The early Prince performance that saw him booed off stage (twice)

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Unheard Prince music to be released on Friday to mark anniversary of the star's death
Prince was booed off stage when he opened for the Rolling Stones in 1981. (Getty)

This article is part of Yahoo's 'On This Day' series

As one of the best known artists of all time, it's unbelievable to think Prince ever received anything except deafening applause on stage. 

But on this day in 1981, the star was booed off stage after opening for the Rolling Stones - and it wasn't the first time. 

Two days before, on 9 October, the same thing had happened to the artist, who would go on to be one of the most famous stars in the world. 

The drama happened after Prince was invited by Mick Jagger to open for the Rolling Stones at the LA Coliseum.

Watch: Empire fans react to Prince tribute

On the first concert, Prince and his band The Revolution took to the stage, only to be booed by a proportion of the 90,000 people in the crowd. 

The abuse included racist and homophobic slurs and went on to involve people hurling things at the stage. 


How football legend Pelé 'saved' New Yorkers in his last ever game

Why Sean Connery's last appearance as 007 'isn't a Bond film'

The 'final words' of Jimi Hendrix in poem found near where he died

Recalling the incident later on, bassist BrownMark said: "Next thing I noticed was food starting to fly through the air like a dark thunder cloud.

"Imagine 94,000 people throwing food at each other; it was the craziest thing I had ever seen in my life, I got hit in the shoulder with a bag of fried chicken; then my guitar got knocked out of tune by a large grapefruit that hit the tuning keys."

Unheard Prince music to be released on Friday to mark anniversary of the star's death
Prince vowed not to return for a second date opening for the Rolling Stones, but did – and was booed again. (Getty)

Efforts to calm the crowd failed and Prince left the stage, reportedly vowing not to return for the second date on 11 October. 

But Jagger persuaded him to return and give it another go, later recalling: "I talked to Prince on the phone once after he got two cans thrown at him in LA. He said he didn’t want to do any more shows. God, I got thousands of bottles and cans thrown at me! Every kind of debris.

"I told him, if you get to be a really big headliner, you have to be prepared for people to throw bottles at you in the night."

He did return for the gig and was booed yet again, but it didn't stop him from playing on, and going on to be one of the best-known artists in the world, right up until he died in 2016 and after his death.

Watch: Mick Jagger pays tribute to Charlie Watts

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting