By Willa Frej, huffingtonpost.com
The audience joined the cast of Broadway musical “The Color Purple” in a moving tribute to musical legend Prince on Thursday night.
Singer Jennifer Hudson, who plays Shug Avery, thanked the crowd for being there.
“I did not expect to have to speak on tonight but God has his way,” she told the audience. “As we all know, today we lost a legend. He was a good friend of mine, Prince, he was dear to all of us.”
Hudson recalled how Prince invited her and the rest of the musical’s cast not long ago to an event while he was writing his book.
“We want to keep him alive today with this song,” Hudson added, and asked the crowd to join in celebrating his life and legacy.
Cynthia Erivo, who plays Miss Celie, then launched into a beautiful rendition of Prince’s smash hit “Purple Rain.” Hudson joined in after, as the rest of the cast and the audience members sang along, waving their hands in the air.
Toward the end of the song, Hudson asked for the music to stop so that everyone in the theater could sing a cappella.
Elsewhere on Broadway, the cast of the hit musical “Hamilton” honored the music icon Thursday night with a dance set to the song “Let’s Go Crazy.”
Prince died on Thursday at the age of 57 after being found unresponsive in his Paisley Park music studio.