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Goodnight, Sweet Prince: ‘SNL’ to Honor Music Icon With Special Tribute

Donald Miralle, Getty Images
Donald Miralle, Getty Images

Saturday Night Live will pay homage to the late, great Prince this evening (Saturday April 23) by airing a special tribute to the iconic artist and his musical performances on the late-night NBC sketch show. Titled “SNL Goodnight Sweet Prince,” the tribute will replace a repeat episode that was originally slated to air at 11:30PM EST.

Prince made his SNL debut on February 21, 1981, performing his single “Party Up.” Almost 25 years later, he performed again, singing “Fury” and “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed” on February 4, 2006, breaking the record (at the time) for the longest gap between official performances on the show. However, that record did not include his September 24, 1989 appearance for the Saturday Night Live 15th Anniversary Special, where he performed “Electric Chair” off the Batman soundtrack.

Most recently, Prince graced the SNL stage with his band 3RDEYEGIRL in 2014 to play an unprecedented 8-minute long medley, performing songs “Clouds,” “Marz,” and “Another Love” on the November 1 episode hosted by Chris Rock. There was no encore set.

Aside from his four musical performances on the show, Prince was often parodied in skits by hosts and cast members alike, including Billy Crystal in 1985 and Chris Kattan in 1999. However, the most infamous impersonator would likely be that of Fred Arminsen, who played the wonderfully eccentric musician eleven times, usually during a sketch called “The Prince Show.”

Revisit some of Prince’s SNL performances — as well as hilarious sketches about the legendary singer-songwriter — below:

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