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The NPG


(Original Line-Up #1)


(Original Line-Up #2)


(Line-Up 1998)


(Line-Up 2002)


(Line-Up 2004)


(Line-Up 2007)


(Line-Up 2012)

Band details


Assembled: 1990 (original line-up #1)
1994 (original line-up #2)
1997 (3rd Line-up)
2000 (4th Line-up)
2002 (5th Line-up)
2006 (6th Line-up)
2009 (7th Line-up)
2010 (8th Line-up)
2013 (9th Line-up)
Disbanded: 1996 (original line-up #2)
2004 (5th Line-up)
Activity with Prince: 1990 - 1993 (original line-up)
1994 - 1996 (original line-up #2)
1997 - 1999 (3rd Line-up)
2000 - 2001 (4th Line-up)
2002 - 2004 (5th Line-up)
2006 - 2009 (6th Line-up)
2009 - 2010 (7th Line-up)
2010 - 2012 (8th Line-up)
2013 - now (9th Line-up)
Live Performances
First live appearance w/Prince:
Performed regularly on tour:
  • Original line up #1
Diamonds And Pearls Tour
Act I
Act II
  • 1994-1996 Line up
The Ultimate Live Experience
Japan '96
  • 1997-1999 Line up
Love 4 One Another Charities Tour
Jam Of The Year World Tour
New Power Soul Tour
New Power Soul Festival Tour
  • 2000-2001 Line up
Hit N Run Tour
A Celebration
  • 2002-2004 Line up
One Nite Alone... Tour
World Tour 2003
Musicology Live 2004ever
  • 2006-2008 Line up
Per4ming Live 3121
21 Nights In London : The Earth Tour
  • 2009-2010 Line up
Prince 20TEN Tour
  • 2010-2011 Line up
Prince Live 2010
Welcome 2 America Tour
Welcome 2 America Euro 2011 Tour
Welcome 2 Canada Tour
  • 2012 Line-up
Welcome 2 Australia Tour
Performed occasionally in shows:
As Prince's support band:
13 Aug. 1993 Cádiz, Spain: Estadio Ramón de Carranza
19 Aug. 1993 Gijón, Spain: Hipódromo de las Mestas
21 Aug. 1993 Madrid, Spain: Plaza de Toros de las Ventas
22 Aug. 1993 Barcelona, Spain: Palau Sant Jordi
25 Aug. 1993 Vienna, Austria: Donauinsel
31 Aug. 1993 Paris, France: Palais Omnisport de Paris Bercy
5 Sep. 1993 Mainz, Germany: Flughafen Finthen
7 Sep. 1993 London, England: Wembley Arena
2 Jul. 2004 New Orleans, USA: Louisiana Superdome (with Prince in disguise)
With Prince's Associates:
As main act:
18 Aug. 2007 (am) London, England: 3121 at The IndigO2 with Mya
26 Aug. 2007 (am) London, England: 3121 at The IndigO2
1 Sep. 2007 (am) London, England: 3121 at The IndigO2
21 Sep. 2007 (am) London, England: 3121 at The IndigO2
Discography
With Prince:
  • Albums
1991: Diamonds And Pearls
1992:
1993: The Hits 1
1993: The Hits / The B-Sides
1994: Come
1995: The Gold Experience
1996: Chaos And Disorder
1996: Emancipation
1999: The Vault... Old Friend 4 Sale
2002: One Nite Alone... Live!
2002: One Nite Alone... The Aftershow: It Ain't Over
2004: The Slaughterhouse
2007: Planet Earth
  • Singles
1991: Gett Off
1991: Cream
1991: Insatiable
1991: Diamonds And Pearls
1992: Money Don't Matter 2 Night
1992: Willing And Able
1992: Thunder
1992: Sexy M.F.
1992: My Name Is Prince
1992: 7
1992: Damn U
1993: Nothing Compares 2 U (live)
1994: Space
1995: Purple Medley
1995: P. Control (House Mix)
1995: Dolphin
1995: Endorphinmachine
1995: Hate U
1995: Gold
1992: The Morning Papers
1996: Betcha By Golly Wow!
1996: Somebody's Somebody
1997: NYC
1999: Extraordinary
1999: The Rest Of My Life
1999: 5 Women
1999: It's About That Walk
2002: One Nite Alone... Live EP
2002: Days Of Wild
2002: Live At The Aladdin Las Vegas
2004: Controversy (Live In Hawaii)
2007: Chelsea Rodgers
With Prince's Associates:
  • Albums
1993: Carmen Electra: Carmen Electra
1993: Mavis Staples: The Voice
1994: Various Artists: 1-800 New Funk
1995: Mayte: Child Of The Sun
1999: Larry Graham & GCS: GCS 2000
2010: Rosie Gaines: Concrete Jungle
2012: Andy Allo: Superconductor
  • Singles
1993: Carmen Electra: Everybody Get On Up
Self Productions w/Prince:
  • Albums
1994: Gold Nigga (NPG Records)
1995: Exodus (Warner Bros. Records)
1998: Newpower Soul (NPG Records)
  • Compilations
1994: Blankman (contains Super Hero)
1994: Prêt-A-Porter (contains Get Wild)
1996: Girl 6 (contains Count The Days & Girl 6)
  • Singles
1993: 2gether
1994: Super Hero
1995: Get Wild
1995: Count The Days
1995: The Good Life
1996: Girl 6
1998: The One
1998: The War
1998: Come On
2001: Peace
2001: The Daisy Chain

The New Power Generation is a band assembled by Prince in late 1990 in order to back him up during his live appearances.

After disbanding The Revolution, Prince had been using a live backing band on tours from 1987 to 1990 that did not have a name as such. Following the 1990 Nude Tour, Prince first started referring to his band as "The New Power Generation", a term first used in the song No.

On the 1990 soundtrack album Graffiti Bridge there is also a song dubbed New Power Generation, but at the time it is not attributed to Prince's backing band per se. Like he did with The Revolution previously, Prince coupled his name with "The New Power Generation" on his two next albums.


The 90's

During the early nineties the band evolved from a backing band to an entity of its own, for which Prince composed material and produced a number of albums, like he had done for The Time previously. Members were encouraged to actively participate in the music creation process, for Prince's album as well as "The New Power Generation (shortened to The NPG) albums projects and other Prince's productions for protégés or related artists.

In 1996, Prince disbanded "The NPG" and all its members were taken off the retainer. He then began to form a new band, keeping only the "NPG" moniker. Although not being as prominent as in the former "NPG" concept, the band members kept an influential role during studio sessions and live performances. The third "NPG" album, Newpower Soul, reflected these changes: Prince was now openly a member of the band, and its lead singer.


The 00's

The first half of the new millennium saw "The NPG" line-up evolve almost every year. The band released two singles in 2001, but after that no other studio project stamped "The NPG" surfaced. Meanwhile Prince kept giving each member space to express their own skills on stage .

After disbanding "The NPG" once more, following the Musicology Tour, Prince assembled a new band in order to back up his new protégée, Támar Davis. When he went back to touring as a main act, Prince retained the Támar band musicians to form his own backing band. Nevertheless the autonomy and part of creativity that Prince allowed "The NPG" in the nineties were less prominent: The band seemed to have been delegated to serve merely as a backing band for live shows.


The 10's

The numerous changes in the band over the last few years reflect Prince's needs on stage, more than what the band would need as members when they would be their own entity. In contrast with earlier line ups, Prince does not exclusively work in studio with its members.

In spite of "The NPG"'s many changes throughout the years, and the fact that today's line-up has little in common with the initial "NPG", Prince has kept the name of "The New Power Generation / The NPG" to define his band.

In addition, "The NPG" seems to have become a wider concept to Prince than just a band, sometimes also including the concert audiences.


Line Up
Original

1990-1993 Line-up




Additional Band Members


Personnel

  • Making of original line-up
After Miko Weaver leaves Prince's band (immediately following the Nude Tour), Levi Seacer, Jr. switches from bass to guitar. Sonny Thomson, soon renamed Sonny T. is enlisted as bass player. His first public performance with The NPG is in early October, 1990, backing up Tevin Campbell for his TV appearance at the Arsenio Hall Show. While rehearsals with the partially new band take place in December 1990, Tommy Elm soon re-named Tommy Barbarella is enlisted to replace Dr. Fink. In early September 1991 the name New Power Generation is first attributed to the new band line up.
  • Band members additions
Lori Elle (Werner) (as 'Diamond') and Robia LaMorte ( as 'Pearl') are recruited as dancers for the Diamonds And Pearls Tour only. A DJ, William "Diamond J." Graves, is also with the band only for the tour. Also enrolled as a dancer on the Diamonds And Pearls Tour is Mayte Garcia. Following the 1992 Diamonds And Pearls Tour, when dancers Lori Elle (Werner) & Robia LaMorte leave, Mayté stays on as a dancer, also due to her developing romantic involvement with Prince. She will perform with The NPG until late 1995, and occasionally afterwards.

During the Diamonds And Pearls Tour The NPG is augmented with an initially nameless horn section, later dubbed the NPG Hornz, comprising Michael Nelson, Brian Gallagher, Kathy J., Dave Jensen and Steve Strand. The NPG Hornz are reinstated for the ensuing Act I and Act II Tours, replacing Brian Gallagher with Kenni Holmen by mid 1994

Rosie Gaines leaves the band in late 1992, and is replaced by Morris Hayes whom, even when he hasn't been in the line up constantly, would become the longest serving member of the band, and eventually became its leader until he quit in September 2012. Tony Mosley, Kirk Johnson and Damon Dickson, collectively known as The Game Boyz have a prominent role in the pre-NPG live band. They are retained for the Diamonds And Pearls and Act I Tours, but are absent from the Act II Tour backing band, although they do perform with some of the support act sets The NPG did in Europe in August, 1993 on the Act II Tour.


1994-1996 Line-up




Personnel

  • Making of original line-up
After Levi Seacer, Jr. leaves the band to become staff producer for Paisley Park Records and finally President of NPG Records, Prince does not hire a new guitar player, instead taking over guitar duties himself. He reduces The NPG to a five-piece band (including himself), retaining only Mayté Garcia for dance and background vocals duties.

The whole band was taken of the retainer in late 1996.
Evolution

1997-1999 Line-up




Additional Band Members


Personnel

  • Making of original line-up
Marva King joins the band in early August 1997, after having made a few guest appearances at Prince and The NPG one-off concerts in July 1997. Kat Dyson is enrolled from June until late February 1998. A second guitar player, Mike Scott is hired from December 1996 onwards, and after Kat Dyson leaves, replaces her until late December 1999.
  • Band members additions
In 1998 Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer plays on selected shows in the US and Europe. In 1999 Larry Graham temporarily replaces Rhonda Smith on bass, while Prince takes over on guitar in replacement of Kat Dyson and Mike Scott. Kip Blackshire is hired as keyboard player and vocalist the same year.

Percussionist Estaire Godinez plays with the band at selected 1999 performances, while a condensed version of the NPG Hornz comprising Michael Nelson, Dave Jensen, and Kathy J. also plays with the NPG that year.


2000-2001 Line-up




Additional Band Members

  • Mikele White: Background vox
  • Malikah White: Background vox
  • Niyoki White: Background vox
  • Tia White: Background vox
  • Maceo Parker: saxophone


Personnel

  • Band members additions
Starting in April 2001, a vocal quartet, Milenia featuring sisters: Mikele White, Malikah White, Niyoki White and Tia White is added to the line-up. They remain in the band until the end of the Hit N Run Tour.

Maceo Parker starts guesting with the NPG from mid April 2001, before becoming a band regular in 2002.


2002-2004 Line-up




One Nite Alone Tour additional members


World Tour 2003 additional members


Musicology Tour additional members


Personnel

  • Making of original line-up
From his former band line-up, Prince only retains the rhythm section (John Blackwell and Rhonda Smith) to form a quartet: Renato Neto is hired on keyboards to replace Morris Hayes, gone to tour with Maceo Parker, and trombone player Greg Boyer (from Maceo Parker's band) for horns duties. Greg Boyer had played twice with The NPG in June, 2001; he becomes a band regular starting with the One Nite Alone... Tour. This reduced NPG line-up is augmented with additional horns players and / or keyboard players, depending on stage needs.
  • Band members additions
In 2002, Horn section members alter between Maceo Parker (present at most dates), Najee, Candy Dulfer and Eric Leeds, usually playing as a horn trio for shows. Of them Najee, who played his last concert with the band on 6 April, 2002 is 'replaced' by Candy Dulfer. Therefore he never shared the stage with her or Eric Leeds who joins the band on 2 May, 2002.
In October 2003, Rose Ann Dimalanta a.k.a rad. first appears with the band. She remains in the line-up until early March 2004, after which she resigns in order to pursue a career outside the Prince camp. Chance Howard is also hired from October 2003 and stays with the band for the next tour. Candy Dulfer joins the World Tour 2003 mid December 2003 in Hawaii and remains in the line up for the Musicology Tour
In 2004, Maceo Parker rejoins the band full time from 22 April, 2004 onwards. Mike Scott is added in the line-up early March 2004, while Mike Phillips augments the horn section from mid March 2004 until 20 June, 2004.

The whole band was taken of the retainer in later 2004.


2006-2008 Line-up




Additional band members


Personnel

  • Making of original line-up
Having disbanded The NPG by the end of the Musicology Tour, Prince starts looking for new musicians in January 2005. Late 2005, he recruits Cora Coleman-Dunham (drums) and Josh Dunham (bass), to be part of a backing band for his protégée Támar. NPG veteran Morris Hayes (keyboards) is incorporated in the band and Prince takes the guitar player slot. Two back-up singers/dancers Maya McClean and Nandy McClean – collectively known as The Twinz are added to back-up Támar, forming a trio of vocalists / dancers.

After the Támar Tour, by the middle of 2006, the band evolves into the "new NPG".
  • Band members additions
Renato Neto, Mike Phillips, Greg Boyer and (on most dates) Maceo Parker are recruited in November 2006 for the Las Vegas shows. Mike Phillips reappears as member of the horns section, from 11 November, 2006 onwards, and ex-NPG member, Renato Neto joins the band on 2 December, 2006 (am) to reinforce the keyboards section. Not available to join on a full time basis, Maceo Parker remains in The NPG from 25 November, 2006 (am) until 14 January, 2007 (am) and then plays with the band on selected dates in February and April 2007.

After noticing her in Larry Graham's band, Prince recruits Shelby J. who first appears on stage as a background singer on 30 December, 2006 (am). Trumpet player Lee Hogans is hired from 20 January, 2007 to add to the horn section in Maceo Parker's absence. In order to support the background vox section in London, Marva King rejoins the NPG in the summer of 2007.

25 February, 2008 (am) marks the last performance of Greg Boyer, Mike Phillips, Lee Hogans, Marva King and The Twinz with the band, although the Twinz would later return for part of the Welcome 2 America Tour and for the Welcome 2 Australia Tour.


2009-2010 Line-up




Additional band members


Personnel

  • Making of original line-up
The "new NPG" constantly evolves during 2009 and 2010 as the horns section addition to the band is let go, and the background vocals section is gradually reinforced.
  • Band members additions
The "new NPG" continues to evolve during 2009 and 2010 as the horns section is replaced by harmonica player Frédéric Yonnet who first appears with Prince in January 2009. Prince also decides to reinforce the backing vocals and thus enlists Liv Warfield (in January 2009) and former protégée Elisa Fiorillo, now by the name of Elisa Dease (in late March, 2009) to support Shelby J..

Cassandra O'Neal is recruited to replace Renato Neto and first appears with the NPG in October 2009. While no longer being a full time NPG-member, Renato Neto appears on keyboards with the NPG for selected shows in the summer of 2010.

This line-up plays with Prince until the last date of the 20TEN Tour.


2010-2012 Line up




Additional Band Members

  • Renato Neto: keyboards
  • Misty Copeland: Dance
  • Maya McClean: Dance
  • Nandy McClean: Dance
  • Andy Allo: guitar, vox
  • Marva King: vox
  • Mike Scott: guitar
  • Andy Allo: guitar, vox
  • Ledisi: vox
  • Damaris Lewis: dance
  • Andrew Gouche: bass
  • Hannah Ford: drums
  • Sylvester Onyejiaka: saxophone
  • BK Jackson: saxophone
  • Marcus Anderson: saxophone
  • Adrian Crutchfield: saxophone
  • Keith Anderson: saxophone
  • Lynn Grissett: trumpet
  • Steve Reid: trumpet
  • Phil Lassiter: trumpet
  • Nick Marchione: trumpet
  • Roy Agee: trombone
  • Joey Rayfield: trombone


Personnel

  • Making of original line-up
The NPG line-up changes once more following the 20TEN Tour, when Prince lets go the rhythm section (Cora Coleman-Dunham and Josh Dunham). For the Prince Live 2010 Tour, Prince re-enlists former NPG member John Blackwell, who had been hired for several one-off concerts in 2009, to replace Cora Coleman-Dunham. Newcomer, Ida Nielsen replaces Josh Dunham on bass. The line-up continues to be occasionally augmented with ex-NPG members in 2012 before a brand new 11-piece horn section is added in October.
  • Band member additions
Often a guest player during the Prince Live 2010 Tour, Renato Neto is re-enlisted in 2011 to reinforce the keyboards section during the Welcome 2 America Tour. He remains in the band until May 2011.

A guest ballet dancer Misty Copeland performs for the first time with the band on 25 July, 2010 in Nice, France. She also guests on some Welcome 2 America Tour shows. As she couldn't commit on a full time basis to the band schedule, The Twinz are called-in for replacement on 18 January, 2011; they are also present at the 21 Nite Stand L.A. residency part of the Welcome 2 America Tour, where Misty also performs some of the dates. The Twinz didn't do any further touring with the band in 2011 but Prince re-enlists them for the Welcome 2 Australia Tour in May 2012.

Andy Allo joins the band in 2011 for the Welcome 2 America Euro 2011 Tour and the Welcome 2 Canada Tour.

At the NPG Festival in Copenhagen on 6 and 7 August, 2011 Marva King replaces Liv Warfield, who was repatriated to the USA for medical reasons at the end of July 2011. Warfield was absent during the remainder of the tour. During Spring 2012, Prince with The NPG (minus Andy Allo) augmented with The Twinz (and newcomer Damaris Lewis) for dance duties embarks on the Welcome 2 Australia Tour.

After a four-month break, Prince re-enlists former NPG member Mike Scott on guitar for the "Welcome 2 Chicago" residency. Newcomer Andrew Gouche occasionally replaces Ida Nielsen on bass (in this case Ida Nielsen plays guitar), while Hannah Ford plays with The NPG for the first time as occasional drummer. Prince also uses the opportunity of the "Welcome 2 Chicago" residency to unveil a new 11-piece horn section.

In October, 2012 Ledisi, who previously performed with The NPG a few times in 2009, replaced Shelby J. for a few performances, she was unavailable to attend.

After the Welcome 2 Chicago residency, in late 2012, Morris Hayes is let go; Mike Scott is hired by Justin Timberlake and subsequently leaves the band; Andy Allo pursues her solo career.


2013 - Current Line-up




NPG Hornz

  • Sylvester Onyejiaka: saxophone
  • BK Jackson: saxophone
  • Marcus Anderson: saxophone
  • Adrian Crutchfield: saxophone
  • Keith Anderson: saxophone
  • Lynn Grissett: trumpet
  • Steve Reid: trumpet
  • Phil Lassiter: trumpet
  • Nick Marchione: trumpet
  • Roy Agee: trombone
  • Joey Rayfield: trombone


Additional Band Members


Personnel

  • Making of original line-up
The NPG evolves into a big band as Prince fully incorporates the 11-piece into the band, dubbing them NPG Hornz. John Blackwell plays his last gig with the band in March, and is replaced by Hannah Ford from 3rdEyeGirl. Andrew Gouche replaces Ida Nielsen on bass while she changes position to play guitar and occasionally bass while Donna Grantis, newly recruited for the 3rdEyeGirl band, is given the guitar soloist duties (leaving Prince more room for stage entertainment). Morris Hayes is not replaced and all keyboard samples duties are left to Cassandra O'Neal.
  • Band members additions
In January 2013, Prince recruits Ronald Bruner Jr. as new NPG drummer for three shows at Dakota Jazz Club, Minnepolis, MN, USA. Damaris Lewis and Joshua Welton appear occasionally as dancers (Welton also sometimes plays percussions). Rhani Krija is invited to join the band as guest in December 2013 for the 3 shows at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, USA.

Contributions
Studio

With Prince


Although The NPG band members have contributed to more than the following releases, they were cited as being part of a limited number of albums and singles.

After 1992, even though Prince would work with The NPG (full band or shortened) as studio musicians, he would not usually let the name of his band appear as prominently as before on the covers of his albums. The album C-Note cut live with The NPG was not credited as such, the same goes for some of the promo releases surrounding the One Nite Alone... Live! album.


As The NPG


Throughout their existence the band releases three albums (mostly composed by Prince) two of which are released commercially.

Unlike former productions, Prince not only records the music with the band but also shares credits. The three albums are all of different incarnations of the band; Gold Nigga from 1993 features the 'original' NPG line up (after Rosie Gaines is replaced by Morris Hayes, whereas the follow up Exodus is the condensed version, minus the Game Boys and Levi Seacer, Jr..

The third album Newpower Soul features the 1998 line up with Rhonda Smith, Kirk Johnson and Morris Hayes, but minus Kat Dyson. Marva King also sings on the album.

Although a fourth NPG album, Peace was previewed by the single of the same name, and on which The Daisy Chain was also proposed to part of, it was never released.

Live

The NPG in its different line-ups is Prince's live backing band since 1990. The band contributed to establish Prince's stage reputation as it backed Prince up during all his tours since the Nude Tour. The NPG sans Prince also performed occasionally as support band for his shows. In 2007, The NPG also often performed as the main act at The IndigO2 'after shows'.

 
Additional Information

See also Trivia


References
NPG Orchestra All Biographies Prince Biography Cassandra O'Neal
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