nightmare. I touch your sweet face with my fingertips, but it’s only my TV screen. The TV is shut off. It remained that way for weeks.
I could not cry. I could not feel. I could not believe it. It was a parallax view combined with a dissociative state. I was no longer part of my body. I was no longer part of this world. My heart exploded into a million pieces that morning. Prince, I am overwhelmingly saddened by what happened to you. How it happened. It is absolutely gut-wrenching to see what continues to happen. I am devastated by the horrible things said by those who do not know you. The vile gossip. The cruel, merciless tabloids. I could not watch, listen or read about you. The vultures circling your still warm body. The greed. The lies. The false claims. Shame on them.
I am certain you are watching, having the last laugh because you predicted this. “The enemy sends people into our lives just as God does. Be wise enough to know who to let in and who to let go.” “The devil will walk into a room with tears and will try to make you feel sorry for him.” You said these exact words to me in 2014. “Jubilant Judas fakes tears.”
Without knowing, on April 21 you changed my life once again, Prince. Let me try to explain why I feel like your widow.
On June 28th, 2014, at your home at Paisley Park, I told you when you love someone so much for so long, you become as one. As we have. I gave you a bejeweled gold crown charm I bought for you at Kensington Palace. I said to you the entire world calls you Prince, but to me you are a King. We kissed. We both had tears. I leaned my head on your shoulder. You celebrated us that night. Our 30th Anniversary. You then escort me on a private tour. Your doves cooed. Your Oscar shined brightly. You were like a kid. It’s a museum with a secret maze. Your secret doors and the secret panels. A fun house. “It’s a city,” I say. You tell me it’s your sanctuary. Then you ask me if I would like to see your vault. “I do not wish to see your money” I respond. We walk towards a bank vault-like door. You politely explain what’s inside is far more important than money. You open the vault and say “MY MUSIC.”
“I have a surprise for you”, you say with a huge grin. We walk into a soundstage so gigantic it needs it’s own zip code. Third Eye Girl is waiting for me, suited up and stage ready. So talented and beautiful! I was honored. You sat me right next to your mike on the stage. Close. So close. Thisclose. You sang our songs. You stared at me and I stared right back at you. It was beautiful. I fell more in love with you. Imagine that. You filmed us. You then posted it. That entire night you made me feel like Charlie Bucket. Prince and The Music Factory. It was like a romantic sequel to our movie. You made me feel like a Princess.
We spoke about family, love, music, and the future. Deep discussions. How we are family. 33 years now. You wrote another song about us, you proudly tell me. You show me the meme “This Could Be Us.” Your happy face lit up. I gushed as always. I kiss you again. The plans you share with me take my breath away. You are so gracious.
On April 21st you changed the lives of many. That morning was made even more difficult because of the news journalists. They hid outside my home. They offered compensation. It was horrendous. I could not breathe, let alone speak. I respect your preference for privacy. I did not want to run and desperately grab a microphone and be part of the frenzy. I was incapable of using this tragedy as a PR moment as was done by others.
The world cried purple tears on April 21, 2016. Monuments world-wide were lit purple in your Honor on that sad day. Sting expressed his condolences to me. Lenny is crushed. CeeLo loves you. Your Purple Family grieved. They love you so much. They still mourn you. You greatly affected so many, it’s beyond words. Their love and dedication to you has given me strength. I am so grateful to my dear friends that came to my home to provide comfort and strength during these challenging times. My “Purple Rain Family” has been my glue. My sisters Susan Moonsie, Brenda Bennett and Jill Jones and I are together.
Your brother Omarr and sister Tyka and siblings are doing their best under the most difficult of circumstances. I am there for them. Our entire Purple Rain Family, Omarr and Tyka are as one. Sadly, it has been hard for us to heal, as this is still not over. Omarr and I have spent time consoling one another and reflecting on how we wish to celebrate your life. Your stellar legendary life.
In my days of reflection and at times the reluctant observer, I thought of ways to truly honor your life. There are so many beautiful moments that I cherish. There is so much to say. I will do my best for you. To bring great minds together and only present the finest to your world-wide Purple Family. Prince, when I am ready to talk to the media about our unique and loving friendship, I promise to always be truthful and I will keep private the things you would never want me to discuss.
My love for you is great, but my grief is even greater. I promise to stay strong. I know you are with me. Thank you for your guidance and protection. It brings great comfort and solace when I think of your last words to me, “I LOVE U 2”.
I can feel the prayers of many and I am forever grateful for their love. I know you are joyful now. In a state of absolute bliss. With God at your side. The music up there must be off the hook, now that you’re a member of the greatest band in Heaven.
You told Jill J. and the girls on February 28th that I was a clown. I figured God made me just to make you laugh. I will try my best to find my humor again. My heart needs more time. I really miss your laughter. Your silly voices. But mostly, I miss your pancakes.
I’m sure you’re busy socializing with all your friends and music making up there, but where can I send this letter to you? Maybe I should call The Duffer Brothers for help, as we know stranger things have happened? I promise to check in with you often.
Finally surfed today. I thought about you there on the sand. Under the umbrella , watching me. Sand in your fro. Made me smile. I miss you Skipper heart ❤️