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Prince Pays Tribute To Vanity At Piano Solo Tour Opener

The singer dedicated "Little Red Corvette" to his fallen protégé.

Gonzales Photo // Gonzales Photo/Demotix/Corbis

The death of former singer and protégé Denise “Vanity” Matthews, was celebrated on Monday (February 16) with Prince’s Piano and a Microphone solo tour in Melbourne, Australia. The tribute show came the day after it was revealed his ex-girlfriend had died at the age of 57. "I just found out a little while ago that someone dear to us has passed away, so I'm going to dedicate this song to her," Prince told the audience before performing "Little Red Corvette."

Being the time difference between Melbourne and Los Angeles, Prince learned of Vanity’s passing just as he was set to take the stage for the opening show of his solo tour. Throughout the night he referenced countless memories and admitted he was struggling with the news.

"I am new to this playing alone. I thank you all for being so patient," he said ahead of "The Beautiful Ones." "I'm trying to stay focused, it's a little heavy for me tonight. Just keep jamming ... She knows about this one."

Prince also shared personal conversations about the singer over the course of his set. "Can I tell you a story about Vanity? Or should I tell you a story about Denise? Her and I used to love each other deeply," Prince said. "She loved me for the artist I was, I loved her for the artist she was trying to be. She and I would fight. She was very headstrong 'cause she knew she was the finest woman in the world. She never missed an opportunity to tell you that."

"I probably shouldn't be telling this story, but she'd want us to celebrate her life and not mourn her," Prince told the audience.

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