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Prince

Few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince. During the '80s, he emerged as one of the most singular talents of the rock & roll era, capable of seamlessly tying together pop, funk, folk, and rock. Not only did he release a series of groundbreaking albums; he toured frequently, produced albums, and wrote songs for many other artists, and recorded hundreds of songs that still lie unreleased in his vaults. With each album he released, Prince showed remarkable stylistic growth and musical diversity, constantly experimenting with different sounds, textures, and genres. Occasionally, his music was inconsistent, in part because of his eclecticism, but his experiments frequently succeeded; no other contemporary artist blended so many diverse styles into a cohesive whole.

Prince's first two albums were solid, if unremarkable, late-'70s funk-pop. With 1980's Dirty Mind, he recorded his first masterpiece, a one-man tour de force of sex and music; it was hard funk, catchy Beatlesque melodies, sweet soul ballads, and rocking guitar pop, all at once. The follow-up, Controversy, was more of the same, but 1999 was brilliant. The album was a monster hit, selling over three million copies, but it was nothing compared to 1984's Purple Rain.

Purple Rain made Prince a superstar; it eventually sold over ten million copies in the U.S. and spent 24 weeks at number one. Partially recorded with his touring band, the Revolution, the record featured the most pop-oriented music he has ever made. Instead of continuing in this accessible direction, he veered off into the bizarre psycho-psychedelia of Around the World in a Day, which nevertheless sold over two million copies. In 1986, he released the even stranger Parade, which was in its own way as ambitious and intricate as any art rock of the '60s; however, no art rock was ever grounded with a hit as brilliant as the spare funk of "Kiss."

By 1987, Prince's ambitions were growing by leaps and bounds, resulting in the sprawling masterpiece Sign 'O' the Times. Prince was set to release the hard funk of The Black Album by the end of the year, yet he withdrew it just before its release, deciding it was too dark and immoral. Instead, he released the confused Lovesexy in 1988, which was a commercial disaster. With the soundtrack to 1989's Batman he returned to the top of the charts, even if the album was essentially a recap of everything he had done before. The following year he released Graffiti Bridge (the sequel to Purple Rain), which turned out to be a considerable commercial disappointment.

In 1991, Prince formed the New Power Generation, the best and most versatile and talented band he has ever assembled. With their first album, Diamonds and Pearls, Prince reasserted his mastery of contemporary R&B; it was his biggest hit since 1985. The following year, he released his 12th album, which was titled with a cryptic symbol; in 1993, Prince legally changed his name to the symbol. In 1994, after becoming embroiled in contract disagreements with Warner Bros., he independently released the single "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," likely to illustrate what he would be capable of on his own; the song became his biggest hit in years. Later that summer, Warner released the somewhat halfhearted Come under the name of Prince; the record was a moderate success, going gold.

In November 1994, as part of a contractual obligation, Prince agreed to the official release of The Black Album. In early 1995, he immersed himself in another legal battle with Warner, proclaiming himself a slave and refusing to deliver his new record, The Gold Experience, for release. By the end of the summer, a fed-up Warner had negotiated a compromise that guaranteed the album's release, plus one final record for the label. The Gold Experience was issued in the fall; although it received good reviews and was following a smash single, it failed to catch fire commercially. In the summer of 1996, Prince released Chaos & Disorder, which freed him to become an independent artist. Setting up his own label, NPG (which was distributed by EMI), he resurfaced later that same year with the three-disc Emancipation, which was designed as a magnum opus that would spin off singles for several years and be supported with several tours.

However, even his devoted cult following needed considerable time to digest such an enormous compilation of songs. Once it was clear that Emancipation wasn't the commercial blockbuster he hoped it would be, Prince assembled a long-awaited collection of outtakes and unreleased material called Crystal Ball in 1998. With Crystal Ball, Prince discovered that it's much more difficult to get records to an audience than it seems; some fans who pre-ordered their copies through Prince's website (from which a bonus fifth disc was included) didn't receive them until months after the set began appearing in stores. Prince then released a new one-man album, New Power Soul, just three months after Crystal Ball; even though it was his most straightforward album since Diamonds and Pearls, it didn't do well on the charts, partly because many listeners didn't realize it had been released.

A year later, with "1999" predictably an end-of-the-millennium anthem, Prince issued the remix collection 1999 (The New Master). A collection of Warner Bros.-era leftovers, Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale, followed that summer, and in the fall Prince returned on Arista with the all-star Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic. In the fall of 2001 he released the controversial Rainbow Children, a jazz-infused circus of sound trumpeting his conversion to the Jehovah's Witnesses that left many longtime fans out in the cold. He further isolated himself with 2003's N.E.W.S., a four-song set of instrumental jams that sounded a lot more fun to play than to listen to. Prince rebounded in 2003 with the chart-topping Musicology, a return to form that found the artist back in the Top Ten, even garnering a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2005.

In early 2006 he was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, performing two songs with a new protégée, R&B singer Tamar. A four-song appearance at the Brit Awards with Wendy, Lisa, and Sheila E. followed. Both appearances previewed tracks from 3121, which hit number one on the album charts soon after its release in March 2006. Planet Earth followed in 2007, featuring contributions from Wendy and Lisa. In the U.K., copies were cover-mounted on the July 15 edition of The Mail on Sunday, provoking Columbia -- the worldwide distributor for the release -- to refuse distribution throughout the U.K. In the U.S., the album was issued on July 24.

LotusFlow3r, a three-disc set, arrived in 2009, featuring a trio of distinct albums: LotusFlow3r itself (a guitar showcase), MPLSound (a throwback to his '80s funk output), and Elixer (a smooth contemporary R&B album featuring the breathy vocals of Bria Valente). Despite only being available online and through one big-box retailer, the set debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. A year later, another throwback-flavored effort, 20Ten, became his second U.K. newspaper giveaway. No official online edition of the album was made available.

From mid-2010 through the end of 2012, Prince toured throughout Europe, America, Europe again, Canada, and Australia. During 2013, he released several singles, starting with "Screwdriver" and continuing with "Breakfast Can Wait" in the summer of that year. Early in 2014, he made a cameo appearance on the Zooey Deschanel sitcom The New Girl, appearing in the episode that aired following the Super Bowl. All this activity was prelude to the spring announcement that Prince had re-signed to Warner Bros. Records, the label he had feuded with 20 years prior. As part of the deal, he wound up receiving the ownership of his master recordings, and the label planned a reissue campaign that would begin with an expanded reissue of Purple Rain roughly timed to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

First came two new albums: Art Official Age and PlectrumElectrum, the latter credited to 3rdEyeGirl, the all-female power trio that was his new-millennial backing band. Both records came out on the same day in September 2014. (Two years later, the Prince reissue program and the expanded edition of Purple Rain had yet to appear.) Almost a year to the day, he released HITnRUN: Phase One, with contributions from Lianne La Havas, Judith Hill, and Rita Ora. A sequel, HITnRUN: Phase Two, was released online in December 2015, with a physical release following in January 2016. In early 2016, Prince set out on a rare solo tour, a run of shows he called "Piano and a Microphone." The tour was cut short in April due to sickness, however, and Prince flew home to Minneapolis. On April 21, 2016, police were called to Paisley Park, where they found Prince unresponsive; he died that day at the age of 57. His early death and incredible achievement prompted an outpouring of emotion from fans, friends, influences, and professional associates. On the following week's Billboard charts, he occupied four of the top ten album positions and four of the top singles positions. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: ART OFFICIAL AGE

1. ART OFFICIAL CAGE

2. CLOUDS

3. BREAKDOWN

4. THE GOLD STANDARD

5. U KNOW

6. BREAKFAST CAN WAIT

7. THIS COULD BE US

8. WHAT IT FEELS LIKE

9. Affirmation I & II

10. WAY BACK HOME

11. FUNKNROLL

12. TIME

13. Affirmation III

x

Track List: S.S.T.

x

Track List: N.E.W.S.

x

Track List: The Very Best of Prince

1. I Wanna Be Your Lover

2. 1999

3. Little Red Corvette

4. When Doves Cry

5. Let's Go Crazy

6. Purple Rain

7. I Would Die 4 U

8. Raspberry Beret

9. Kiss

10. Sign 'O' The Times

11. U Got The Look

12. Alphabet St.

13. Thieves In The Temple

14. Gett Off

15. Cream

16. Diamonds And Pearls

17. Money Don't Matter 2 Night

x

Track List: The Vault - Old Friends For Sale

1. The Rest Of My Life

2. It's About That Walk

3. She Spoke 2 Me

4. 5 Women

5. When The Lights Go Down

6. My Little Pill

7. There Is Lonely

8. Old Friends 4 Sale

9. Sarah

10. Extraordinary

x

Track List: Come: 1958 - 1993 (Explicit)

1. Come

2. Space

3. Pheremone

4. Loose

5. Papa

6. Race

7. Dark

8. Solo

10. Orgasm

x

Track List: The Hits 1

1. When Doves Cry

3. Soft And Wet

4. I Feel For You

5. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad

6. When You Were Mine

7. Uptown

9. 1999

10. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

12. Adore

13. Pink Cashmere

14. Alphabet St.

15. Sign 'O' The Times

16. Thieves In The Temple

x

Track List: The Hits 2

1. Controversy

2. Dirty Mind

3. I Wanna Be Your Lover

4. Head

5. Do Me, Baby

6. Delirious

7. Little Red Corvette

10. If I Was Your Girlfriend

12. Peach

13. U Got The Look

17. Pope

x

Track List: Batman (Motion Picture Soundtrack)

1. The Future

2. Electric Chair

3. The Arms Of Orion

4. Partyman

5. Vicki Waiting

6. Trust

7. Lemon Crush

8. Scandalous

9. Batdance

x

Track List: Sign Of The Times

Disc 1

1. Sign O' The TImes

2. Play In The Sunshine

3. Housequake

4. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker

5. It

6. Starfish And Coffee

7. Slow Love

8. Hot Thing

9. Forever In My Life

Disc 2

1. U Got The Look

2. If I Was Your Girlfriend

3. Strange Relationship

4. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

5. The Cross

6. It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (Live)

7. Adore

x

Track List: Around The World In A Day

1. Around The World In One Day

2. Paisley Park

3. Condition Of The Heart

4. Raspberry Beret

5. Tamborine

6. America

7. Pop Life

8. The Ladder

9. Temptation

x

Track List: 1999

1. 1999

2. Little Red Corvette

3. Delirious

4. Let's Pretend We're Married

5. D.M.S.R.

6. Automatic

7. Something In The Water (Does Not Compute)

8. Free

9. Lady Cab Driver

10. All The Critics Love U In New York

11. International Lover

x

Track List: Controversy

1. Controversy

2. Sexuality

3. Do Me, Baby

4. Private Joy

5. Ronnie, Talk To Russia

6. Let's Work

7. Annie Christian

8. Jack U Off

x

Track List: Dirty Mind

1. Dirty Mind

2. When You Were Mine

3. Do It All Night

4. Gotta Broken Heart Again

5. Uptown

6. Head

7. Sister

8. Party Up

x

Track List: Prince

1. I Wanna Be Your Lover

2. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?

3. Sexy Dancer

4. When We're Dancing Close And Slow

5. With You

6. Bambi

7. Still Waiting

8. I Feel For You

9. It's Gonna Be Lonely

x

Track List: For You

1. For You

2. In Love

3. Soft And Wet

4. Crazy You

5. Just As Long As We're Together

6. Baby

7. My Love Is Forever

8. So Blue

9. I'm Yours

x

Track List: Baltimore (Single)

1. Baltimore (Feat. Eryn Allen Kane)

x

Track List: Extraloveable (Single)

x

Track List: F.U.N.K. (Radio Single)

x

Track List: FALLINLOVE2NITE (Single)

1. FALLINLOVE2NITE

x

Track List: Parade

1. Christopher Tracy's Parade

2. New Position

3. I Wonder U

4. Under The Cherry Moon

6. Life Can Be So Nice

7. Venus De Milo

8. Mountains

9. Do U Lie?

11. Anotherloverholenyohead

12. Sometimes It Snows In April

x

Track List: Screwdriver (Single)

1. Screwdriver

x

Track List: U Make My Sun Shine (Single)

1. U Make My Sun Shine (Feat. Angie Stone)

Comments

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I loved him�� RIP my first heroe ������
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Love all prince music,he will be missed*I still can't believe it*God take his children home*Love you man*
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RIP PRINCE. REALLY LOVE UR MUSIC. U R REALLY MISSED BY UR FAMILY AND FANS. FROM UR #1 FAN.
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RIP Sweet Prince...... . . . Y o u would have been proud of your girl last night..She did the dayum thang...
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Miss you prince ��
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Love you man R.I.P ������������
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Damn I miss you
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RIP
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RIP
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grmichel1
You are such a good singer
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...to Pandora, ....do actually play any Prince music on Prince Radio?.....
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lucyomeowy2
Rip
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Prince. Love u.many of us morn our loss of u. I'll never be forgotten.we have Ur music.save us all a seat at Ur concert in heaven for when we all meet u the
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I love you prince you will be missed by most every one I'm 9 years old and I'm just using my grandmas phone
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R.I.P
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By far my favorite artist. My wife and I were dating when 1999 through Around the World in a day came out. Had all those early cassettes going in my car at all times. This one hurts. RIP to the greatest.
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I'm only ten and I sorta knew about Prince Rip Prince
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moleculematt
Hey prince I never got to see ya live in concert but I hope to see you when I go to heavrn. You had so many hits such as 1999, lille red corvette, kiss, purple rain, I would die 4 u, and so much more. Thanks so much for sharing your songs. I still listen to your songs almost everyday on the radio. Love you prince. I know that you're going to look down and watch all of the new singers such as taylor swift, katy perry, and rihanna. You are one of my favorite singers. I hear that they're not playin
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We will always miss you Prince you were a great singer and dancer my favorite song from you is purple rain i don't understand why you had to die so early
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destinygirl7 2 9 4 3
I will miss u! I love u! RIP��
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#MISS you price.
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Rally , pandora?
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See you in heaven R.I.P Prince we love you!
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perryt75
RIP sweet Prince. We will always love!
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The world is a lesser place without you & the heavens just got brighter .
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I love you Prince always in my heart!!!
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Rest in PURPLE HEAVEN������
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U will b missed
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Rip To Prince
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Rest in peace prince rest in peace oh so sad right
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Who is Prince? I've never heard of this singer until on the day he died.
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Rest in peace prince��
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floralovesca t s
RIP
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arrowdave6
He killed himself by being a dumb a** same as Michael Jackson and Redd Foxx.
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HA LOVE WON OF THE GREATS GOOD ENTERAINER LOVE
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Dewboo07... Then that makes you ignorant!
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Prince did not commit suicide.
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And if I knew did know about him I think I would like Michael Jackson way better than this so called Prince you guys love.
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I have no idea who he is or who he was.
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People say he committed suicide.
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Rip :(same birth year as mj
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"Ain't nobody bad!" like the Time featuring the one and only Morris Day....."Hur r y up, Grace!" Love them crazy dudes always...RIP to Prince & may all of his friends be blessed
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valentinjani r a
You to waeih
Her and I baek up you waeih
Her you to stop to high school
To date her me you to baek up
Waeih you Sreant

Now



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You were the best R.I.P
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I miss you so much Prince RIP love you!!
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valentinjani r a
You I miss you and for you to
Love I so sorry to heat you
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I don't think you can get it together with prince
Report as inappropriate
285919
Even though I Love all of Prince's music, my 2 Fav songs of his are 'If I Was Your Girlfriend' and 'The Most Beautiful Girl In World'! LOVE Prince forever!!!.. . I just WISH Pandora would actually play his music on his station : /
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arrowdave6
Can anyone tell me where I can find a Michael Jackson bobble head doll?
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arrowdave6
Funny how many rich successful performers go out from pills and alcohol. Must be from stress or from boredom. Who knows.
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