Dave Chappelle paid tribute to Prince during a midnight set at the Chapel in San Francisco on Friday night. While the comedian considered cancelling the show to mourn the loss of the Purple One, he decided against it and instead performed in honor of the musical great.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Chappelle told the crowd "I almost thought about not coming tonight, but my band was like, 'Yo, Prince would definitely not condone that.' And now there is no place I'd rather be."
The set turned into an impromptu memorial as the comedians backing band played renditions of Prince classics, including, "Kiss," and "Nothing Compares 2 U," as the venue was lit in purple. Chappelle also remembered many moments with the eclectic singer.
He said that he was alerted of Prince's death after he was contacted by countless media outlets for comment. Prince and Chappelle have been connected ever since Chappelle's Comedy Central show aired a sketch in which Chappelle exposed Prince's love of pancakes and basketball that was based on a story told by Charlie Murphy.
Watch the classic clip here:
"I kept wondering all day, 'Why are they calling me?,' Chappelle said of the media inquiries. "I'll tell you what: I didn't know him well, but I knew him well." The comedian added of the mood following Prince's death, "This is black 9/11." He noted, however, "It's so much better that we grieve together."
Chappelle later issued a statement to WCCO CBS Minnesota, in which the comedian commented both on the artist himself, and the city he lived in.
"As a city, they exported a musical giant. It says a lot about them that at the height of his fame he chose to stay in Minneapolis," Chappelle said. "His admirers are a community that spans the globe. His legacy is an immense offering of music, love and laughter. And a fight for fairness to artist. Nothing of this world will begin to fill the void of his absence except his memory. Scientifically a memory is almost neurologically identical to an experience. So remember your loved ones often. Forget their faults and remember the best of what they made you feel. In that way… all of us are immortal gifts to one another that keeps on giving."
Catch up on the ways people all over the world are paying tribute to Prince with BET Breaks:
(Photos from left: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for GQ, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)