During last night’s final live performances on the current season of The Voice, Minnesota native Jesse Larson and his coach for the show, Adam Levine, paid tribute to Prince with “Let’s Go Crazy.” It was one of three songs Larson chose to give viewers, whose voting results will be announced tonight. Viewers could vote with an app or online, as well as through iTunes Store purchases or Apple Music streams of the artists’ performances. The winning voice will receive $100,000 and a Universal record deal.
It wasn’t Larson’s first tribute to the Purple One, whom he credits for giving him the confidence to pursue music full-time. Earlier this season, he covered the Time’s “Jungle Love.” His connection with Prince goes back to 2014, when his band #MPLS was invited to play Paisley Park. Later, Prince invited him to audition for his protege Judith Hill’s band in 2015. He performed with Hill — a 2013 Team Adam alum — for four months, opening for Prince on his Hit and Run Tour. Afterwards, Prince decided to pursue his “Piano and a Microphone” project.
“I checked my phone and got a message that said, “Jesse, are you ready to quit your job? We wanna hire you,” Larson told Jay Gabler earlier this month. “Then I started crying. I mean, I’m a tough dude, but these were happy tears, and the next day I went in and put my two weeks’ notice in and it’s been almost a little over two years now since I haven’t had a full time job and I’ve been playing music. I wouldn’t have done it, and I wouldn’t be here today on The Voice if it wasn’t for the opportunity to work with my music director, with my band, Brandon, and to have Prince believe in me enough to hire me.”
Prince has also popped up in other finalists’ songs. Last night, Chris Blue performed “Diamonds and Pearls” with his mentor Alicia Keys.
The 12th season of The Voice comes to a close tonight with the announcement of viewers’ votes, as well as guest performances from the likes of Miley Cyrus, Usher, and Gwen Stefani, at 8 p.m. CDT.