Prince (musician)

American singer, musician, and songwriter

Prince Rogers Nelson (better known as Prince) (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American musician and dancer. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Prince at Coachella 001.jpg
Prince performing at the 2008 Coachella Festival
Prince Rogers Nelson

(1958-06-07)June 7, 1958
DiedApril 21, 2016(2016-04-21) (aged 57)
Chanhassen, Minnesota, U.S
Cause of deathAccidental fentanyl and opioid intoxication
Years active1975–2016
Height1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)
Spouse(s)Matye Garcia
(m. 1996–1999, divorced)
Manuela Testolini
(m. 2001–2006, divorced)
Musical career
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass guitar, piano, keyboards, tambourine, sitar, synthesizer, clavinet, drums, timpani, violin, viola, cello, double bass, marimba, percussion, harp, saxophone, harmonica, Linn Drum
LabelsWarner Bros., Paisley Park, NPG, EMI, Columbia, Arista
Associated actsThe Revolution; Wendy & Lisa
The New Power Generation
The Time; Morris Day
Sheila E.
Vanity 6; Apollonia 6
The Family
94 East

He was known for blending erotic lyrics with funk rock and technology. He had ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career.[1] His releases have sold over 350 million copies worldwide.[2] From 1993 to 2000, Prince changed his name to a glyph. Since this symbol was impossible to pronounce, people began calling him "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince."

In addition to his own musical career, he was a "talent promoter" for the careers of Sheila E., Carmen Electra, The Time and Vanity 6.[1]

Prince has sold over 400 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.[3] He won seven Grammy Awards,[4] a Golden Globe Award,[5] and an Academy Award.[6][7] Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[8] He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. This was the first year he was eligible.[9]

On April 21, 2016, Prince died of a fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota at the age of 57.

Early lifeEdit

Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson, on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father was John Lewis Nelson who was a Jazz singer-songwriter. His mother was Mattie Della Shaw. His family was from Louisiana. His ancestry was 60% white and 40% African American with a little bit of Native American ancestry. He had epilepsy when he was younger. His sister was Tyka nelson. He played basketball when he was in high school.


Prince released his first single, "Soft and Wet", in 1978. It reached number 92 in the Billboard 100. In 1979 "I Wanna Be Your Lover" was number one for two weeks in the American R&B singles chart.

Prince released his third album Dirty Mind in 1980. Rolling Stone gave the album four and a half stars.[10]

In 1982 Prince released his fifth album 1999. "Little Red Corvette" was released as the second single. Prince had his first number one single, "When Doves Cry", in 1984. The single he released after that, "Let's Go Crazy", also reached number one. In 1985 Around the World in a Day was released. The album's first single "Raspberry Beret" reached number two in the Billboard 100. Prince's next number one "Kiss" was in 1986. It won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. "U Got the Look" was released in 1987. It reached number two in the Billboard 100.

Prince in May 2007

In 1990 Sinead O'Connor reached number one with her cover of Prince's song "Nothing Compares 2 U". Prince was angry about this.

In 2006 the second single from Prince's album 3121 entered the Billboard 100 at number 60. This was the highest number a Prince single had entered the chart at for years.

In 2014 it was reported that Prince would be signed to Warner Bros. again. Prince released a new single on April 19 called "The Breakdown".[11]

In May 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray and the riots, Prince released a song entitled "Baltimore" in tribute to Gray and in support of the protesters in Baltimore.[12][13][14] He also held a surprise tribute concert for Gray at his Paisley Park estate called 'Dance Rally 4 Peace' in which he asked fans to wear the color gray in honor of Freddie Gray.[15]

His album Hit n Run Phase One was first made available on September 7, 2015 on music streaming service Tidal before being released on CD and download on September 14.[16]

In 2016, Prince announced that he was writing a memoir, titled The Beautiful Ones.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

Over the years Prince was romantically linked with many celebrities. These include Jeranique, Madonna, Vanity, Sheila E., Carmen Electra, Susanna Hoffs, Anna Fantastic, Sherilyn Fenn,[18] and Susan Moonsie of Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6.

Prince was engaged to Jeranique Swing in 1985.[19]

He married his backup singer and dancer, Mayte Garcia, on Valentine's Day, 1996. They had a son, amiir (born October 16, 1996). He was born with Pfeiffer syndrome and died a week after birth.[20] Prince and Mayte divorced in 1999. In 2001, Prince married Manuela Testolini in a private ceremony. Testolini filed for divorce in May 2006.[21] He had been in a relationship with Bria Valente from 2007.[22]

Prince became a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses in 2001.[23]


Prince postponed two performances from his Piano & A Microphone Tour on April 7, 2016, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, stating that he was "battling the flu".[24] He performed that Atlanta concert on Thursday, April 15, even though he had still not been feeling well.[25] On April 15, 2016, while on tour, his private plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois. He was later admitted to hospital with flu-like symptoms. Early reports said his health was fine.[26]

Prince was found dead at his home in Paisley Park recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on April 21, 2016.[27][28] He was aged 57.[29] Six days before his death, Prince was treated for a drug overdose.[30] He was treated for dehydration and walking pneumonia shortly before his death. His autopsy was performed the next day on April 22. Afterwards, his remains were cremated. Their location will be kept private.[31] Toxicology tests showed that he died of an overdose of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller.

His worksEdit

Studio albums

Live albums

Remix albums

Compilation albums

The New Power Generation albums

Year Movie Role Director
1984 Purple Rain The Kid Albert Magnoli
1986 Under the Cherry Moon Christopher Tracy Prince
1987 Sign o' the Times Himself Prince
1990 Graffiti Bridge The Kid Prince
Year Show Role Notes
1997 Muppets Tonight Himself Episode 11
2014 New Girl Himself Episode: "Prince"

Awards and nominationsEdit

Academy AwardsEdit

Prince won an Academy Award in 1985 for his song "Purple Rain".

Year Nominated work Award category Result
1985 "Purple Rain" Best Original Song Score Won

Grammy AwardsEdit

Earning 33 nominations, Prince has won seven Grammys. He also has had two albums − 1999 and Purple Rain − awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

Year Nominated work Award category Result
1984 "International Lover" Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
1985 Purple Rain Album of the Year Nominated
Purple Rain Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Won
Purple Rain Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Won
"I Feel For You" Best R&B Song Won
1987 "Kiss" Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Won
"Kiss" Best R&B Song Nominated
1988 Sign "O" the Times Album of the Year Nominated
"U Got The Look" Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
"U Got The Look" Best R&B Song Nominated
1990 Batman Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
"Batdance" Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
1991 "Nothin' Compares 2 U" Song of the Year Nominated
1992 "Gett Off" Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
1993 "Diamonds And Pearls" Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
1995 "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
1996 "Eye Hate U" Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
The Gold Experience Best R&B Album Nominated
2004 N.E.W.S. Best Pop Instrumental Album Nominated
2005 "Cinnamon Girl" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
"Call My Name" Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Won
"Call My Name" Best R&B Song Nominated
"Musicology" Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance Won
Musicology Best R&B Album Nominated
2007 "Black Sweat" Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
"Beautiful, Loved And Blessed" Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
"3121" Best Urban/Alternative Performance Nominated
"Black Sweat" Best R&B Song Nominated
3121 Best R&B Album Nominated
2008 "Future Baby Mama" Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Won
"The Song of the Heart" Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Nominated
2010 "Dreamer" Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance Nominated

MTV Video Music AwardsEdit

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) is an award show by cable network MTV to honor the top music videos of the year. It was first held in September of 1984. It was to be an alternative to the Grammy Awards in the video category. Prince has won four awards from twelve nominations throughout his career.

Year Nominated work Award category Result
1985 "When Doves Cry" Best Choreography in a Video Nominated
1986 "Raspberry Beret" Best Choreography in a Video Won
1988 "U Got the Look" Best Male Video Won
Best Stage Performance in a Video Won
Best Choreography in a Video Nominated
Best Editing in a Video Nominated
1989 "I Wish U Heaven" Best Special Effects in a Video Nominated
1990 "Batdance" Best Video from a Film Nominated
1992 "Cream" Best Dance Video Won
1993 "7" Best R&B Video Nominated
2004 "Musicology" Best Male Video Nominated
2006 "Black Sweat" Best Cinematography in a Video Nominated


  1. 1.0 1.1 Larson, Tom (2004). History of Rock and Roll, Thomas Larsen, page 243. Kendall Hunt. ISBN 978-0-7872-9969-9. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
  2. "Newspaper gives away Prince CDs". BBC news. 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  3. Misani (April 12, 2011). "Prince brings early Valentine's Day gift to NYC". New York Amsterdam News. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  4. "Grammy search database". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  5. "Golden Globe Awards". Archived from the original on December 15, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  6. "Nominees & Winners for the 57th Academy Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  7. "Tavis Smiley". April 27, 2009.
  8. Thompson, Ahmir (March 24, 2004). "100 Greatest Artists". Rolling Stone.
  9. "Tavis Smiley". April 27, 2009.
  10. Ken Tucker (19 February 1981). "Prince Dirty Mind Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  11. "Prince releases surprise new single 'The Breakdown'". 19 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  12. "Prince records tribute to Baltimore and Freddie Gray". Guardian. May 1, 2015.
  13. "Prince to release song dedicated to Baltimore". Baltimore Sun. May 2, 2015.
  14. Steve Forrest; Ben Brumfield (May 1, 2015). "CNN Exclusive: Prince records ode to Baltimore after Freddie Gray protests". CNN.
  15. Alex Young (May 4, 2015). "Prince holds dance party in tribute to Freddie Gray". Consequence of Sound.
  16. "Prince's Album 'HITNRUN' no Longer a Tidal Exclusive, Technically". Music Times. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  17. "Prince confirms he is writing memoir". BBC News. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  18. Daly, Steven (December 1990). "Sherilyn Fenn – Is she the sexiest woman on television?". The Face.
  19. Elan, Priya (September 20, 2008). "Purple Reign". The Guardian. London.
  20. Kennedy, Dana; Sinclair, Tom (December 20, 1996). "Prince's Saddest Song". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  21. Levy, Daniel S. (July 27, 2006). "Prince's Wife, Manuela (Partner of five years), Filed for Divorce". People.
  22. Willis, Peter (May 7, 2010). "Prince- World Exclusive Interview: Peter Willis Goes Inside The Star's Secret World". The Daily Mirror.
  23. Hoffman, Claire (November 24, 2008). "Soup With Prince". The New Yorker. New York.
  24. Radford, Chad (April 7, 2016). "Prince has postponed both of tonight's shows". Creative Loafing. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  25. Horgen, Tom (April 16, 2016). "'All's good' with Prince, back in Chanhassen after emergency landing". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  26. Bream, Jon (April 17, 2016). "April 17, 2016: Prince offers a little speech and even less piano at Paisley to prove he's fine". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  27. "Music legend Prince found dead at 57 at Paisley Park". Minneapolis Star Tribune. April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  28. Coscarelli, Joe (April 21, 2016). "Prince Is Dead at 57". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  29. "Prince Dead at 57". April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  30. Tobias Salinger (21 April 2016). "Prince was treated for drug overdose six days before death, report says". New York Daily News. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  31. Grinberg, Emanuella (24 April 2016). "Prince death: What we know". Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. CNN. Retrieved 24 April 2016.

Other websitesEdit