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MAIN Arrow to Art & Culture Art & ... Arrow to Pop Culture Pop Culture Arrow to Pop Music Pop Music Arrow to PrincePrince

princeThe iconic rocker and Grammy award-winning artist, Prince was 57 when the news of his death shook the music world on April 21, 2016.

Although he was reportedly ailing from the flu a few short days before, Prince was in his Paisley Park recording studio when a 911 call was dispatched. He was pronounced dead hours later.

Other claims later pointed to a Prince drug overdose rather than complications of the flu that were hinted at initially.

Weeks later, in June of 2016, it was confirmed that Prince had, indeed, died of an accidental drug overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid pain killer.


Prince - A Life in Music

Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1958, the future singer and songwriter alternately lived with his mother, Mattie Shaw, and then his father, John Nelson following the couple's breakup in 1960.

As a boy, Prince was given his first guitar by his father, a jazz musician with the Prince Rogers Trio - and for which his father named his firstborn son.

By his early teens, Prince had already embarked on a music career playing in a band at local Minneapolis clubs and parties, eventually arranging and composing his own songs heavily influenced by the likes of rock legends Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone. By his late teens he was working on a demo tape that eventually caught the attention of Warner Bros. Records, who signed the fledging funk rocker to his first music contract.

Released in 1978, Prince's first album "For You" was a modest success, followed by his self-titled sophomore album which spun-off two very popular R&B hits, "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover." Meanwhile, on tour in live performances Prince soon gained wide attention for his original sound as well as his flashy clothes, eccentric manner and use of explicitly sexual lyrics.

With the advent of MTV in the early 80's, Prince's fame was virtually assured, as the new video music station featuring future mega-hits "Little Red Corvette" and "Delirious" from his new album, "1999".

prince performing at the Super Bowl
Rocking the house at the 2007 Super Bowl.

Before long, Prince was combining an acting and musical career with the the film hit "Purple Rain". A best-selling album of the same name released in 1984 sold more than 13 million copies and spent almost 6 months at the top of the Billboard Top 200. Singles from the album also included Prince's all-time greatest hits including "Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry". The album later went on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song Score.

Meanwhile, Prince's reputation as a musical genius continued to rise throughout the decade keeping him in constant demand as a songwriter, collaborator and mentor for such pop sensations as Carmen Electra, Vanity, Apollonia, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, and The Bangles ("Manic Monday" was written under the pseudonym Christopher).

He later rounded out his first important decade of songwriting by composing "Nothing Compares 2 U", which quickly became a huge worldwide hit for Sinead O'Connor in 1990.

The following decade was notable for Prince's ongoing battle with his record label over creative control. It was in 1993 when Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol , (or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince), in protest against Warner Bros' ownership of Prince as a "brand." He finally changed it back to Prince in 2000. Since then, he has continued to compose, perform and pioneer different pop genres and musical styles in his own personal playground, Paisley Park Studios, in his home town of Minneapolis.

Prince released his critically acclaimed album "Musicology" in 2004, the same year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The album went on to receive two Grammy Awards, including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the single “Call My Name”. The resulting worldwide tour of the same name was also cited as the most profitable of 2004.

Prince's next album, 3121, was released in 2006 and became his first career number-one debut on the Billboard 200. The following year, Prince was the subject of worldwide attention when he rocked the house as featured act at the Super Bowl halftime show, receiving glowing reviews for his live "Purple Reign" performance over a rain-soaked Miami Dolphin Stadium.

The rocker was back again in the spotlight in 2009 with the release of his triple album set containing LOtUSFLOW3R, MPLSoUND, and Elixer. He later released his next album "20Ten" in 2010, the same year he was honored with an induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

More about Prince around the Web:


Prince.org - Huge fan site and online community with information on where you can find his songs or videos online, plus an extensive FAQ, picture galleries, chat & forums with free registration.

Prince - Wikipedia entry with pictures, personal biography, career highlights, complete discography quotes, background notes & trivia.

 

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