Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo and 'The Color Purple' Cast Bring the House Down by Singing Prince's 'Purple Rain' | NBC Bay Area

Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo and 'The Color Purple' Cast Bring the House Down by Singing Prince's 'Purple Rain'

What better way to honor Prince than through song?

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    Hours after 57-year-old music legend Prince was found dead in his Minnesota home, Jennifer Hudson paid her respects to him on Broadway.

    Joined by Cynthia Erivo and the rest of "The Color Purple" cast, she brought the house down in New York City by performing "Purple Rain."

    Before singing the 1984 classic, she thanked the audience for showing their support.

    "I'm not a speaker by any means. I did not expect to have to speak on tonight, but God has his way," Hudson said. "As we all know, today we lost a legend. Ooh, Jesus, we lost a legend who was a good friend of mine: Prince, who was dear to all of us. Every single one of us."

    Prince had reached out to Hudson not too long ago.

    "He called me while we were here and asked me to come out, you know, to this event because he was writing his book. And he told me, 'You can bring your cast members along.' All these amazing people. Aren't they awesome? We were honored to be in his presence one last time and we got to have that moment," she said.

    "So tonight, if you guys don't mind, we'd like you all to join us in honoring Prince. He said his music will live on and he will live through his music so we want to keep him alive today with this song. I might not get through this, but I will try. Help us out. Can we all do this together?" As the audience rose to their feet, Hudson encouraged them. "I know you all know the song!"

    Toward the end of the song, Hudson asked the band to stop playing.

    "Can we just stop the music and we all sing it together one more time?" she asked, telling fans, "I want to hear you!"

    Hudson has become somewhat of a go-to tribute performer over the years. With little time to prepare, she gave a pitch perfect tribute to the late Whitney Houston at the 2012 Grammys. And, at the 2015 Oscars, her performance made people cry during the In Memoriam segment.

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