He's recorded some of pop music's biggest songs across a career spanning four decades - but Prince has never performed in New Zealand. Until now.

The Purple Rain and Kiss maker will perform later this month in New Zealand, a press release issued today said.

Prince, 57, will be touring New Zealand and Australia as part of his Piano and a Microphone tour, the statement said.

Further details, including venues and dates, would be announced "soon" but previous shows on the tour have been stripped back affairs, with Prince performing with just a piano for company.


In a statement about his now-scrapped European tour dates, Prince admitted the shows were a challenge.

"Why do this now? For several reasons. For starters it is a challenge. I rarely get bad reviews because this is something that's been perfected for over 30 years," he said.

"You have to try new things. With the piano it is more naked, more pure. You can see exactly what you get. "

But it seems Europe's loss is our gain: Prince cancelled his solo Piano and a Microphone Tour late last year after the Paris terror attacks.

He played his first solo show of his career in January at Paisley Park in Minnesota, a concert that received rave reviews.

"He tickled the ivories like the virtuoso he is and stripped down his hits and fan favorites, transforming each song with arrangements that were more intimate and immediate on the piano. This approach was pure genius," wrote a reviewer on Soulbounce.com.

"Watching him play at times felt as though we were given a bird's-eye view of his private moments reflecting on life via his music. We journeyed with him through years of turbulent and jubilant passion, love and longing on a setlist that was emotional, joyous, socially conscious and righteous."

Prince remains one of pop's enduring enigmatic stars, as respected now for his innovations, his musicianship and vast body of work, as he was celebrated for his hits during his commercial peak during the 1980s.


It's estimated he's sold more than 100 million albums and he's won multiple Grammys as well as an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

Albums like 1999 (1982), Sign o' the Times (1987) and Purple Rain (1984) are considered classics. On those - and some other 40 studio albums in his career - the multi-instrumentalist combined guitar rock, funk, soul, jazz, R&B, psychedelia and often sexually charged lyrics into a singular sound.

- nzherald.co.nz