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Prince

Prince
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Prince Biography

Minneapolis' multi-instrumentalist Prince was Jackson's intellectual counterpart. This licentious androgyne, specializing in quasi-porno ballads, not only wrote his songs but even played all or most of the instruments. His favorite format was the concept album, not the hit single. His fusion of pop, soul and rock was driven by sheer libido. Prince basically transformed the moaning and screaming of copulation into a style of singing, a neurotic, delirious falsetto that continuously referenced sexual pleasure. If the fundamental elements remained the same throughout the decade, the emphasis shifted from the purely self-celebratory 1999 (1982) to the epic Purple Rain (1984) to the self-indulgently baroque Around The World (1985) to the semiotic, post-modern clockwork of Sign Of The Times (1987). Each album was both an erotic and a stylistic tour de force. His career as a whole was both a lascivious act and a pop encyclopedia. Prince's songwriting skills, also displayed in the Bangles' Manic Monday (1986) and Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares (1990), belonged to a white tradition that harks back to the Brill Building and runs through Brian Wilson and Todd Rundgren. Read Full Bio >>

Prince Awards

YearAwardCategoryForResult
2010 Grammy Awards Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
2010 BET Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2008 Grammy Awards Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Happy Feet (2006). Nominated
2007 Grammy Awards Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group Nominated
2007 Golden Globes, USA Best Original Song - Motion Picture Happy Feet (2006). Won

Show All Awards >>

Prince Trivia

  • In May 2000 Prince dropped the symbol O(+> he adopted as a name. He had used the symbol because he considered his record contract with Warner Bros. Records oppressive, which ended in 2000.
  • The symbol to which Prince changed his name (which is best rendered as ether O{+> or O(+> in normal ASCII characters) originated in and was borrowed by Prince from ancient Europe.
  • [16 October 1996]. Son, with Mayte Garcia, born with the rare skull disease Pfeiffer's syndrome and unable to breathe without a ventilator. The child was taken off life support on 23 October and died.
  • Changed his stage name to O(+>. [7 June 1993]
  • Has dated several famous women before settling down: Kim Basinger, Sherilyn Fenn, Apollonia Kotero and Sheena Easton, to name a few.
  • Started the careers of Vanity and Carmen Electra amongst others.
  • Son of jazz pianist John L. Nelson.
  • One of very few artists who has denied 'Weird Al' Yankovic permission to parody any of his songs. After years of asking, ''Weird Al' Yankovic' obtained video parody permission, and the video for UHF (1989) includes a sequence that spoofs the bathtub intro for Prince's video of "When Doves Cry".
  • Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March 2004.
  • A very short man, he often has to wear large shoes on stage so he is not dwarfed by some female singers.
  • He was voted the 28th greatest Rock & Roll Artist of all time by "Rolling Stone" magazine.
  • He joins Sylvester Stallone, Roberto Benigni, Kevin Costner, William Shatner and Tom Green as being the only actors to direct themselves in performances that would win them a Razzie Award for Worst Actor.
  • Did the music for the movie Girl 6 (1996) as Prince. It was the only time he referred to himself as Prince from 1993 to 2000.
  • In the late 1990s, he requested to be referred to as simply The Artist, since his initial intention when he changed his name to O(+> was to not be referred to as Prince. Unfortunately that was not going too well, considering everyone was calling him the Artist Formerly Known as Prince because the symbol has no pronunciation.
  • The symbol he used as his name was also the name of his last Warner Bros. album as Prince, which was released just a few months before his name change. He recorded as Prince since then on his independently distributed, self-released albums and those licensed to Arista/BMG Records and Columbia/SME Records.
  • Known for his colorful outfits and explicitly flaunting and expressing his strong sexuality during his performances, despite being a devout Christian.
  • One of the very few musicians who writes, produces and composes all his music himself. On most of his albums, he plays all the instruments himself, except for brass instruments, which he does not play, though he does have a backing band for concerts. His songwriting skills have provided hits for others such as Chaka Khan, Sinéad O'Connor and Jordan Knight.
  • Played the song "1999" for the last time at a New Year's Eve party in 1999, then announced he was retiring the song.
  • During the filming of Purple Rain (1984), he was told one day by director Albert Magnoli that the film needed a montage song that dealt heavily on emotions. Prince responded with two songs the very next morning, written, produced and recorded. One of the songs was the smash hit "When Doves Cry".
  • Performed a composition written by his father, John L. Nelson, in the music of Purple Rain (1984); this music was also part a song from the Purple Rain (1984) soundtrack, "Computer Blue".
  • His 1984 album "Purple Rain" sold 13 million copies in the United States.
  • In November 2005 he was told by his doctors that he would need a hip replacement following years of energetic dancing on stage.
  • Was to duet with Michael Jackson on his album "Bad", but could not decide on the words to the song.
  • Prince's 2006 tour made him the most lucrative live performer of the year. His 69 city, 96 show tour took $87.4 million (£45.5 million), beating Céline Dion's Las Vegas residency, which came in second, taking $80.4 million (£41.8 million).
  • Winner of the 1993 Brit Award for International Solo Artist.
  • Winner of the British Phonographic Industry Awards for International Act and Soundtrack for "Purple Rain" in 1985.
  • Winner of the 1992 Brit Award for International Solo Artist.
  • In his An Evening with Kevin Smith (2002) (V) film, director Kevin Smith says that he learned during shooting of a documentary for Prince that he has made about 50 fully produced music videos for songs that were never released in any kind of form.
  • Arrived an hour late to the 2007 Golden Globe Awards due to traffic and missed accepting the Golden Globe for Best Song for movie "Happy Feet". Justin Timberlake accepted the award for him after an awkward silence waiting for Prince to come on stage. He did so in an amusing fashion by crouching down to a shorter height and raising his voice to accept the award for Prince. Hugh Grant later announced Prince had finally arrived after being stuck in gridlock traffic, and gave Prince an opportunity to stand and receive applause for his win.
  • During high school he was in a band called "Champagne" with his cousin Morris Day and friend Andre Cymone.
  • Known as "Gazoo" in school because of his huge Afro and small body. Gazoo was the flying space guy in the Fintstones cartoon show with the giant head covered by a space helmet.
  • Inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture. [14 November 2006].
  • Ranked #18 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll.
  • Ranked #5 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.
  • Wrote a song for his friend the actress Jackie Swanson entitled Palomino Pleasure Ride.
  • Has sold 80 million albums worldwide.
  • Held a press conference to announce his intention to perform 21 shows in London. (8 May 2007).
  • Performed at the Super Bowl XLI halftime show in Miami, Florida, to a worldwide television audience of 140 million viewers. (4 February 2007).
  • Thrilled his hometown fans by performing three shows over twelve hours, only stopping when police shut him down. The Minneapolis native first performed at a department store to promote his new cologne, cramming nine songs into a 45-minute set. He then played that night at the Target Center arena. He capped the night with a return to First Avenue, the club he made famous in the movie Purple Rain (1984). Minnesota's governor and the Minneapolis mayor issued proclamations honoring Prince, and fans flew in from all over the country to see the performer. After the Target Center, Prince waited until nearly 2:45 a.m. before starting the First Avenue show, the first time he had played at the club since 1987. The city lets music play until 4 a.m. He was 15 songs and 70 minutes into a 24-song set when he announced from the stage: "The authorities say we gotta go. We always listen to the authorities. I promise I'll be back." (7 July 2007).
  • Is a Vegetarian.


Prince Photos

  • Prince Fielder

    MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Show Presented by Chevrolet

  • Prince Michael Jackson, Remi Alfalah

    Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson ONE" World Premiere - Arrivals

  • Princess Beatrice of York

    Serpentine Gallery Summer Party 2013 - Arrivals

  • Bryant Prince

    Disney's "The Lone Ranger" World Premiere - Arrivals

  • Prince Felipe of Asturia, Princess Letizia of Asturia and Prince Naruhito of Japan

    Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturia with Prince Naruhito of Japan Attend a Concert at the Royal Theatre in Madrid on June 12, 2013

  • Prince Felipe of Asturia, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Prince Naruhito of Japan

    The Spanish Royal Family Greets Prince Naruhito of Japan at La Zarzuela Palace in Madrid on June 12, 2013

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