Fan gets to serenade Prince

By Mikaela Collins

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Sharon Moana Hei is a massive Prince fan who waited 25 years to attend an after party. Not only did her dream come true but she also got to sing a waiata to the pop superstar.
Sharon Moana Hei is a massive Prince fan who waited 25 years to attend an after party. Not only did her dream come true but she also got to sing a waiata to the pop superstar.

Northland woman Sharon Moana Hei's dream came true when she was let in to the after party for pop superstar Prince.

But she has no words to explain what happened next as she and others gave the singer his first taste of Maori culture with an impromptu waiata that got a smile from the notoriously shy pop star.

Ms Hei, 54, has now been to four Prince concerts, three in Australia, and for 25 years she has longed to attend one of his after parties - on Wednesday not only did her dream come true but she also got to sing a waiata for the pop superstar.

Ms Hei attended Prince's concert in Auckland on Wednesday night with friend Ryan Monga, from Kiwi musical legends Ardijah.

"We went to the late session at 10pm because for 25 years I've been wanting to get in to the after party."

When the concert finished she made it her mission to get into an after party at Seafarers because she was not able to get her hands on a VIP package.

She met a woman called Lennore Pikaahu who was at the concert with her son and had a VIP package.

"She said 'why don't you come with me and we'll see if they let you in,' and so I went with her and they did. Oh my goodness, I could not believe it I do not have the words. It was surreal."

While at the after party Ms Hei waited for hours hoping Prince would pop in.

"Everyone was drinking and I don't drink, you see, so I was just waiting to see if he would come in. I had ants in my pants so I'd get up every now and again," she said.

She said the rules were strict at the concert and at the after party and mobile phones were to be kept in pockets at all times. Finally, the man she had been waiting to see entered.

"Then, he came out of the door and he had four security guards and they were not to be approached. They walked him to a corner and put up a rope and you were not allowed past there."

Ms Hei, Ms Pikaahu and Mr Monga decided to leave and because Ms Pikaahu had surgery the week before she had to use the elevator. They had to wait for Prince, who was also leaving, so they decided to sing him a waiata as he exited.

"We had been asking beforehand if he was given a powhiri and we were told no, so we all sang Toro Mai To Ringa. He looked at us and smiled and nodded. My heart, it was a moment of connection, I can't describe it," she said.

Afterwards Ms Hei asked one of Prince's staff members if he said anything about the waiata.

"She said he really enjoyed it and commented that Maori could sing and acknowledged he liked we had sang him a Maori song because he hadn't had a proper (Maori) welcome," she said.

Ms Hei said the entire night was more than she could have hoped for but wished her daughter in Australia didn't have work so she could have been there.

"I don't have the words. I wish my daughter could have been here because part of her schooling and life lessons was waiting in line for Prince tickets. I had been to every concert with her," she said.

- Northern Advocate

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