Pop superstar Prince celebrated the anniversary of his hit Purple Rain album and film by teaming up with old pals, who appeared alongside him in the project.

The singer thrilled fans in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Friday night (02JUL04) when he reunited with Purple Rain co-stars Morris Day, WENDY MELVOIN and drummer SHEILA E at the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL at the SUPERDOME.

The show, which kicked off the annual weekend concert festival in the city, was attended by an estimated 50,000 people - the largest crowd for a concert in the festival's 10-year history.

Prince kicked off the show by skating onto the stage in disguise, wearing a long wig, hat and beard, joined by funk bass icon LARRY GRAHAM.

Day and his group THE TIME then performed a full set before Prince took to the stage again and was joined by Wendy + Lisa and other specials guests like Chaka Khan and rapper DOUG E FRESH.

Prince finished the night by paying tribute to his current drummer JOHN BLACKWELL, whose young daughter drowned last week (ends02JUL04).

Blackwell, wearing a T-shirt with his daughter's face on it, sat in a spotlight onstage as Prince sang to him.

05/07/2004 09:02