Prince Announces 'Welcome 2 America' Concert Series

The event will run for several nights and feature an all-star musical lineup.

Oct. 15, 2010— -- Prince will host several evenings of live music in December, he said at a news conference in New York City Thursday night.

Standing at a podium on the Apollo Theater's famous stage, the singer said the series, billed as Welcome 2 America, "is what we've all been waiting for: multiple nights of entertainment"  that will begin "on a purple day in December 2010."

It was never made explicit whether Welcome 2 America will be a tour or a run of nights at one theater; it was clear, however, that it will be groovy.

"Bring your friends, bring your children," his purpleness told the audience, "and bring foot spray, because it's going to be funky."

Welcome 2 America's lineup will include saxophonist Maceo Parker, singer Janelle Monae, Minneapolis funk band Mint Condition, multi-instrumentalist jazz singer Esperanza Spalding, Cassandra Wilson, Graham Central Station, Sheila E. and others.

Prince will serve as the master of ceremonies and perform with his band, the New Power Generation.

After the brief press conference, at which Prince took no questions, the diminutive singer streamed a new song, "Rich Friends," and screened several minutes of his forthcoming concert DVD, "Twenty-One Nights."

Prince, wearing aviator sunglasses and a black jacket with gold ruffles, did not perform.

BET executive Stephen Hill later revealed that a gold-plated Fender Stratocaster guitar that sat unplugged on the Apollo stage during the announcement will be auctioned off after the live run. The proceeds will benefit Harlem Empowerment Zone, an economic recovery group.

"Come early, come often. I have a lot of hits," Prince reminded his audience. "No two shows will be the same."