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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 has shown remarkable stylistic growth and musical diversity, constantly experimenting with different sounds, textures, and genres. Occasionally, his music can be maddeningly inconsistent because of this eclecticism, but his experiments frequently succeed; no other contemporary artist can blend 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, came 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, Prince 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 he 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 September day in 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: S.S.T.

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Track List: N.E.W.S.

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Track List: Come: 1958 - 1993 (Explicit)

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Track List: Extraloveable (Single)

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

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Track List: FALLINLOVE2NITE (Single)

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Track List: Screwdriver (Single)

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Track List: U Make My Sun Shine (Single)

Comments

I luv prince...his music is different from the rest
have and always will love PRINCE
brendao37
I adoreyou simply adore you (since u and I were 16) no one no1comes close
Yes,the first with you there has been only few men,but never got me there just going through the motion.
pblakey2003
Still to this day, has one of the best Superbowl performances ever. The guy knows how to put on a show!
This album starts and ends at the pulpit
artheartrew1 2
:( I'M PRAYING FOR YOU PRINCE!
I LUVVVVVVVVVV V V V V V V V V V V His music! His concert? OFF THE CHAIN!!!!
@paintmstr2 no he's not gay tf?!
Dont read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However, if u dont post this u will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so dont stop. This is so scarey, put this on five songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary cause it actually works. 3 minutes
Awesome song, but hes gay, right?
Prince always good
Awesome entertainer, always keep you guessing what he'll do next
boost1234.bm
You so cool and your music all can say wow
Best concert EVER seen!!! Prince is sounds 10 million times better live, his shows are electric!!!!
pRINCE IS A bEAST U HAVE TO SEE HIM IN CONCERT, BANGIN$$$$
Still a magical musician. Purely seductive and soulful. Our Purple Royalty.
He's been changing the way of music and video clips for year's the personality of the resolution♥♥
wow!
Luv it
He is cool
Prince is without a doubt the greatest, most diversive, most creative musical talent ever known. There have been other great musicians, of course, but none with the depth and diversity of Prince. An amazing talent.
sylvadear6
Looove prince
allnetworksc 7
Niki
johnmargie6
ok, love at first sight in the 80's and still in love with this guy, you just can't help it....your ears are just on it!!! Boogie Down!! Git up off the floor and let your body go.......
One of the best ever, too make music for everyone to love if u don't love his music u just don't No music
pkbrown04
Full of talent!! Hope you alllllways remember where it comes from!!! Stick with him! FROM ABERDEEN S.DAKOTA. (Brother)
The best artist of all time period
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life. Now you've started reading their don't stop. This is so scary post this on 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works.
I jus love Prince ...great great music maker
I love Prince.
He is 1 of kind in his own rite MJ Cnt touch this true GENIUS!!!!
He's a legend✌️
And we all say Michael Jackson won.
hands down greatest complete artist ever. can't touch this!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
He has good music good music= ������������
amsteen13
This is horrible. He is so not talented
Michal is better
jashislj
I've been listening to this man's music since 1980. My musical hero. Nobody does it like Prince does it !!!!!!!!!!!
1999! My favorite jam by Prince! One of the most talented men of all time!
kimovn630
waitin on SNL
I want my wonderwomen joke back.
I hate David chappel too.
I love his musical instrumentat i o n . He's a combination of Jimi Hendrix, sexy and personality
,unlikely to ever duplicated
I luv prince so much, my son is named after him!!!!!!
joannabulger
I LOVE PRINCE
Let's work baby
Hummmmm ???? A girlfriend ????? Maybe ????? Hummmm......
Nope ...fooled me once shame on u ...fooled me twice ...shame on ...me !!!!!! I can dress myself just fine !!!!! I'm looking for mr Goodbar to ...undress me ....ha ha ha ha !!!!
Purple me. Everywhere ......
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