BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Reclusive rocker Prince was expected to take the stage on Sunday evening in a “Rally 4 Peace” concert in Baltimore in response to the death of a 25-year-old man of injuries suffered in police custody and the riots that followed.
The Grammy-winning musician was due to appear at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore along with his backing band 3RDEYEGIRL and other, so-far unannounced “superstar guests,” according to a statement released earlier this week by the venue.
A promotional image for the concert urged attendees to “wear something gray,” in apparent reference to Freddie Gray, who died in a Baltimore hospital a week after his arrest on April 12.
Gray’s death became the latest flashpoint in a national outcry over police killings of unarmed black men and other minority groups in the United States, and provoked weeks of protests punctuated by a day of riots, arson and looting in the city on April 27.
Days later Baltimore’s chief prosecutor announced charges against all six police officers involved in Gray’s arrest, ranging from misconduct in office to second degree murder.
Prince released a new song, “Baltimore” on Sunday ahead of the concert, which features performer Eryn Allen Kane and includes a mention of Gray and urges: “let’s take all the guns away.”
Reporting by Lacey Johnson in Baltimore; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Eric Walsh