The New Power Generation, a.k.a. The NPG, was the backing band of the artist Prince, from 1990 to 2013. They were last active in 2013 when Prince took a new direction and formed a new band he called 3rdEyeGirl. However, in 2015, some members of The New Power Generation reunited to work with Prince on his final studio album Hit n Run Phase Two.
Although the phrase “Welcome to the New Power Generation” was first mentioned on the opening track of Prince’s 1988’s “Lovesexy”, the NPG was first used as a band name in the 1990 film “Graffiti Bridge”, and the song “New Power Generation” appeared on the accompanying soundtrack album.
The New Power Generation debuted live during the 1990 “Nude Tour” and on record on the 1991 album “Diamonds and Pearls”. The original NPG consisted of Michael Bland (drums), Levi Seacer, Jr. (guitar), Rosie Gaines (keyboards & lead/backing vocals), Tony Mosley (lead raps & dance), Kirk Johnson (percussion & dance) and Damon Dickson (backing vocals & dance), along with two new members Tommy Barbarella (keyboards) and Sonny T. (bass). Rosie Gaines left the band after the 1992 “Diamonds and Pearls Tour” and was replaced by keyboardist Morris Hayes, who remained a member of the band until 2012. Over the years Prince has been backed by different configurations of the NPG (New Power Generation). For the full detailed band history, please check out: http://www.princevault.com/index.php?title=Band:_New_Power_Generation
The line-up of the reunited NPG “band” tends to slightly change with each tour. The band usually consists of 7 musicians (+ optional horns). At the core is Morris Hayes (MD and keyboards, longest running Prince band member – joined the NPG in 1992), Tony Mosley (guitar and vocals – joined the NPG in 1990), Kirk Johnson (drums – joined the NPG in 1990) and Damon Dickson (percussion, background vocals and dancer – joined the NPG in 1990). In the past year, depending on each of the musicians’ avails, they have been joined by Tommy Barbarella (keyboards), Chance Howard (keyboards), Kip Blackshire (keyboards), Sonny Thompson (bass), Mono Neon (bass), Ida Nielsen (bass), Levi Seacer Jr. (guitar), Mike Scott (guitar), Donna Grantis (guitar), Michael Bland (drums), Lynn Grissett (trumpet), Keith Anderson (sax), and the Hornheadz. And there are still other NPG members they hope to have join them in the future.
The “band” will be joined by at least 2 lead singers from later line-ups of the NPG and/or the Prince family of artists, like for instance:
- André Cymone
- Kip Blackshire
- Shelby J.
- Támar Davis