Music icon Prince was commemorated by his friends in the music industry with a celebration of his life and his music. In a two and a half-hour service at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Los Angeles, the people who knew the artist shared their memories.
Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese, director Spike Lee, Nicole Scherzinger, Larry King, Paloma Faith, record producer Bobby Z, R&B singer Mavis Staples, and singer Jill Jones joined the gathering of celebrities who he inspired.
The emotional service, which was shrouded in secrecy, began with a poignant performance of Prince's single Sometimes it Snows in April, performed by Greg Phillinganes. The people who knew him personally came forward to share their reflections on their experiences.
His former backing singers Wendy and Susannah Melvoin described sharing the stage with the electrifying performer. Prince's keyboard player Morris Hayes paid tribute while Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science President Cheryl Boone Isaacs honoured the singer who won an Oscar for the soundtrack for Purple Rain.
According to E Online Issacs said she "hated to gather for this, but glad" to see so many people celebrating the star's legacy. An eyewitness reported that R&B singer Mavis Staples, "gave the most moving tribute of the night," as she told the gathering Prince "made her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world."
Director Spike Lee, who shared a close association with Prince made a sartorial tribute. Posting an image he wrote: "Purple beret and purple Kobe's for Prince memorial tonight in El Lay." Saying a few words in honour of his friend he added that he would be staging another Brooklyn event on 7 June to mark the late musician's 58th birthday.
Musical tributes by stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Jennifer Hudson following the shocking announcement of the artist's death on 21 April were replayed on a screen. And in a moving moment, Prince himself addressed the crowd, as his 1985 Oscars' acceptance speech was replayed. As his iconic songs played, perhaps the most poignant tributes came from the women who had loved him, his ex-wives Manuela Testolini, and Mayte Garcia.
While Prince's siblings, including his sister Tika and five half-siblings were absent, from the service, the singer's step-brother, Omarr Baker was there.
The family had earlier issued a statement revealing that it is planning a public memorial service in Chanhassen, further confirming that, contrary to reports, no official burial service had so far taken place.
Larry King's wife Shawn shared a picture of the programme online writing: "Attended a wonderful Celebration of Prince's life with his friends and family tonight. Beautiful man. Beautiful life."
After he was found unresponsive in a lift in his Paisley Park home on 21 April, Will Smith, who revealed he was one of the last people to speak to the 57-year-old said he was "one of the most magnificent artists to ever grace this earth."
Plans are underway for a musical tribute with 8,000 people calling on Madison Square Garden in New York to host a charity concert in Prince's honour. A tribute will also be paid to Prince at the Cannes Film Festival.