Minnesota’s Mint Condition On Prince’s Enduring Influence

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some of the biggest stars in the music industry will be in Twin Cities Thursday to celebrate the life and music of Prince.

Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kahn and Christina Aguilera are some of the superstars scheduled to perform in the tribute concert at Xcel Energy Center, although John Mayer will no longer perform.

One group with ties to Prince is expected to be one of the highlights of the night.

Minnesota’s own Mint Condition will take the stage and perform songs that have Prince’s imprint all over them.

The band, which has performed across the globe, is known for their explosive stage performance and musicianship. But on this day, it is not about them; it is about the man who helped them reached the highest levels of the industry.

“Prince is a big reason why we’re here because he started Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis from The Time, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis started us,” said Mint Condition’s Ricky Kinchen said.

Ricky Kinchen and Stokley Williams (credit: CBS)

Ricky Kinchen and Stokley Williams (credit: CBS)

Kinchen and Stokley Williams say it is an honor to be a part of a tribute to the man who gave them so much.

“He took us to Europe. I mean, one night 35,000 [audience members], the next night, 60,000. Like, he put us in front of, you know, his fans,” Kinchen said.

It will be Prince fans on Thursday who will listen to Mint Condition pay tribute in song.

Related: Loss Of Prince Still Stings For Many

“Musically, the DNA is there,” Williams said. “So he lives on through us, and he’s touched everyone. That’s how powerful music is.”

Mint Condition hopes the tribute to Prince helps his fans begin the healing process.

“You concentrate on the energy that he left. It’s like, you know, a person never really dies if … you keep their spirit alive,” Kinchen said. “He’s created so much, man … he lives through us.”

The music is what binds Prince with the bands and solo artists he mentored.

Prince and his music will live on forever, and Mint Condition hopes the hometown tribute concert will help fans remember why we celebrate his genius.

“Concentrate on what he left, you know. What he left us is a gift, for us to even be together as a band. A gift,” Williams said. “All these songs, bringing all these people together from around the world — a gift.”

The group says they will continue to create music inspired by Prince with the Minneapolis sound.

Click here for Mint Condition’s tour schedule.

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