Happy birthday to Prince Rogers Nelson, who was born on this day in 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The young Prince, (whose childhood name was “Skipper”) wrote his first tune, “Funk Machine” on his father’s piano when he was seven. His first band was Grand Central, (later known as Champagne), who he joined with his cousin, Charles Smith, while they were attending Minneapolis’s Central High School. After recording demos aged 17, Prince signed a recording contract with Warner Bros, who agreed to give the young performer creative control for his first three albums.
Prince saw some success with hits on the R&B charts and made his break-through in late 1982, with the double album, 1999, which went on to sell over three million copies. The title track was a protest against nuclear proliferation and became his first top ten hit in countries outside the U.S.
Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” was one of the first two videos by a black artist played in heavy rotation on MTV, along with Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”.
Prince’s 1984 album Purple Rain sold more than thirteen million copies in the U.S. and spent twenty-four consecutive weeks at #1 on the chart. The film of the same name won an Academy Award and grossed more than $80 million.
Prince had now arrived. At one point in 1984, Prince simultaneously had the number one album, single, and film in the U.S., the first time a singer had ever achieved this feat.
More hits, films and more hits followed – Prince was now a superstar and as a result romantically linked with many celebrities including Kim Basinger, Madonna, Sheila E., Carmen Electra and Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles.
The unpronounceable symbol who is just 5’ 2” without his high heeled-boots, is in my opinion a musical genius, who can outplay most rock guitarists, write a blinding pop tune
and still look sexy at 53! Happy Birthday, your Highness.
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