Photo courtesy of Peter Lodder

Photo courtesy of Peter Lodder

Kip Blackshire (Keyboards & Lead Vocals)

Tours with Prince: Hit N Run Tour (2000 - 2001) 

Albums with Prince: Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, Musicology 

Kip Blackshire was a member of the NPG (keyboards and singer) from 1999 until 2002, and then returned to play in Judith Hill’s band in 2015.  His musical heritage come from four generations of gospel singers who lived in the same area of Arkansas where Morris Hayes was raised.  So, in 1999, Morris gave Kip a call and asked him to come to Minneapolis to play second keyboard and backing vocals with the NPG.  He end up going out on five different segments of the Hit N Run Tour during the two years he was in the NPG. 

“What Prince gave me was feel. He taught me, ‘Always go with your gut,’ versus trying to force something together.”  Since the time that Kip was originally in the NPG, he has since worked with Eminem (I'm Not Afraid & Underground (Backup Vocals) on Relapse & Recovery albums), Dr. Dre, Eric Benet, Nikki Minaj, Michael Bolton, Mint Condition, Larry Graham, Dougie Fresh and others.