The life of pop legend Prince has been celebrated as thousands flocked to his native Minnesota. The concert was held nearly six months after his sudden death and opened with a tribute from US President Barack Obama.
Legendary performers Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan were among a list of stars performing for tens of thousands late Thursday and nearly six months after Prince's death by accidental overdose of prescription painkillers.
At the memorial concert his ex-wife, choreographer Mayte Garcia, set the tone by wearing a leopard-print dress and matching bikini top and performing an elegant belly-dance in which she balanced a sword on her head.
Tributes also poured in from the world of politics with President Obama delivering a brief video address. "Thank you, Prince, for all the great works you have done," Obama said. "You will be in our hearts forever."
The concert spent little time on tearful remembrances and instead, a parade of singers close to Prince took turns on his hits before a purple sea of 20,000 dancing fans at the XCel Energy Arena in Minnesota's capital, Saint Paul.
Motown legend Steve Wonder, seated, whom Prince had cited as a role model, sported a purple shirt under his suit as he performed Prince's hit "1999."
Prince spent his life around his hometown Minneapolis where his funk style becoming known as the "Minneapolis Sound."He died April 21 at his suburban Paisley Park compound, which last week opened up to tourists for the first time as his estate seeks to ensure its financial future.
The singer's top hits included "Purple Rain," ''Let's Go Crazy" and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World."
On the outdoor plaza before the concert, tens of thousands of fans wearing purple shirts and scarves milled about and danced at the Xcell Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
On the outdoor plaza before the concert, fans wearing purple shirts, scarves and the occasional raspberry beret milled about and some danced. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman read a proclamation declaring Thursday Prince Day in Minnesota's capital.
Prince's family initially announced the concert in late July, but details did not emerge until September. Fans quickly snapped up tickets when they went on sale last month.
Prince died suddently in April at his stately residence. He was 57.
jar/kl (AP, AFP)