Happy birthday Prince!

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Prince (born June 7, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He is a pop icon who emerged during the 1980s. His most notable recording, perhaps, is Purple Rain (1984). He has been a hugely prolific producer of soul, funk, and New Wave music.

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Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson to John L. Nelson and Mattie Shaw in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Despite being raised in Minnesota, his family history goes back to Louisiana. His father was a songwriter and pianist, and the name Prince came from his father's stage name, Prince Rogers. After his parents separated when he was 10 years old, he moved in with neighbors. It was with the son of these neighbors, Andre Anderson (André Cymone), and Prince's cousin, Charles Smith, that Prince formed his first band, Grand Central.

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By the time he was 17, Prince was signed to Warner Bros. Records. Prince recorded his first album, For You (1978), at Record Plant Studios in Sausalito, California. According to the liner notes, Prince produced, arranged, composed and played all 27 instruments on the album. The song "Soft and Wet" reached No. 12 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and No. 92 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1979, Prince formed a group with André Cymone on bass, Dez Dickerson on guitar, Gayle Chapman and Doctor Fink on keyboards, and Bobby Z. on drums. That year, the self-titled album was released. Prince (1979) went platinum, with the songs "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover" its most notable hits. (source)

The early 1980s were marked by the albums Dirty Mind (1980) and Controversy (1981). In 1984, Prince released Purple Rain, selling more than thirteen million copies in the U.S. alone. The album is ranked #72 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Prince also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for "Purple Rain." During this period, his band was known as "the Revolution."

 

The end of the 1980s saw Prince release many more successful albums and the disbanding of the Revolution. Prince worked with the likes of Sheena Easton and Madonna. He also produced four films during that decade: Purple Rain (1984), Under the Cherry Moon (1986), Sign o' the Times (1987), and Graffiti Bridge (1990).

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In 1991, Prince debuted his new band, the New Power Generation. He spent much of the 1990s releasing albums quickly so that he could get out of his contract with Warner Bros. He was out of the limelight for last half of the 1990s. In 2004, he emerged to perform with Beyonce Knowles at the Grammy Awards. The same year, he released the album Musicology and it won two Grammys. In 2006, he released the album 3121 and wrote and performed "Song of the Heart" for the film Happy Feet (2006). The song won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

Song of the Heart

Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year he was eligible.

Prince, Icon honoree, performs LIVE at the Billboard Music Awards 2013

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Saturday, 07 June 2014
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