D’Angelo and Friends Pay Tribute To Prince In The Best Way Possible On Jimmy Fallon
There are very few musicians who possess the magic combination of talent, soul, and grace necessary to pay tribute to Prince during this very sensitive time of his loss. You have to be an artist who’s undoubtedly been influenced by Prince’s work and without a hint of corniness or opportunism. When I saw D’Angelo on Jimmy Fallon crooning away in honor of Prince, it was fucking perfect.
D’Angelo is a man who’s released albums worth of sensual soul-searching music in his own right. It was only natural that he’d call on Princess – the Prince cover band started by Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum to help him pay tribute to the Purple One as best they could.
The trio appropriately performed “Sometimes It Rains In April” on a stage shrouded in purple light, with D’Angelo donning a white fur vest as he sat at the grand piano, bringing everyone to tears with the assistance of Rudolph and Lieberum’s perfectly synchronized backup vocals.
As if the lyrics weren’t sad enough on their own, halfway through the song D’Angelo changed the words to say, “I often dream of heaven and I know that Prince is there.” For anyone who loves Prince and D’Angelo this performance feels like you’re being softly rocked by a family member as you cry to sleep. Every time it pans to the faces of Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum, you can tell they’re trying their hardest to keep it emotionally together as they are singing.
Sometimes it feels as if even in times of sorrow the internet has a difficult time agreeing on anything. But, this musically-and emotionally-on point tribute received mostly love and gratitude. Because goddamn, sometimes you just gotta sit back and accept the gifts of comfort that are presented to you.
At least we still have D’Angelo and Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum, or more appropriately, their gorgeous collective Princess.
The only downside to this tribute is the emotional blackhole it can spiral you into, listening to it over and over again and then returning to YouTube to watch more videos of the fallen Prince himself. You’ve gotta have a minute available – or an hour. Or at least, you’ve gotta be prepared to accept that you might just carve out some time.
That’s important to do though, because all the good things, they say never last.