LOOKING BACK: Louisville native plays drums for Prince, 3RDEYEGIRL

Woman drums up lots of Louisville love from Prince, 3RDEYEGIRL
Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL
Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL
Diane Downs (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Diane Downs (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Josh Ford (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Josh Ford (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Editor's Note: This story first appeared on WAVE3.com in March 2015 and was re-published on April 21, 2016, on news of Prince's death.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – With four sold out shows and the announcement one of their songs will debut on Louisville airwaves Prince and his band 3RDEYEGIRL have been the talk of the town.

So why all the Louisville love? It has to do with Prince's drummer.

This weekend Hannah Ford Welton will be performing with 3RDEYEGIRL and Prince in front of a hometown crowd at the Louisville Palace Theatre.

"I can't even believe it. I feel the love from Louisville," Welton said during an interview Wednesday with local radio station WFPK.

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Welton learned how to play when she was part of the Louisville Leopard Percussionists, the same group whose video recently went viral when it caught the attention of Led Zeppelin's own Jimmy Page.

The director of the group Diane Downs said as a child Welton was a natural.

"Oh, I knew that girl was gonna be a star. She wanted that. She always talked about being famous. doing music. Nothing was going to stop her," she said.

Welton's brother, Josh Ford who owns Louisville Dance Alliance, will be at three of the four shows this weekend.

He remembers watching her grow as a musician.

"Once she got a hold of a full drum set, that was it. It was amazing to just sit and to listen to the noise become this beautiful sound," he said.

Welton moved from Louisville to Chicago at the age of 12 with her father, who plays the trumpet, and together they played with bands.

About three years ago she got an e-mail. Her online videos caught someone's attention.

"I work for a very well known musician wondering if you would be willing to audition and that was it," she said.

That musician turned out to be Prince.

Now, the local girl who's made it big is bringing her talents back to the city where it all started.

Downs and some of the parents of current Louisville Leopard Percussionist members were lucky enough to score tickets and will bring their kids.

Welton said some of the money from ticket sales will go to the Louisville Leopards.

Copyright 2015 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.