Prince plans spring arena tour. His Purpleness promises old hits ''played in a newer way'' -- and maybe for the last time -- on his first major tour in six years

By Gary Susman
February 25, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Prince: Michael Caulfield/

Looks like Prince’s fiery Grammys medley of hits from the ”Purple Rain” soundtrack was just a warm-up. The Artist Formerly Known as The Artist announced a spring arena tour at a Hollywood press conference on Tuesday, his first major trek in six years. The tour will promote his forthcoming disc ”Musicology,” but it will feature plenty of hits from his ’80s heyday. ”It’s older music, but it’s going to be played in a newer way,” said Prince, who hinted that it might be the last time he trots out his 20-year-old classics, since he is ”wanting to make room for new music.”

The concerts will be performed in the round, as on Prince’s ”Lovesexy” tour back in the ’80s. He plans to hit 38 cities and has booked 28 dates so far, from a March 29 opener at Los Angeles’ Staples Center to a wrap on June 12 at the Century Tel Center in Bossier City, La. In the meantime, the usually reclusive Prince will be ubiquitous on TV, with appearances scheduled for Thursday on ”The Tonight Show,” March 3 on ”The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction (where he’ll be honored alongside ZZ Top, Bob Seger, the late George Harrison, Jackson Browne, Traffic, and the Dells), which will air on VH1 on March 21.