Prince Rogers Nelson—known simply as “Prince”—was an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor who catapulted to fame in the late 70’s. However, Prince managed to remain relevant for decades, changing up his style almost as often as he changed his stage names, which included The Purple One, Joey Coco, and The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
Sadly, on Thursday, April 21, 2016, it was announced that Prince had passed away
“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” said his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure.
Prince’s Net Worth as of 2019: $300 Million
Here is how Prince made his fortune…
1975 – 1984
Prince was born on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis. His father was a musician and his mother was a jazz singer. From a young age, Prince took to music, composing his first tune “Funk Machine” on his father’s piano when he was seven years old. His professional career started in 1975 when he started to collaborate with Pepe Willie and the band 94 East, with whom he co-wrote several songs. After he created a demo tape, Prince signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Studio at age 18. He released his first album For You on April 17, 1978.
In 1979, Prince released his second album, self-titled Prince. It went on to become No. 4 on the Billboard Top R&B/Black Albums charts, and No. 22 on the Billboard 200, going platinum. It included hits such as “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” which sold over a million individual copies, reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was No. 1 for two weeks on the Hot Soul Singles chart.
The very next year, Prince released the album Dirty Mind. The year after that, he released yet another album: Controversy. And, as if he wasn’t prolific enough, in 1981, Prince formed a side band called The Time, which produced four albums between 1981 and 1990. In 1982, Prince released a double album, 1999, which sold over three million copies.
“When I first started out in the music industry, I was most concerned with freedom. Freedom to produce, freedom to play all the instruments on my records, freedom to say anything I wanted to,” he said when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
1984 – 1987
In 1984, Prince starred in the cult film Purple Rain, a rock musical based on his own life. The movie’s album sold more than 13 million copies in the United States and spent 24 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The next year, he announced that he would stop doing live performances and music videos after the release of his next album (a vow he would break again and again). The album that followed, Around the World in a Day, was No. 1 on the Billboard’s 200 for three weeks straight. In 1986, he dropped the album Parade. The same year Prince’s band The Revolution released the album Dream Factory.
1987 – 1994
Prince’s next double album, Sign “O” the Times, was released on March 31, 1987. The Black Album, which was his next work, saw Prince experiment more with a hip hop style. The 1988 album Lovesexy—his tenth studio album—was almost entirely solos and took Prince back to his R&B roots.
1991 was the year Prince’s new band, the New Power Generation, made its debut. Together they released Diamonds and Pearls and the Love Symbol Album.
In 1993, Prince changed his stage name to , a combination of the symbols for male and female. The symbol, since it was unpronounceable, was soon dubbed “The Love Symbol” and Prince was called “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.” In 1994, he released the album The Gold Experience.
2000 – 2017
In 2000, “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” became “The Artists Formerly Formerly Known as Prince,” when he went back to preforming under the name “Prince.”
In 2004, he was inducted into the inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The same year he released Musicology, which would go on to win two Grammys. The Rolling Stone magazine named Prince as the highest-earning musician in the world, with an annual income of $56.5 million.
In 2005, he come out with the album 3121. In 2010, Prince was listed in TIME magazine’s annual ranking of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
On April 7, 2016, Prince postponed two performances, saying he had recently come down with the flu. On April 21, 2016, a 9-1-1 call was made from Prince’s Minnesota mansion, when emergency services arrived, the 57-year-old musical icon was pronounced dead. The massive outpouring of grief in the media just shows how much Prince influenced, not only pop culture, but his fans.
It’s been reported that there will be an expanded and remastered issue of Purple Rain to be released in 2017.
In memory of the Pop legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, Paisley Park has set up a celebration later this year.
The unreleased music of Prince Rogers Nelson will be streamed on Tidal in 2019.