Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He later changed his name four times. Prince's early music career saw the release of Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980) and Controversy (1981)—all of which created controversy due to their fusion of religious and sexual themes. Prince later released the albums 1999 and Purple Rain, cementing his superstar status.
Famed singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Named after the Prince Roger Trio, a jazz band his father performed with as a pianist, Prince was signed to Warner Brother Records as a teenager.
In 1978, Prince released his debut album, For You, which was followed by Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980) and Controversy (1981)—all of which created controversy due to their fusion of religious and sexual themes. The singer found international success with the release of his 1982 album, 1999, and went on to create the film and album Purple Rain (1984). By the time he released his 11th studio album, Batman, in 1989, Prince had become one of America's most commercially successful pop artists.
Prince changed his name to the unpronounceable glyph O(+> in 1993, which he used until 2000. During that time, he was more frequently referred to as "the artist formerly known as Prince," and his new symbol was not embraced by most fans.
In Recent Years
In 2004, after several years of relative obscurity, Prince returned to the limelight to perform at the Grammy Awards with Beyonce Knowles. That spring, he released Musicology with a tour that became the top concert draw in the United States. The album won two Grammys. His next album, 3121, was released in 2006. That year, he wrote and performed "Song of the Heart" for the animated film Happy Feet, and won a Golden Globe (best original song) for the composition.
Prince is said to be a perfectionist who is highly protective of his music. He writes, composes and produces the majority of his music, and plays most of the instruments on his albums.