Eric Clapton delivered a one-of-a-kind performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Monday night.
The 17-time Grammy-winner wowed his audience with a closing cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain”. It marked the first time Clapton ever played a Prince cover, according to Rolling Stone.
Clapton, 74, has not gone on a full-length tour since 2013. He does still, however, play a select number of shows every year. “Purple Rain” was not the only rare performance audiences were treated to. He played “Holy Mother” for the first time since 2003, “Change the World” for the first time since 2004 and “Tearing Us Apart” for the first time since 2011.
The singer-songwriter is a big fan of Prince’s. Clapton paid tribute to the late singer in a 2016 Facebook post. “I’m so sad about the death of Prince,” he wrote. “He was a true genius, and a huge inspiration for me, in a very real way.”
“In the ’80s, I was out on the road in a massive downward spiral with drink and drugs, I saw ‘Purple Rain’ in a cinema in Canada, I had no idea who he was, it was like a bolt of lightning!” Clapton continued. “In the middle of my depression and the dreadful state of the music culture at that time it gave me hope, he was like a light in the darkness.”
Clapton is scheduled to perform two more dates at London’s Royal Albert Hall.