Sexually explicit, sartorially extreme and the hardest working man in velvet pants, Prince has reigned as rock star royalty for decades.
A nice boy from the Midwest, Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis in the late '50s to a pianist and a jazz singer. Musically inclined from a young age, he wrote his first song Funk Machine
at the age of 7. He made his solo debut at the age of 20 and went platinum with his second, a self titled collection of sexiness. He's consistently pumped out records, seemingly almost every year from 1979 to the late '90s, and even busted out five in the span of two years in order to escape the slave like conditions at Warner Brothers. Slave is a bit hyperbolic, but Prince does not like to be creatively hindered. His tracks have always been all over the charts -- from Top 200 to Hot Soul to R&B. This would likely be credited to the fact that his cited influences include almost every genre of music, and his is said to have created the "Minneapolis Sound," a hybrid of funk, rock, pop, R&B and New Wave. He is known for his incredible vocal range (we all know how hard it is to sing along to Kiss
in the car if people are around), somewhat effeminate style and hardcore sexually explicit lyrics. In fact one day little miss prim and proper Tipper Gore happened upon her 12 year old daughter listening to Prince's Darling Nikki
: I knew a girl named Nikki/guess you could say she was a sex fiend/I met her in a hotel lobby/masturbating with a magazine/she said how'd you like to waste some time/and I could not resist when I saw little Nikki grind
. Needless to say this rocked Tipper's PG rated lifestyle and caused her to create the Parents Music Resource Center which vehemently advocated the use of warning labels on the cover of albums. The PMRC also created a list called the Filthy Fifteen -- a list of songs they found particularly raunchy -- and Prince came in at both the #1 and 2 spots.
It seems sometimes that the explicit nature of his music sometimes can distract from how insanely talented this man really is. He's produced 10 platinum albums, released 30 top 40 singles, has hundreds of unreleased songs in his secret vault and when it came to putting together his truly solo albums (with no band) he would play every single instrument. For example on his debut album For You
he played all 27 instruments used throughout the record. He's won 7 Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. He was introduced to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year he was eligible. He was also the first artist ever to simultaneously have a #1 single, #1 album and #1 film in the US with Purple Rain
. Bananas. He's just an impressive man all around -- and that certainly includes his sense of style. Flowy tops cut down to his belly button, shiny long curly hair, ruffled silk scarves, purple bellbottoms -- he jumped on the androgyny train that ran through the '70s and '80s musical landscape, and slept with more females than most could ever dream including Madonna, Kim Basinger and Carmen Electra. He's since come to the "realization" that he's a Jehovah's Witness, calmed his life down, and occasionally goes door to door to spread the good news. Which almost makes me wish that Jehovah's Witnesses came to my apartment building...almost.
As a side note, Prince has also made it virtually impossible to find his music online. He's totally against YouTube...which is a total bummer because we wanted to include some of our favorites in this post. Dammit Prince. We did managed to find Darling Nikki
though, so enjoy!
[caption id="attachment_7572" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="The Love Symbol aka The Artist Formerly Known as Prince"]
[caption id="attachment_7575" align="aligncenter" width="275" caption=""Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?""]
[caption id="attachment_7576" align="aligncenter" width="571" caption="Breaking down the look"]