Prince‘s performance of “The Beautiful Ones” in “Purple Rain” goes down in history as one of the most magnetic and intimate scenes in a motion picture—his eyes!—and, last night in Dallas, in the ongoing cavalcade of megastars paying homage to Prince onstage, Beyoncé tried her hardest to channel Prince in a cover of the ballad.
It’s not the first time the queen has covered the Prince. She also wove the same song into her “I Am… Yours” residency in Vegas back in 2009, and sang it as a medley at the Glastonbury Music Festival in 2011, mixing it with the Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire.” And on the first night of her current Formation world tour, she dimmed the lights, turned the stage background purple and blasted “Purple Rain” to the crowd, which she apparently did last night as well.
But this is the first time the singer has just stood there, with the stage bathed in purple light, and sung the song start to finish. Though she didn’t end it by humping the ground and lying prone at the song’s end, as Prince did in his stunning performance of it as The Kid in “Purple Rain,” she did finish by closing her eyes and reaching skyward, perhaps in an attempt to touch Prince in the heavens. It certainly wasn’t the most dynamic live performance of “The Beautiful Ones”—for example, Prince once sang the song on “Lopez Tonight” while Misty Copeland pirouetted around the stage—but it was beautiful. Bravo, Beyoncé.