Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has written several hundred songsand produces and records his own music for his own music label. At 14 he was in a band called Grand Central, which later became Champagne. Four years later, a demo tape he made with engineer Chris Moon reached local businessman Owen Husney.
In addition, he has promoted the careers of Sheila E., Carmen Electra, the Time and Vanity 6, and his songs have been recorded by these artists and others, including Chaka Khan.
Prince developed an interest in music at an early age, writing his first song at age seven. After recording songs with his cousin’s band 94 East, seventeen-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes before releasing his debut album, For You, in 1978.
His 1979 album, Prince, went platinum due to the success of the singles “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year he was eligible. Rolling Stone has ranked Prince No. 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Prince’s music has been influenced by rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, blues, new wave, electronica, disco, psychedelia, folk, jazz, and pop.
Prince vaulted to superstardom in 1984 with Purple Rain, a seemingly autobiographical movie set in the Minneapolis club scene and co-starring the Time and Apollonia 6 (Patricia “Apollonia” Kotero having replaced Vanity).
It was an enormous hit, as was the soundtrack album, which spent 24 weeks atop the chart and sold over 13 million copies, yielding hit singles with “When Doves Cry”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Purple Rain”, “I Would Die 4 U”, and “Take Me With U”.
At the 1985 Grammy Awards, Prince and the Revolution won Best Group Rock Vocal for “Purple Rain” and R&B Song of the Year for “I Feel For You” (actually from Prince, and a hit cover for Chaka Khan in 1984). Also in 1985 Prince also wrote Sheena Easton’s suggestive hit single “Sugar Walls,” under the pseudonym “Alexander Nevermind.”
Prince released a sequel to Purple Rain in 1990 called Graffiti Bridge, a soundtrack album accompanied this movie entitled, Graffiti Bridge. The film did terrible in box-office and was nominated for several Razzie awards.
In 1991, Prince assembled a new band called, The New Power Generation with this band he would release singles such as Diamond and Pearls, Cream, and Gett Off. Prince eventually changed his stage name from Prince to a symbol, which lead people to call him, “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”.
In November 2005 he was told by his doctors that he would need a hip replacement following years of energetic dancing on stage. He was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture.