Sadly, the music industry lost another standout performer today. Legendary pop icon Prince died at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota, after being spotted on several visits to a local pharmacy, just a week after he was rushed to the hospital with the flu.
Despite being only fifty-seven and having years of creativity ahead of him, the multi-talented artist leaves behind an incredible musical legacy that spanned four decades.
Prince was born on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was captivated by the magic of music from a very early age, learning to play instruments and writing his first song at age seven, while other kids were playing ball or watching cartoons.
The singer/songwriter went on to become one of the biggest pop stars of the 1980s, sold more than 100 million records worldwide, won seven Grammys, and an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 1985 Academy Awards.
Throughout his career he produced numerous hits that conquered the international music charts. In addition to his immense commercial success, Prince was one of the rare cases where an artist was also praised by critics, who would often describe him as a musical genius.
These are Some Facts You Might Not Know About The Artist You Knew As Prince, one of the most talented musicians of our era.
Prince’s real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, but everybody called him “Skipper” when he was a boy.
He put together his first band when he was thirteen. He first named the group Grand Central, then Champagne, but neither name apparently worked for him or the band.
“Purple Rain,” arguably his most popular song, was initially eleven minutes long. A verse and chorus were cut because his record company considered the theme of money to be inappropriate.
The yellow guitar Prince played in the video for “Gett Off” is on display at the Smithsonian.
It is estimated that Prince wrote over six hundred songs during his amazing musical career.
It has been said that Prince once paid a salon in Washington, D.C., to close down, black out all the windows, and do his hair.
Prince’s Purple Rain made almost $70 million and only cost $7 million to make. Not bad for a musician whose first foray into acting came with this film.
In 1984 Prince made music history when he tied a record of the Beatles: He became the first solo artist to top the charts simultaneously with an album, a film, and a single (Purple Rain (the album), Purple Rain (the film), and “When Doves Cry,” respectively).
Unlike Purple Rain, Prince’s second film, Graffiti Bridge, was a box-office and critical flop.
Prince and American rock band Mötley Crüe had a weird relationship. When Prince’s girlfriend Vanity broke up with him she went on to date and eventually get engaged to the band’s bassist and cofounder Nikki Sixx. Ironically, when Prince divorced his wife, Mayte Garcia, she began dating the band’s drummer and bad boy, Tommy Lee.
Prince admitted struggling with depression during different periods in his life. He once stated in an interview that he literally got physically ill from depression during the Dirty Mind era.
Prince only agreed to record the soundtrack to Tim Burton’s first Batman film because he had a crush on Kim Basinger, who starred in the movie. Things worked out for him since they dated for almost a year.
Just like David Bowie, it has been reported that Prince would often work for two or three days straight without sleep on his early albums.
Michael Jackson’s “Bad” was supposed to be a duet with Prince, but Prince declined once he found out that the song’s opening line, “Your butt is mine,” would be something Michael would say to him.
Believe it or not but like a second Mozart, Prince wrote his first song at age seven. The song’s title was typical Prince: “Funk Machine.”
Prince used to write fan mail to Joni Mitchell. She later said during an interview that she once spotted a young Prince going “crazy” in the front row at one of her concerts.
Prince and Amy Winehouse almost collaborated. After Prince publicly stated that he was a fan of her music, the British singer expressed a desire to work with him.
In 2013 Prince performed at the wedding of Star Wars director George Lucas to his sweetheart Mellody Hobson.
Prince originally wanted Stevie Nicks to sing on “Purple Rain,” but it didn’t work because he wanted more than just a musical collaboration and Stevie wasn’t down for that.
Prince once stated in an interview that when he was still a struggling musician he was so broke that he’d hang around outside McDonald’s just to smell the food.
Prince wrote “Nothing Compares 2 U” about bandmate Wendy Melvoin’s sister Susannah, but the song became a worldwide hit by Sinead O’Connor in 1990.
Prince was a very religious man; he was a Jehovah’s Witness. For this reason he did not swear in his songs and was strict about adhering to this in practice.
Even though he was only five two, Prince was an exceptional basketball player and used to play for one of the best schools in Minnesota.
Prince was a huge fan of the Beatles and used to cover some of their most popular songs, such as “Come Together.” When John Lennon was murdered in New York, Prince was living only a couple of blocks away.
Unfortunately, Prince did not leave any descendants behind. He and his former wife, Mayte Garcia, had a son in 1996 named Boy Gregory. The baby died within a week, due to a skeletal abnormality known as Pfeiffer’s Syndrome.