Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the singer, songwriter, multiple instrumentalist, producer and actor was recognized as a musical genius, trend setter and advocate for artists’ rights. His indelible impact on pop music culture dates back to when he first surfaced in 1978 with his debut album “For You.”
The singer, who was on his “Piano and a Microphone” tour,” also had to cancel two shows earlier in the month due to the flu. The “Purple Rain” singer’s last performance was Thursday night in Atlanta.
His early albums — 1979’s “Prince,” 1980’s “Dirty Mind” and 1981’s “Controversy” — built his core fan base while also creating controversial buzz due to their fusion of religious and sexual themes.
The 1984 semi-autobiographical rock musical drama film “Purple Rain” –- and its best-selling soundtrack — vaulted him into the pop stratosphere. The film won the now-defunct Best Original Song Score award at the Oscars and the album was his best-selling one, amassing sales of over 25 million copies.
Through his career, Prince won seven Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Famed singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Named after the Prince Roger Trio, a jazz band his father performed with as a pianist, Prince was signed to Warner Brother Records as a teenager.
In 1978, Prince released his debut album, For You, which was followed byPrince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980) and Controversy (1981)—all of which created controversy due to their fusion of religious and sexual themes. The singer found international success with the release of his 1982 album, 1999, and went on to create the film and album Purple Rain (1984). By the time he released his 11th studio album, Batman, in 1989, Prince had become one of America’s most commercially successful pop artists.
Prince changed his name to the unpronounceable glyph O(+> in 1993, which he used until 2000. During that time, he was more frequently referred to as “the artist formerly known as Prince,” and his new symbol was not embraced by most fans.
In Recent Years
In 2004, after several years of relative obscurity, Prince returned to the limelight to perform at the Grammy Awards with Beyonce Knowles. That spring, he released Musicology with a tour that became the top concert draw in the United States. The album won two Grammys. His next album, 3121, was released in 2006. That year, he wrote and performed “Song of the Heart” for the animated film Happy Feet, and won a Golden Globe (Best Original Song) for the composition.
Prince was said to be a perfectionist who was highly protective of his music. He wrote, composed and produced the majority of his music, and played most of the instruments on his albums.
On April 21, 2016, Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. The week prior, his plane made an emergency landing and the singer was hospitalized for what was reportedly a severe case of the flu.
VIDEO CREDIT: CNN