Prince
* June 07, 1958 † April 21, 2016
United States
Music group
Prince Roger Nelson was named after the jazz band his parents were in at the time, The Prince Rogers Trio. Prince's father, John L. Nelson (1916 - 8/25/2001) married in 1956 his second wife, jazz singer Mattie Shaw (1934 - 2/15/2002, remarried in 1968 to Hayward Baker). Nelson played piano and Shaw was the vocalist. Unfortunately, they divorced in 1965.

Prince Nelson has changed his artistname quite a few times, using the moniker of Prince, O(+> (the Androgyny symbol), TAFKAP, The Artist formely known as Prince and The Artist. He also used the pseudo artist-names of Tora Tora, Joey Coco, Alexander Nevermind, Camille, Christopher, Jamie Starr (The Starr Company), Paisley Park, PRN and Slave.

On May 16, 2000 Prince announced that he would resume using his former name, because his final contract with Time Warner had expired. Since 2000
his name is Prince again.

Prince was fronting band, called first Grand Central then Champagne, at high school dances when only 12 years old. Prince and Champagne´s bass player André Cymone wrote bulk of group´s material over five year period and when Champagne split, Prince when into studios to cut demos showcasing his material but trip to New York failed to yield record deal. Undeterred, he cut further songs and took tape to Warner Bros. in Los Angeles, securing long term contract. A powerful catalyst for the Minneapolis music scene, Prince was quick to develop his charisma and individual flamboyant dress style, together with an extensive entourage which included the funky group The Time, headed by Champagne´s one-time drummer Morris Day, and girlie group Vanity 6, later replaced by Apollonia 6. Switch of management to high-powererd Steve Fargnoli (who previously took Little Feat into big time) helped propel Prince´s career into major league. The debut album "For you", which he wrote, produced, arranged and on which he sang and played all 27 instruments led to string of often outrageous LPs and eventually to semibiographical movie "Purple rain" which showcased hit single "When doves cry". Album of movie showed signes of broadening of musical appeal, movement continued in 1985 set "Around the world in a day" - sixties/psychodelic influence now apparent, reflecting in Sergeant Pepper-ish album sleeve.

Continuing to pursue celluloid ambitions, Prince then directed and starred in "Under the cherry moon", one of most critically lambasted productions of all time. On music front, however, he further extended his horizons with 1987 double set "Sign ´O´ the times", which pleased critics and went on to achieve double platinum status. Flamboyant yet enigmatic, Prince is truly star of eighties, broad base of capabilities enables him to retain full control of career. Likewise, he has acted as eminence grise to handful of ancilliary acts; as well as those mentioned above, he was and is important influence on producer Jimmy Jam, luscious songstress Sheila E. and several others. Genuine talent and charisma ensure long shelf-life for diminutive maestro.

He´s a prolific songwriter for many other artists like Sinead O´Connor, The Bangles, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Martika. Prince wrote, produced and released albums under his band name "The New Power Generation", collaborated with Madonna, Sheena Easton and George Clinton and formed/produced band projects like The Time, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, The Family, Madhouse and solo artists like Sheila E., Jill Jones, Carmen Electra or Tevin Campbell. Prince also got hundreds of unreleased songs recorded at his own Paisley Park Studios (opened in 1987).

After the split from his longtime record company, Warner Bros.,
O(+> made a first step into alternate ways of releasing music indepentantly (by ordering through the Internet or via a telephone line) without a major company.

In 1996 he released a triple CD-Set "Emancipation" (EMI/NPG Records) - followed by "Crystal Ball" (Multi CD box with outtakes plus the acoustic album "The Truth" and the orchestral suite "Kamasutra" and also in 1998 his 24 (!) album "Newpower soul" (under the name "The New Power Generation"). The latest release is "Rave un2 the joy fantastic" (CD, 1999).

With each album he has released, Prince has shown remarkable stylistic growth and musical diversity, constantly experimenting with different sounds, textures and genres - from R&B, soul, funk, pop, rock or orchestral side projects (like Kamasutra, 1997/98)!
His popularity, personality quirks, and public persona have led many to dismiss the self-described "skinny motherfucker with the high voice" as just a less-successful Michael Jackson, which misses the point. By any other name, the man born Prince Rogers Nelson is a consummate musician, one of the best singers, guitarists and bassists in music today. Plus he has a rich musical vocabulary and manic thirst for new sounds, which keep him from being stuck in one bag (or even four or five). And he's an intelligent lyricist and makes the sexiest records I've ever heard.

Prince, with his Bee Gee-esque falsetto* voice, could be the best indication of the next direction of Black music in the post-disco age. Listen to Prince's falsetto note in the harmonies, he's a master of vocal harmony and he has an amazing vocal range (as in, how high and how low you can sing) - the exact vocal range is not known!

With his superb falsetto he's standing in the best tradition of singers such as Marvin Gaye, Al Green, The Isley Brothers, early Michael Jackson or the Bee Gees - typical 70s! Prince often use electronic sound effects and vocal effects mixed with his own multi-layered voice up to exquisite falsetto singing.

In 2000, he began referring to himself as "Prince" again. He released 16 albums after that and his final album, HITnRUN Phase Two, was first released exclusively on the Tidal streaming service on December 11, 2015.

Prince died at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57 after suffering from flu-like symptoms for over two weeks.
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