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About (Late) Last Night: Jamie Foxx does Prince for David Letterman

December 22, 2010 |  9:08 am

Jamie Foxx, ever the showman, paid tribute Prince during a chat with David Letterman on the "Late Show," breaking into song and dance at every opportunity. Not his own, thankfully. Instead, Foxx worshipped only at the purple altar.

In New York City to promote his new album, Foxx told the story of taking his 16-year-old daughter to Madison Square Garden for the first time, in order to see Prince perform. "Give it up for Prince," said Foxx, commanding the audience to applaud. His speaking style is part emcee and all ham.

"It was the vintage Prince," Foxx said. "I've seen Prince a lot of times and sometimes he'll go into himself and start singing about scriptures and stuff like that. Yeah, it's crazy." The crowd laughed and Foxx saw an opening. In his best high-pitched Prince voice, Foxx pretended to noodle on a guitar: "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth...." It was the sort of mocking only a super-fan can pull off.

"This time, he came out -- Madison Square Garden -- and went straight to, 'Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today,'" said Foxx, quoting from Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." He leaped to his feet and did a little dance while the house band played a Prince-inspired lick.

"My daughter was tripping because I was like a little schoolgirl singing all the songs," said Foxx. He danced some more. Foxx then explained being invited on stage during the show, but he continued to interrupt himself to flex his Prince impression. (It gradually lost its charm.)

Returning to the story, Foxx said Whoopi Goldberg and Spike Lee were also on stage dancing. "It was really a New York moment," he said.

Backstage, Prince was again an oddity, this time for his questionable fashion sense. "Is that a shawl?" Foxx wondered. "To be able to rock a shawl as a grown man, that's amazing," he said.

-- Joe Coscarelli