Had he still been alive, it seems almost certain that Prince, a Minneapolis native, would have had something to say about the death of George Floyd.
In his absence, and on what would have been his 62nd birthday (7 June), Prince collaborators from across his four-decade career - including band members from The Revolution, the New Power Generation and 3RDEYEGIRL - collaborated virtually on a new recording of The Cross, Prince’s powerful ode to peace and redemption that was included on his 1987 masterpiece Sign O’ The Times.
The project was orchestrated by Kirk Johnson, a long-time producer, dancer and drummer with Prince, who reached out to fans on social media asking which song the new collective should record. The consensus was that it should be The Cross, which is presented “as a message of hope, love and peace”.
Set against the backdrop of widespread civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic, each part was recorded remotely and then sent to Kirk Johnson to work into the finished track. The result is a cohesive and affecting performance, with Prince cohorts including Kip Blackshire, Donna Grantis, Matt Fink, Morris Hayes, Sonny T, Levi Seacer, Mayte and many others playing their part.
Over on Prince’s official YouTube channel, meanwhile, his estate shared a new video for Baltimore, a track that Prince recorded and released in 2015 following the death of black man Freddie Gray while in police custody.
The Prince Instagram account, meanwhile, featured a handwritten note by the late star, discovered in his personal archives, that said: "Nothing more ugly in the whole wide world than INTOLERANCE (between) Black, white, red, yellow, boy or girl. INTOLERANCE."