b. Prince Rogers Nelson, 7th June 1958, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
d. 21st April 2016, Chanhassen, Minnesota, U.S.A.
When this singer, producer, instrumentalist and songwriter, passed away in 2016, an era, probably instigated by the likes of Sly & the Family Stone in the Sixties, came to an end.
For nearly 40 years, Prince was one of the main ‘movers & shakers’ in R&B and rock music in those genre’s most traditional sense.
The artist was not only one of the most creative individuals in popular music, he was also one of the most prominent employers of many of his R&B contemporaries.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1958, from a very early age, he took an interest in creating music (his childhood nickname was ’Skipper’).
His parents were Mattie Della (Shaw) and John Lewis Nelson, from Louisiana (his father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer).
He then joined his cousin's band 94 East at the age of 19.
for you - 1977 / prince - 1979 / dirty mind - 1980 / controversey - 1981
Prince began recording some demo tapes, which led to him signing to Warner Brothers, which resulted in the release of his debut album ‘For You’ in 1977 (Prince produced, arranged, composed and played all 27 instruments on the recording).
In 1979, he released a follow up album, entitled ‘Prince’.
The album featured the tracks ’Sexy Dancer’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ (the track sold over a million copies, and reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100), which broke the singer into the R&B charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
Further album releases included ‘Dirty Mind’ (in 1980), Controversy (featuring the title track and ‘Let’s Work’ in 1981) and the double album ‘1999’ (featuring ‘Little Red Corvette’ in 1982).
1999 - 1982 / purple rain - 1984 / around the world in a day - 1985 / parade - 1986
At this time, Prince had become the opening act for Rick James, on his 1980 ‘Fire It Up’ tour.
By this stage of Prince’s career, the singer was incorporating elements of Rock and Psychedelia within his writings.
In 1981, Prince formed the group The Time, who released four albums between 1981 and 1990.
In 1984, he released the album (and movie soundtrack) ‘Purple Rain’ (which featured ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’).
In 1985, he released the album ‘Around the World in a Day’ (which featured ‘Raspberry Beret’ and ‘Pop Life’).
The album was followed by ‘Parade’ (in 1986, which featured ‘Under The Cherry Moon’ and ‘Kiss’).
Prince then penned the song ‘Manic Monday’ for the pop group, the Bangles.
In 1987, Prince released his biggest album to date, namely, ‘Sign o' the Times’.
The album was a double release, which featured the title track and ‘The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker’, and was Prince’s first release for his own Paisley Park imprint.
Later the same year, he recorded the album, simply called ‘The Black Album’, which was an unofficial Warners release, later bootlegged.
sign of the times - 1987 / lovesexy - 1988 / batman - 1989 / graffiti bridge - 1990
Between 1989 and 1991, Prince released 3 further solo albums, which were ‘Batman’ (movie soundtrack in 1989, ‘Graffiti Bridge’ (in 1990) and ‘Diamonds & Pearls’ (in 1991).
In 1992, he formed a new group entitled the New Power Generation, releasing the album ’Symbol’, after which he announced he would be dropping his name, and would become the ‘Artist formerly known as Prince’.
diamonds & pearls - 1991 / love symbol - 1994 / come - 1995 / the gold experience - 1996
As a result of contractual obligations to Warner Brothers, he was obliged to release several albums very quickly (including ‘Love Symbol’, ‘Come’, ’Symbolic Beginning’, ’The Gold Experience’ and ’The Vault’, all between 1994 and 1996).
Prince then switched labels to the Arista Records imprint in 1998, and began releasing material on his own NPG imprint in 2001.
rave to the joy fantastic - 1999 / 3121 - 2006 / planet earth - 2007 / lotusflower - 2009
Recording under his Christian name again, Prince released the albums, ’The Rainbow Children’ (in 2001), ‘One Nite Alone’ (in 2002), ’N-E-W-S’ (in 2003), ‘Xpectation’ (in 2003), ‘Lovin’ Cup’ ( in 2004, with 94 East), ’The Chocolate Invasion’ (in 2004), ‘Musicology’ (in 2004), ’The Slaughterhouse’ (in 2004), ‘3121’ (in 2006), ‘Planet Earth’ (in 2007, funded by free copies distributed through a British newspaper), ‘Indigo Nights’ (in 2008), ‘Lotusflower’ (in 2009), ‘MPLSound’ (in 2009), ‘Elixer’ (in 2009), ’20Ten’ (in 2010), ‘Prince & Thirdeyegirl’ (in 2014), ‘Art Official Age’ (in 2014), ‘Hitnrun Phase One (in 2015) and ‘Hitnrun Phase Two’ (in 2015).
Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, Prince collaborated with many other artists, writing material for the likes of Mavis Staples, Stephanie Mills, Apollonia 6, La Toya Jackson, Wendy & Lisa, Sheila E, Larry Graham, The Family (recording the original version of ’Nothing Compares 2 U’), Melisa Morgan, Andre Cymone, Tina Turner, Millie Jackson, Taja Sevelle, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, The Pointer Sisters, Jevetta Steele, Full Force, Madhouse, Miles Davis, TLC, Earth, Wind & Fire, D’Angelo, Maceo Parker, Rosie Gaines, Mica Paris, Tevin Campbell, Patti LaBelle and Chaka Khan.
Prince played a series of 21 concerts in London during 2007.
art official age - 2014
His final album, ‘HITnRUN Phase Two’, was first released only on the Tidal streaming service in 2015.
As a solo artist, Prince has sold over 100 million records worldwide.
He was one of the best-selling artists of all time and won seven Grammy Awards.
Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
On the 21st of April 2016, at the age of 57, he was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park complex, and did not respond to CPR.
Earlier in the month, his private jet made an emergency landing in Illinois, so that he could seek medical treatment (Prince had been fighting influenza for several weeks).
In recent years, Prince was told he required double hip-replacement surgery, however, he would not undergo the operation unless it was a bloodless surgery, as he was a Jehovah’s Witness (who are forbidden blood transfusions).
Prince - For You (Warner Brothers Records 1978)
Prince (Warner Brothers Records 1979)
Dirty Mind (Warner Brothers Records 1980)
Controversy (Warner Brothers Records 1981)
1999 (Warner Brothers Records 1982)
Purple Rain film soundtrack (Warner Brothers Records 1984)
Around the World In A Day (Paisley Park Records 1985)
Parade - Music From Under The Cherry Moon film soundtrack (Paisley Park Records 1986)
Sign 'O' The Times (Paisley Park Records 1987)
Lovesexy (Paisley Park Records 1988)
Batman film soundtrack (Warner Brothers Records 1989)
Graffiti Bridge (Paisley Park Records 1990)
Diamonds And Pearls (Paisley Park Records 1991)
Symbol (Paisley Park Records 1993)
Come (Paisley Park Records 1994)
The Gold Experience (Warner Brothers Records 1995)
Chaos And Disorder (Warner Brothers Records 1996)
Emancipation (New Power Generation Records 1996)
New Power Soul (New Power Generation Records 1998)
Rave 2 The Joy Fantastic (New Power Generation Records 1999)
The Rainbow Children (New Power Generation Records 2001)
Musicology (Columbia Records 2004)
3121 (Universal Records 2006)
Planet Earth (New Power Generation Records 2007)
21 Nights (New Power Generation Records 2008)
LotusFlow3r (New Power Generation Records 2009)
MPL Sound (New Power Generation Records 2009)
20Ten (Daily Mirror Records 2010)
Art Official Age (Warner Brothers Records 2014)
Hitnrun Phase One (Warner Brothers Records 2015)
Hitnrun Phase Two (Warner Brothers Records 2015)