Aretha Franklin Covers Prince’s “Purple Rain” At The White House: Watch

Rachel Sonis | May 2, 2016 12:38 pm

In celebration of International Jazz Day (April 30), President Barack Obama hosted a 2016 All-Star Global Concert at the White House last Friday (April 29) featuring the likes of Herbie Hancock, Buddy Guy, Sting, Esperanza Spalding and Aretha Franklin. And like so many other artists these past few weeks, Franklin – backed by Hancock, Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Terrace Martin, Ben Williams and Terri Lyne Carrington – chose to honor Prince with a short but poignant rendition of “Purple Rain.”

The segment started out on a touching note, as Hancock said a few words about the late funk musician.

“Last week, we lost a legend, an icon,” said Hancock. “The son of a jazz pianist, who’s music inspired a new generation of artists to create without boundaries. Courageous, playful, wise, brilliant and a feast for the eyes and ears, Prince epitomized the word ‘music.’ And tonight we celebrate his incredible virtuosity and pay tribute to his legacy that spans every musical genre.”

The Queen of Soul then graced the stage adorned in gold, following a performance by rapstress Rapsody, and sang the hook of the 1984 power ballad. The performance starts at the 70-minute mark, and you can watch the full 94-minute broadcast right here.

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