Long-awaited Prince tribute kicks off with Obama
'Thank you, Prince, for all the great works you have done. You will be in our hearts forever,' said Obama. Photograph: (Getty)
The long-awaited tribute to pop icon Prince opened Thursday night with a short message from US President Barack Obama.
The tribute concert in memory of Prince took place at the Xcel Energy Centre in the Minnesota capital St Paul.
Obama sent a brief video tribute for the opening of the concert.
"Thank you, Prince, for all the great works you have done. You will be in our hearts forever," Obama said in the video.
Former White House adviser Van Jones, who revealed after Prince's death that the pop star had turned to him for advice on how to make anonymous charitable contributions to various causes, said that fans would be surprised how much Prince funded.
"I don't think Prince wanted to save the world. I think what Prince wanted to do is make sure that people's gifts... had a chance to sing," he said in a video.
The all-star concert kicked off with Morris Day, Prince's childhood friend in Minneapolis who played his rival in the classic 1984 film "Purple Rain".
Stevie Wonder was to headline the sold-out show, although another headliner, Christina Aguilera, canceled at the last minute.
John Mayer was also slated to perform but dropped out on Tuesday due to a scheduling change.
Prince died six months ago of an accidental prescription drug overdose.
The concert was announced after his death.
(WION with inputs from AFP)