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Coldplay Cover Prince’s “1999” for NPR Tiny Desk Concert: Watch

on March 09, 2020, 12:23pm

At Coldplay’s recent NPR Tiny Desk Concert, the British radio rockers brought a nine-person gospel choir for a heavenly cover of Prince’s “1999”. They also performed “Viva La Vida”, as well as “Cry Cry Cry”, “Broken”, and “Champion of the World” from the band’s latest album, Everyday Life.

Frontman Chris Martin introduced the For Love Choir, which he said had “photoshopped our songs to be much better than they actually are.” This humility extended to the musical arrangements; the international superstar made himself a backup singer during “1999”, giving the verses to soloists from the choir and only joining in for the chorus. Martin seemed to have the time of his life collaborating with these talented musicians. The choir transformed “Cry Cry Cry” into a bluesy cry of pain, and brought mournful resonance to “VIva La Vida”, and all the while Martin couldn’t stop smiling. Check out the full performance below.

(Editor’s note: If you’re a fan of NPR’s Tiny Desk series, make sure to check out the latest episode of Assembly, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at Iron & Wine and Calexico’s recent appearance.)

Last year, Coldplay announced that they would stop touring until it becomes environmentally “beneficial”. But they still perform occasionally, recently covering the house classic “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” for Annie Mac and playing two songs on Ellen. 


In January, Chris Martin snapped at some autograph vultures, though he quickly collected himself and even signed some merch.