Prince will play 21 concerts at the O2 arena in London this fall before taking some time off from music to study the Bible, he announced at a press conference in London on Tuesday (May 8), according to Reuters.
A company publicizing the “21 Nights in London” tour, Outside Organization, said in a statement that Prince would be performing his greatest hits “for the very last time,” but the singer did not confirm that information in his press conference. He did, however, say that he and his band plan to play a different show every night and will draw from a list of 150 songs.
“We play so many different styles of music, it’s really hard to get a full dose of what we do unless you come to several shows,” he said. “I also have a wide fanbase that comes to multiple shows all the time.”
He also suggested that he might perform Amy Winehouse’s “Love Is a Losing Game,” and when asked asked if he would invite her to perform with him onstage, he replied: “Absolutely.” The singer, who is known for slipping surprise covers into his live sets, included an unexpected rendition of the Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” during his electrifying performance at Super Bowl halftime earlier this year (see “Foo Fighters ’Have No Idea’ Why Prince Covered Their Song At Super Bowl” ).
Prince told reporters that he’s been drawing inspiration from “prophets from the Bible” and noted that he does not expect to perform in London for some time after his stint this fall.
“That’s another reason why we’re trying to stay so long. I just need to take some time off for study and travel.” When asked what he was studying, he answered: “The Bible.” Prince has been a Jehovah’s Witness for several years.
Prince said tickets for the London dates will cost 31.21 pounds, a reflection of the title of his latest album, 3121, which became his first #1 album in the U.S. in 17 years (see “Prince Crowned Billboard King, Scoring Very First #1 Debut” ). The run is scheduled to begin on August 1 at the O2 arena, a new, 20,000-capacity venue.
“Last time I was here, a lot of people didn’t get to see me, so we’re trying to make it affordable for everybody,” he said.
“That’s why we’re doing an extended stay. I got used to this while working in Las Vegas,” he said, referring to his recent residency in the city.
As he did on his successful 2004 U.S. tour, Prince said the shows’ ticket price will include a copy of his (yet unreleased) new album.
“It’s direct marketing and I don’t have to be in the speculation business of the record industry, which is going through a lot of tumultuous times right now,” he said when asked why he was giving the album away essentially for free.
The singer is scheduled to play a show at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco on May 19.