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Prince Announces ‘Welcome 2 America’ Tour

Kevin Mazur, WireImage

Pop icon Prince held a press conference at Harlem’s historical Apollo Theater this evening to announce his upcoming ‘Welcome 2 America’ tour, which Prince vaguely told the crowd will take kick off “on a purple night in December 2010.” Prince added that he’s bringing some friends along for the ride. Janelle Monae, Mint Condition, Esperanza Spalding and Cassandra Wilson will join the legend on the forthcoming jaunt.

BET’s Vice President of Entertainment Stephen Hill introduced Prince and informed the crowd that as a lifelong fan of the singer, he was equally as excited for to hear the announcement. Hill ran down the list of dates and venues in which he’d seen Prince perform — Apollo in 1994 was on his list.

“Bring your friends, bring your children and bring foot spray, because it’s going to be funky,” Prince told the crowd of media gathered in the theater. “Come early, come often. I have a lot of hits… no two shows will be the same,” he added.

Prince also introduced a new track entitled ‘Rich Friends,’ a bluesy song that reportedly will be included on a deluxe edition of his recent European release in support of his overseas tour. During his groundbreaking three-decade plus run, the artist born Prince Rogers Nelson has sold over a 100 million records with such landmark releases as ‘Dirty Mind,’ ’1999,’ ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Sign O’ The Time. In 2004,’ Prince made a remarkable comeback as his Musicology tour became that year’s highest grossing trek. Most recently, the Oscar-winning talent was named the seventh Greatest Artist of All-Time by VH1.

The significance of Prince making his announcement at the Apollo Theater appears to be due to his upcoming donation to the Harlem Children’s Zone, a charter school in Harlem founded by social activist and educator Geoffrey Canada. Hill revealed that Prince will play a gold-plated Fender guitar during the tour and will auction it off, with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Zone.

Additional reporting by Keith Murphy.

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