Prince Artistfacts

  • June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016
  • On his 35th birthday (June 7, 1993), he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, a mixture of the male and female signs combined with the alchemy symbol for soapstone. The media began referring to him as "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince," or simply "The Artist." His staff at Paisley Park, on the other hand, called him "the dude." In May 2000, he changed his name back to Prince.
  • His birth name is Prince Rogers Nelson, taken from his father's stage name - Prince Rogers - in the jazz band The Prince Rogers Trio. His father's real name is John L. Nelson.
  • Raised in Minneapolis, his nickname in school was "Skipper." Despite his small stature, being only 5'2" tall, he was a very talented basketball player as a teenager and played for one of the best school teams in Minnesota. His brother, Duane Nelson, was also a basketball and football player for Central High School, which they both attended.
  • He played all of the instruments and wrote all of the songs on his first album, For You (though "Soft and Wet" was co-written by producer Chris Moon). He continued to write, produce arrange and play most instruments on all recordings since.
  • He wrote hit songs for several other artists including "Manic Monday" for the Bangles and "The Glamorous Life" for Sheila E. Covers of his songs have also been hits, including Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You."
  • Getting his record deal at 18 and his first album For You coming out at 19, his arrangement with Warner Bros. made him the youngest artist in its history to be given complete artistic control in the studio. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Whitney - Johnson City, UT
  • Prince became a Jehovah's Witness in the late '90s, and in accordance with the faith, stopped using profanity in his performances and recordings after his conversion. Prince was known to visit homes randomly in the Minneapolis area to spread the word of the Jehovah's Witnesses. It is believed that he was introduced to the church by bassist Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station.
  • Prince was a child prodigy - he learned to play over a dozen instruments before the age of 15. The first song he learned to play on the piano was the original Batman theme when he was 7 years old. In 1989, Tim Burton enlisted him to create the soundtrack for his Batman film, which produced the hit song "Batdance." None of this is coincidental in Prince's mind.

    "There are no accidents," he told Details magazine in 1991. "And if there are, it's up to us to look at them as something else."
  • In July 2007, he gave away copies of the album Planet Earth for free in the UK newspaper Mail on Sunday. It didn't seem like a good marketing move until he announced 21 consecutive London concert dates and sold out all of them. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Prince shunned collaborations. He turned down an offer to duet with Michael Jackson in the '80s, and also refused to perform on "We Are The World." The controversy surrounding Prince's exit from the charity single inspired a Saturday Night Live skit spoofing the event. Billy Crystal played Prince, who led the song "I Am Also The World."
  • On his 2004 tour, Prince required a doctor backstage to administer a B-12 injection. His rider for that tour also asked for tables at all entry points for collection of gifts and flowers.
  • In 1980, he was the supporting act on Rick James' tour. Later that year, James headlined for Prince's Dirty Mind tour.
  • Prince loved ping pong. He and his band played a lot of the table sport when touring. When his Under the Cherry Moon co-star Kristin Scott Thomas was a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the host shared a funny story about Prince's love for the game.

    Apparently, the singer wanted to play a game of ping pong with Fallon on the show, but he kept changing his mind. His representatives kept calling the host to say Prince wanted to, then didn't want to, then wanted to again, then didn't want to again. It even got to the point where he told Fallon he would play with him off-camera because "he just thinks you'd be fun to play ping pong with." Finally, Fallon said they would have a table set up just in case. Prince did come on the show, but there was no mention of ping pong again.
  • In 1993, during negotiations regarding the release of Prince's album The Gold Experience, the Purple One realized his contract with Warners meant they owned his master tapes. The Minneapolis star sued for release from the label, and vowed to display the word "Slave" on his cheek until he was free. "If they made jokes I'd say, Go right ahead," Prince told Mojo. "I had their attention."
  • During an appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show, Prince was asked what household chores he does. He replied: "I can cook, but only one thing - omelets. All my friends have high cholesterol."
  • Prince was always finicky about giving interviews. When he did allow them, he often confounded journalists by not allowing them to use a tape recorder or even a simple pen and paper to take notes. Sometimes, he didn't even speak at all.

    "I used to tease a lot of journalists early on," he told Rolling Stone in 1985, "because I wanted them to concentrate on the music and not so much on me coming from a broken home. I really didn't think that was important. What was important was what came out of my system that particular day. I don't live in the past. I don't play my old records for that reason. I make a statement, then move on to the next."
  • Prince and his wife Mayte Garcia had a son named Boy Gregory who tragically died of a condition called Pfeiffer syndrome just one week after his birth in 1996. According to Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology, Pfeiffer syndrome is a "rare genetic disorder characterized by the premature fusion of certain bones of the skull (craniosynostosis), which prevents further growth of the skull and affects the shape of the head and face."
  • The singer's first TV interview was with Oprah in 1996, with the host visiting Paisley Park.
  • Whilst on a 1987 UK tour, Prince discovered there was no way of getting a baby grand piano up the stairs of London's Chelsea Harbour Hotel for him to practice on, so the workaholic star hired a crane and brought it in through the window.
  • Prince shared the stage with James Brown when he was 10 years old. "My stepdad put me on stage with him and I danced a bit until the bodyguard took me off," the Purple Maestro told MTV News.
  • The first song that Prince appeared on was "Stone Lover" by Music, Love and Funk. Recorded in 1976 and released in 1977, the seven-minute plus funk track features him on guitar.
  • Prince famously repped all things purple in his song titles, album covers and wardrobe. However, according to the singer's sister, Tyka Nelson, it wasn't his favorite hue. "It is strange because people always associate the color purple with Prince," she told Britain's The Evening Standard newspaper, "but his favorite color was actually orange."
  • Prince was really good at programming a drum machine. He was one of the first to get his hands on the first unit that sampled real drums: the LM-1, of which only about 500 were made. He was able to process the sounds in creative ways, resulting in patterns like the one heard on "When Doves Cry." According to Roger Linn, who created the LM-1, Prince was the most creative user of the device.

Comments: 22

  • Talltree from Fairhaven, MaHe will always be my favorite artist
  • Tania from Brisbane, AustraliaPrince was, and always will be, a musical genius.
  • Doug from Los AngelesJohnny from Geneva, Ha ha ha ha ha ha, Prince an over rated artist, ha ha ha ha ha, only one percent of his songs are any good. I guess that's the reason he's had over 40 songs in the Billboard top 100. He changed music. Stevie Wonder said it best, "if Michael was the King Prince was the Emperor" Prince was by far the most talented artist to have ever walked this earth. And it isn't even close. I know many top artists in the music industry and they all say he's at a level that's almost cosmic, not of this world. You can name any artist, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Michael Jackson, BB King, Stevie Wonder, anyone and not one of them could do what Prince did. The Beatles didn't even write or read music. Prince wrote, arranged, produced, mixed, sang and played all the instruments. Do you work for Warner Brothers or something?
  • Adrian Chan from MalaysiaWhen Ricky Nelson died in a plane crash in 1986, at that time I thought it was Prince who died as I misheard Ricky Nelson as Roger Nelson. Anyway, he is really gone 30 years later...May His Purple Highness rest in peace...
  • Matthew from Winter Park, FlPrince isn't 5'4. He's actually between 4'11 & 5'2. No one is quite sure.
  • Deanna from Shawnee, Oksuper sexy and talented. period.
  • Kevin from Omaha, Nere: the skit on Chappelle Show...true. Prince played basketball at Minneapolis Central as a soph. and while only 5'4" was an excellent point guard with serious skills. 'Narada' Michael Walden has a similar story to tell...most musicians suck as athletes, Prince is the exception.
  • Victoria from Warren, RiHow old are you. I am guessing 48. My sister loves you just like I do.
  • Victoria from Warren, RiPrince you are awesome and i love your songs and watch your movie all the time called PurpleRAin. I love that movie I know all your songs and love them too.
  • Johnny from Geneva, SwitzerlandPrince is a overrated artist, the most overrated of all times. he has composed too many bad songs, to be considered a great composer, for his rate of good songs is struggling with 1 percent.
    Prince is very experimential artist, so you can compare him to frankenstein.
  • Nelson from Melbourne, AustraliaIn 1987, Michael Jackson contacted Prince to perform a duet together for the title track of his album 'Bad'. This excited Prince, though creative differences got the best of him and thought the lyrics and music weren't dark enough for the song. (Once released, the track went straight to number 1).
  • Nelson from Melbourne, AustraliaPrince brought up many other artists such as Sheila E, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6. He wrote so many songs for other artists that we know, it would suprise you. "A Love Bizarre", "Nasty Girl", "Glamourous Life" were 3 massive club remakes in 2005 which were all written by Prince. He wrote "Nothing Compares to You" which made Sinead O'Connor massive, "Love.. Thy Will be Done" which was performed by Martika. The list is incredibly long, I'll have to come back with more info cuz this is just off the top of my head!
    In my opinion Prince was one of the BIGGEST artists of the 20th century.
  • Andy from Arlington, VaInducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. George Harrison was also inducted that night, and Prince came out to play the guitar solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." He got so into the solo that he nearly fell off the stage.
  • Richard from Perth, AustraliaApparently "The Black Album" was cancelled by Prince days before it's original release in 1987 after a one time experiment with ecsatacy.
  • Ed from London, CanadaPrince didn't allow "Weird Al" Yankovic to parody one of his songs (Paraphrased: "The only artist that didn't allow me to parody one of their songs's name is not on my keyboard.")
  • Max from New York, United StatesPrince is a musical master
  • Paul from Perth, Australiaapparently raspberry beret was written about Madonna who he saw for a time before they were stars.
  • Mike from Salisbury, MdHe's had alot of name's besides just Prince.

    - Alexander Nevermind
    - Joey Coco
    - Jamie Starr
    - Paisley Park

    and more...
  • Shell from Riverdale, GaHe changed his name to an unpronouncable symbol to screw his record company. He wanted out of his contract with them but they wouldn't give in so he adopted the symbol as a way to make it difficult if not well-nigh impossible for them to market any of his subsequent albums. When the contract was fulfilled and he was away from that company he re-adopted his birth name.
  • Reed from Hagerstown, Inhas anybody seen the skit about charlie murphy and prince on 'chappele's show'? It's supposedly based on a true story. I swear, its one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
  • Jolie from Bellwood, IlHe played a song called Thunder also. It's really good.
  • Scott Evans from Bradford, FinlandPrince wrote 'Manic Monday' under the name 'Christopher'
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