Prince in the movie Purple Rain
YouTube screenshot

Updated Wednesday, July 16, 2014: After receiving a take-down request, we've removed the embedded video.

One of the greatest musical masterpieces was unveiled to the world on Aug. 3, 1983. It ushered in an era that people still relish, and when this artist performs, tears and shouts of joy follow him. For many people, that night will probably go down as the greatest moment in their lives—and to think they probably thought they were just going to a regular concert.

On that night in August, Prince Rogers Nelson played a benefit concert in support of the Minnesota Dance Theater, but guests had no idea they’d be a part of history. With his brand-new guitarist Wendy Melvoin, Prince debuted the songs people still shed a tear for when he performs them: “Let’s Go Crazy,” “I Would Die 4 U,” “Baby I’m a Star” and “Purple Rain.”

Footage from that historic night is occasionally leaked onto the Internet, then subsequently deleted. On Monday, Slate posted the video from Prince’s mind-tingling performance of “Purple Rain,” which was included on the movie’s soundtrack. The 13-minute performance was edited and dubbed for the soundtrack, but the live version includes an extended introduction, solo and an added verse.

Yesha Callahan is editor of the Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.


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