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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
Prince begins 21-gig London run
US pop star Prince

Prince has kicked off a series of shows at London's O2 arena with a string of hits and two scantily-clad dancers.

He started his first performance at the former Millennium Dome with the classic Purple Rain.

"I got more hits than Madonna's got kids", joked the 49-year-old singer during the two-and-a-half hour set.

After his third encore, the crowd began to leave - only to dash back in when Prince appeared in the middle of the auditorium with six burly bouncers.

He pushed his way through the audience and returned to the stage, where he treated the crowd to solo acoustic versions of Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret and Sometimes It Snows in April.

He also covered Come Together by the Beatles and Gnarls Barkley's Crazy.

The diminutive star has said he has prepared 150 songs and will be playing a different selection each night during his reign at the O2 Arena.

Last chance

After completing the 21 Nights in London season, the Jehovah's Witness apparently plans to take time out to study the Bible.

He has claimed the tour will be the last time fans will ever hear him play his greatest hits.

Everyone who attended the gig went home with a copy of Prince's new album Planet Earth, which he previously gave away free with the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Tickets for the events cost 31.21 - the same figure used by the singer to name his album, website and perfume.

Prince - who famously changed his name to a symbol in the 1990s after falling out with his record label - is in residence at the O2 Arena until 21 September.

The O2 arena has undergone a refit to host music, entertainment and sporting events.

Owners of the 20,000-seater arena, AEG Europe, said the acoustics have been designed specifically for modern musicians and every seat will have a clear view.

A smaller venue in the Greenwich complex, Indigo, will host the star's legendary after-show parties.


Did you see Prince perform at the O2 arena? What did you think of the show? Did it live up to your expectations? What were the highlights?

You can send pictures and video to: yourpics@bbc.co.uk or to send via MMS please dial 61124.

I have been a fan since 1983 and this is the ninth time I have seen him. He is the most superb performer and is so relaxed on stage with his band. It was lovely to hear some of the old hits again - as he said himself, "real music played by real musicians". I was also still there when he came back out and it was a magic moment!
Jan, Newport

The best show I've ever been to. The crowd went absolutely crackers when he sang Kiss!
Adam, Peterborough

Prince was mind-blowing and makes a lot of today's performers look positively rubbish in comparison. He may seem a bit strange but he really will go down in history as one of the world's greatest artists/performers.
Steve, London

Prince was absolutely amazing. He looks no older than he did 17 years ago when I saw him in Australia. His guitar playing is incomparable, his dance moves were as fluid and graceful as ever and the stage set was brilliant. His band and back-up dancers and singers were spot on and so energetic.
Leisa, London

A once in a lifetime experience - this man is a legend.
Aman, London

When he was good he was amazing (Controversy, I Feel For You, If I Was Your Girlfriend) but when he was bad he was terrible (Planet Earth, Guitar, Satisfied). What was with all the half songs (Raspberry Beret, Little Red Corvette, Kiss, Seven, Cream)? And since when does one line (yes, one line) constitute performing a song?
Gary, London



SEE ALSO
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