Legends sharing the stage together is always exciting to watch. But usually, these collaborations are bombastic and highly coordinated, since randomly jumping on stage with a tightly rehearsed band isn’t always a great idea.
That being said, when Prince wants to get on stage, you let him on stage. Of course, it helps if you’re Stevie Wonder, the forever genial and happy-go-lucky genius. The meeting of these two icons happened in Paris, France on July 1, 2010.
There’s not a ton of context behind the video that captures Prince jump on stage to perform ‘Superstition’ with Wonder. Prince was about to start his 20Ten tour with an appearance at the Roskilde Festival a few days later and was most likely simply attending the show as a fan.
The video starts with Wonder dutifully pounding out the familiar clavinet riff, but after one of his on-stage backing musicians whispers something in his ear, he stops, almost as if he was expecting someone. When no one shows up he continues, but soon after the crowd goes absolutely ballistic. That’s because Prince, dressed in (what else?) a purple suit, struts on stage.
Initially joining Wonder at the clavinet, the Purple One is eventually brought his signature Hohner MadCat guitar by another surprise guest, longtime collaborator Sheila E. Prince proceeds to play the rest of the song on rhythm guitar, choosing not to step up to the mic and sing. Instead, he lays back and lets Wonder crank out his classic.
The connection between Prince and Wonder was not evident at the time, although Prince’s music carried clear influences from Wonder’s brand of funky soul and R&B. After Prince’s death, Wonder penned a heartfelt tribute where he called the late artist “so inspired, and so inspiring. He was kind, he was disciplined and he knew where he wanted to go.”
See the performance, below.