They always seem sincere. Nearly every music star who performs in the Twin Cities pays homage to Prince. They admired him, respected him, even loved him.

It’s happened so often that it sometimes feel like a cliché.

A few artists have saluted the Minneapolis icon, who died April 21, without playing one of his songs.

Bonnie Raitt offered her hit “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” mentioning that Prince had recorded it, too, on his 1998 “Emancipation” 3-CD album.

Tower of Power offered a kind of lefthanded tip of the cap. When founder/saxophonist Emilio Castillo introduced the band’s 1972 hit “You’re Still a Young Man,” he said, “I remember reading in Rolling Stone that Prince lost his virginity to this song.”

Americana star Sturgill Simpson took his own approach to acknowledging Prince while playing First Avenue, the club that Prince made famous. “We’re gonna honor Prince tonight,” he said, “by not playing one of his songs.”

Song: "Nothing Compares 2 U"
Times: 5
Performed by: Lauryn Hill, Idina Menzel, Dixie Chicks, Mumford & Sons, “A ­Prairie Home Companion” (Heather Masse/Jearlyn Steele)


Song: “Let’s Go Crazy”
Times: 2
Performed by: Paul McCartney, Zac Brown Band

Song: “Purple Rain”
Times: 2
Performed by: Journey, Michael Franti

Song: “The ­Beautiful Ones”
Times: 2
Performed by: Beyoncé, Kandace Springs

Song: “Kiss”
Times: 2
Performed by: Blondie, Macklemore


Song: “1999”
Times: 1
Performed by: Zac Brown Band

Song: “Controversy”
Times: 1
Performed by: Billy Idol

Song: “Baby, I’m a Star”
Times: 1
Performed by: Charlie Wilson

Song: “D.M.S.R.”
Times: 1
Performed by: Morris Day & the Time

Song: “When Doves Cry”
Times: 1
Performed by: Elle Goulding


Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719