Way to slay! Morris Day & The Time crushed it at Prince’s big tribute during the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards, bringing their special mid-1980’s brand of funk to a whole new audience. We’ve got five things for you to know about the band and their close association to the late superstar.
1. Morris Day and Prince started their first band together in high school.
Growing up in Minneapolis, the schoolmates formed a trio along with pal André Cymone called Grand Central, though they later changed the name to Champagne. Prince eventually broke off on his own to explore different genres of music, while Morris and Andre decided to stay strictly within the world of funk.
2. Prince himself installed Morris as lead singer of The Time.
The group auditioned various lead singers both male and female, but Prince stepped into the picture after Morris allowed Prince to use his super funky song “Partyup” on his 1980 debut album Dirty Mind. The future superstar helped create Morris Day and The Time and they officially began recording as a group the following year in 1981.
3. Morris and the band were featured prominently in Prince’s semi-autobiographical hit film Purple Rain.
The now 59-year-old played Prince’s antagonist in the film as they battled it out for stage bragging rights at real life Minneapolis music venue First Avenue. In the 1984 movie, Morris developed his eccentric playboy ways, always escorted by his “valet” Jerome Benton, who would frequently bring along a giant vanity mirror for Morris to check his hot looks onstage.
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) February 13, 2017
4. Morris Day and The Time’s breakout hits “Jungle Love” and “The Bird” from their 1984 album Ice Cream Castles remain some of funks’ favorite classics.
It’s truly impossible not to get up on your feet and shake it like there’s no tomorrow to their super catchy “Jungle Love.” During their Feb. 12 Grammys performance, even the likes of Jay Z, 47, and pregnant Beyonce, 36, were seen singing along to the lyrics and dancing to the beat.
5. Morris Day and The Time brought down the house at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
The band broke up in 1984, but Morris came out of retirement in the late ’90s with a new backing line up due to fan demand. They got their biggest audience ever when called upon to perform “Jungle Love” and “The Bird” as the lead-off to Prince’s memorial tribute at music’s biggest night. The band brought their amazing brand of funk to a whole new generation in the process! They still tour to this day, so be sure and catch them live if they come to your town.
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Morris Day and The Time’s performance at the Grammys? Had you heard of them before Prince’s big tribute?