“It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night” from Sign o’ the Times concert film (1987)
You'll meet Prince diehards who argue that despite Purple Rain's exhaustively chronicled legacy, the largely out-of-print Sign o' the Times is Prince's quintessential concert film. This video makes a good case for that assertion, and it epitomizes everything that made Prince so unequivocally, well, Prince: masterful showmanship, a commanding yet playful stage presence, and a world-class backing band that includes longtime collaborators drummer Sheila E. and dancer Cat Glover.
Super Bowl XLI halftime show (2007)
As if being one of the greatest artists of his generation wasn't enough, in 2007 the purple weirdo went on to deliver arguably the greatest Super Bowl halftime show of all time. The epic, rain-soaked medley included two somewhat unexpected covers (Foo Fighters, Bob Dylan) and a stunning, career-defining performance of "Purple Rain." The morning of the show Prince was warned of impending rain. His response? "Can you make it rain harder?"
“While My Guitar Guitar Gently Weeps” tribute to George Harrison at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2004)
It's a testament to Prince's otherworldly talent that he can share the stage with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and Dhani Harrison and still manage to appear unrivaled as a performer. Go ahead. Watch it a dozen more times if you haven't done so already.
"Purple Rain" debut at First Avenue (1983)
Prince and the Revolution's first-ever public performance of several tracks that would define Purple Rain the coming year. This debut performance of the album's title track — the recording of which actually ended up on the album — is next-level powerful.
“Do Me, Baby” at Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey (1982)
Despite the low quality, the Capitol Theatre concert is one of the more celebrated and strange Prince performances. It's captures The Purple One unhinged and unwavering while on the precipice of his mounting success. The sultry rendition of "Do Me, Baby" is a highlight.
“Feel For You” BET tribute to Chaka Khan (2011)
Prince was a longtime friend of pop icon Chaka Khana, and here he's joined by Khan, Stevie Wonder, and India Arie. What more do you want?
“Creep” at Coachella (2008)
This video went viral before "viral" was even really a thing. But shortly after it surfaced, NPG Music removed the footage from the web. Oddly enough, earlier this year the label finally lifted the ban, and it was re-uploaded to YouTube.
Saturday Night Live performance (2014)
One of the most unapologetically strange performances to ever take place on national television and Prince's final appearance on SNL. He's joined by his band 3rdEyeGirl.
Grammy's medley featuring Beyoncé (2004)
Prince has repeatedly expressed his unending admiration for the undisputed Queen of Pop. And what a better admiration origin story than this three-song Grammy medley with the two?
“Purple Rain” at the American Music Awards (1985)
1985, one year after the release of Purple Rain, was more or less the height of Prince's commercial success, and possibly the height of his rivalry with Michael Jackson. It's hard to imagine more than a few Prince detractors and skeptics weren't swayed by this, which is likely his first truly great televised performance.