Local Current Blog

André Cymone will join the New Power Generation on tour

"This Thing Called Life" Prince tribute by the NPG at the Parkway Theater. Photo by Steven Cohen for MPR.

According to Billboard, Prince’s ’90s band the New Power Generation are headed out on tour after they play Celebration 2017 at Paisley Park. André Cymone wasn’t asked to perform with the Revolution (at Celebration or on their own tour), but the NPG’s Morris Hayes invited him to sing at Paisley and on the road after that. So far, the NPG have only announced one show, May 22 in Redondo Beach, Calif., but they say U.S. and Europe dates are soon to follow.

Prince always kept the New Power Generation line-up loose, but keyboardist Tommy Barbarella, drummer Michael Bland, and bassist Sonny Thompson are commonly known as the band’s cornerstones. Neither Bland nor Thompson are on this tour’s official roster, although they’ll “rotate in as needed and as their schedules permit,” as will vocalist Shelby J. (Correction: Thompson is a member of the core band, after all; Billboard corrected their error on Thursday.) Thompson and Barbarella will join Cymone, Morris Hayes (keyboards), Kip Blackshire (vocals), Marva King (vocals), Levi Seacer Jr (guitar), Kirk Johnson (drums), Tony Mosley (guitar, vocals), and Damon Dickson (dancer, vocals) at the upcoming concerts.

Last June, the New Power Generation reunited for three shows at Minneapolis’s Parkway Theater, and they also played the October mega-tribute at the Xcel Energy Center.

Billboard‘s article also includes a quasi-press release Prince handwrote, which features warm praise for members of the NPG (he did insert the word “almost” above the phrase “Rosie Gaines stole the show from Prince”).

During this run of shows, the NPG will play music from all over Prince’s catalog, including material that predated the band, such as Purple Rain. After the tour, they’ll hoping to write a new album together.

For details and backstory, read Keith Harris’s NPG explainer here.

  • Jill Willis

    Sonny Thompson IS a permanent member. Billboard may a little mistake by writing Sonny rather than Shelby J to rotate in.

  • R Pope

    Come to Chesapeake Arena or 89th street Collective or the Criterion!

  • Denise Hilton

    can you all come to Dutchess county ny. Aundre SiMone you are very loved in mew york. that you for being prince Rogers Nelson childhood freind and his brother. i want you to know i Greatly honor you. i know how hard it is to say good bye to a childhood freind. god bless you.

  • Linda Ann Eknoian

    We hope to see you in Boston, Massachusetts!!