Prince parties like it's 1999 in Kent

Monday July 4, 2011

Prince dazzled an adoring festival audience as he played his first UK show for four years.

The multi award-winning musician was performing at the 'Hop Farm Festival' near Paddock Wood, Kent, which was this year extended to a third day with his inclusion on the bill.

After casually strolling on to the stage more than half an hour late, the diminutive singer told the crowd: "I'm so happy to see you."

Dressed from head to toe in a cream-coloured outfit, with his collar turned up and a large gold necklace, he added: "This is real music, we are real musicians."

The party got started as he sung 1999 along with other well known hits such as Raspberry Beret and Nothing Compares 2 U, famously covered by Sinead O'Connor.

He later said to many screams: "We're on tour all summer. I wish you could just follow me, I love this crowd."

Backed by a mainly female band, Prince also performed classics Purple Rain and Kiss during his two-hour set.

As he came back on to the stage for the first of two encores, he joked: "Do you know how many hits we have?"

Prince, who famously dropped his name to be known as a symbol for a period during the 90s, last dazzled UK audiences when he played a 21-date residency at the O2 Arena in London in 2007.

Then, as now, he proved he could still be huge crowd puller, despite no longer selling albums in the volume he did in the 80s and 90s.

Photo: © Getty

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