Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ piano to be auctioned for charity

Written by CNN Staff In the five months since the death of Prince William, other royals and political figures have paid tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter. But this fall, when Prince William stands alongside…

Prince's 'Purple Rain' piano to be auctioned for charity

Written by CNN Staff

In the five months since the death of Prince William, other royals and political figures have paid tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter.

But this fall, when Prince William stands alongside his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, at a gala celebration of the man they both loved, their gentle and understated passion for Prince of Pop will reach a new level of glory.

The pair will be patron of a new fundraising concert organized by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, named “Stars in Concert: an Evening of Tribute to Prince.”

Prince William and Kate will be the first royals to join former US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, at a charity event — as well as being one of the few people who have ever performed at a concert curated by the Mandela Foundation.

For William, who co-founded a youth sports charity in Africa with the late Sir Bob Geldof , it is a lasting connection to the man who moved him to tears and inspired his interests in equal rights.

“In honor of Nelson Mandela, myself and my wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, have been asked to co-chair a concert to be held in September,” he said in a statement.

“Nelson Mandela was a great humanitarian, and his commitment to equal rights for all men and women was commendable.

“We are so honored to be asked to be part of this important evening, a night to celebrate his legacy and be a part of remembering Prince of Pop, an icon who made an enormous contribution to our global culture and his country.”

The concert was devised to mark Mandela’s 95th birthday.

“When we first heard about the concert, we thought it would be an opportunity to work with Prince William and Kate, who both share a passion for Nelson Mandela and his ideals,” said Karynne Goode, Head of Gala Art & Artistic Director.

“They met for the first time at a gala event about a year ago and had a fantastic evening together.”

Invitations for the concert, which will take place at London’s Royal Albert Hall, have already been sent to a number of world leaders.

“We are thrilled to have such a great line-up of artists to showcase the incredible music Prince created throughout his life,” said Tariq Oliver, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“There are few artists whose albums from the late ’70s to the early ’90s spawned the songwriter to superstar trajectory as Prince did.

“Our aim is to celebrate Prince’s talent, his artistry and his legacy — his music which has shaped pop culture worldwide.”

The concert will be staged on September 27, which will be the sixth anniversary of Mandela’s first public appearance since being released from prison.

A previously unreleased Prince album, released shortly before his death, is expected to be among the musical highlights of the night.

Prince memorabilia will be auctioned in a separate sale to raise funds for charities close to the former prisoner’s heart.

Among the former Prince’s own possessions up for sale are a replica of the piano used in “Purple Rain” — the movie that launched his musical career and which is being played at Wembley Stadium during his lifetime — a pair of sneakers that he wore in the movie and an item of clothing that Prince wore in his 1984 movie “Undercover.”

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