Prince R. Nelson, His Royal Badness, The Purple One, Prince Rogers Nelson, Prince Nelson, TAFKAP, Christopher Tracy, Alexander Nevermind, Joey Coco

790 songs 71 albums

An American singer-songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, and actor that produced 22 RIAA-platinum albums during his 40-year career, Prince may be known for one of many different things – his turn as “The Kid” in the iconic film/album/8 ½ minute ballad “Purple Rain”, being the writer behind the acclaimed anthem “Kiss,” rivaling Michael Jackson at the pinnacle of his career, being the inspiration behind censorship laws, or being the artist addressed as an unpronounceable symbol throughout the 1990s—but while many know of Prince, most don’t fully understand the impact his legacy left on this world.

Going by many aliases throughout his life, Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1958 with his father’s (John L. Nelson) stage name as his own given one. Growing up, Prince suffered from serious epileptic seizures at a very young age, but he had wrote his first composition of many by age seven, and outside of his love for basketball, he wanted music to be his purpose in life. His tumultuous childhood, witnessing alcoholism and abuse, caused him to find refuge in neighbor André Cymone’s home in his teens, where the two competed in local band competitions, leading to Prince’s introduction to Morris Day alongside music with his cousin’s band 94 East, leading him to be courted by record labels and ultimately signed to Warner Bros. Records with complete creative control; at 19, his debut album, For You (1978) was released – Prince played all 19 instruments on the record.

Influenced by the likes of Miles Davis, Rick James, and James Brown, Prince desired to form a music dynasty and after the success of his next albums – the platinum-selling Prince (1979), the sexually-charged Dirty Mind (1980), and politically-motivated Controversy (1981) – he negotiated for the ability to form his own label and manage artists of his own. Prince’s trademark sexual/religious rhetoric within pop-and-dance, funk-rock sound gained him a following, but his opening slates for Rick James and The Rolling Stones were both negatively received and facing bankruptcy, the young artist began to reach for mainstream popularity. Cashing on the drug-influenced doomsday mania of the times, 1982’s 1999 easily achieved that mainstream appeal, landing him on MTV, music charts, and radio stations across the world.