The late Prince and Ireland

The late Prince and Ireland
Funk legend Prince, who died on April 21, was no stranger to Ireland.

He performed live on three occasions; first in Cork in 1990, then twice in Dublin in 2002 and 2011.

Watch Prince performing in Cork in 1990:

However, his strongest connections to the country are also his most controversial.

The musician was scheduled to perform at Croke Park in June 2008 as part of his Prince’s Greatest Hits for the Last Time Tour but cancelled at the last minute.

More than 55,000 tickets had been sold, legions of fans were to be left disappointed, and there were endless rumours circulating about the reasons for the cancellation.

Whatever the situation, and although Prince was not going to grace Irish shores for the first time in six years, the no-show revealed a lot about his personality.

The inevitable legal battle that emerged showed that, after taking half of his $3 million fee upfront, Prince was less than willing to give it back.

And, what’s more, he didn’t seem to care – it took him three years to finally settle the bill and then, a few weeks later, he was onstage at Dublin’s Malahide Castle.

The late Prince and Ireland

During the case, one of his agents, Keith Sarkisian, explained that, upon hearing that promoter Denis Desmond had worries about whether the Croke Park gig would go ahead, Prince replied “tell that cat to chill”.

Sarkisian also told the judge that his client was “not very good at deadlines” and that conversations with him were usually about “world issues – politics or religion, rather than guarantees or monies”.

It’s clear that, aside from musical talent, Prince was a fascinating or, in the words of Justice Kelly, an “erratic individual”.

He also clashed regularly with Sinead O’Connor, with the Irish songstress openly admitting that they didn’t get on.

The root of this dispute lies in O’Connor’s most famous hit Nothing Compares 2 U.

The song was written and composed by Prince in 1985 for one of his side projects, a band called The Family.

It appears on their only album, but the only single released from this was The Screams of Passion.

Five years later, O’Connor recorded her own version, rocked the world and became a superstar.

Prince regularly performed the track at his live shows and it featured on his box set The Hits/The B Sides.

And maybe his shout-out of “love and respect Miss Sinead O’Connor” during his final Irish show was a little sarcastic, a further example of his eccentric personality.

Whatever the case, through Nothing Compares 2 U, his live performances, and the one that never was, Prince certainly left his mark on Ireland and its people.

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