Prince - Biography
Prince- one of the world's finest and most influential pop musicians. Incorporating funk, soul, R&B, new wave, hard rock, jazz, and disco into a new found hybrid- defying all that had come before, touching all that came after. He appeared on the scene with his 1978 debut For You, playing all of that records instruments- as he would on his platinum, self titled follow up- as well as the forward thinking third LP- the raunchy, salacious punk funk of Dirty Mind. 1981's Controversy brought him commercial fortunes, but it was 1982's 1999- his fifth LP, that set him up for absolute super stardom. 1984's Purple Rain- accompanied by a movie of the same name- solidified Prince as a mega star and a modern day legend. From that point onward Prince was known to the world as one of the most exciting, talented pop maestros around. Through out the 1980s his presence was felt- with 1985's Around the World In A Day, 1986's Parade (a loose soundtrack to his film Under The Cherry Moon) 1987's Sign 'O' The Times, and 1988's LoveSexy- producing several hits, keeping the man a major player in the pop sweepstakes alongside that decade's biggest stars, easily proving he was more than all, as he could play, sing, write, and arrange everything himself.
In 1989 he wrote, performed, and produced the soundtrack to Tim Burton's Batman, another huge commercial success, followed by the film Graffiti Bridge- a vague sequel to Purple Rain- also constructing the soundtrack, which featured many other artists such as George Clinton, The Time, Mavis Staples, and Tevin Campbell. Prince had his biggest commercial success since Purple Rain, however, with this records follow up- Diamonds & Pearls. Prince then embarked on an artistic path that saw him follow his muse any which way he felt it- producing work that fluctuated between purpose, presence, and passivity. File Under Prince (Love Symbol Album), Come, The Gold Experience, Chaos & Disorder, Emancipation, Crystal Ball, and Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic all contained his signature sound, continuing to express the type of artistic interest most pop stars falter with after time, as Prince made his music not as much for the marketplace as for his own sense of spiritual release. During this period he famously battled with his label- Warner Brothers- over ownership of his music, changed his name to a symbol, wrote "Slave" on his face in protest, and generally stayed an interesting presence in the pop world, even while newer trends ate up some of his commercial real estate.
In the early 2000s, with releases such as The Rainbow Children, the instrumental Xpectation, and NEWS his presence was mainly on the internet, as he self released and distributed these through his web site. Musicology- from 2004- was his first in years to be distributed through a major label- Columbia- and in response became his biggest hit in years, making the Top Ten Billboard charts. His did two download only records during this period- The Chocolate Invasion and The Slaughterhouse, coming back strong to commercial heights with 3121, Planet Earth, and Lotus Flower- accompanied by massive touring, putting his presence back into the center of the pop music world. In 2010 he gave away a free CD titled 20Ten through newspapers in Europe, followed by 2014's PlectrumElectrum with his new band 3rdEyeGirl, that same year releasing Art Official Age. In 2015 he released the two part HitNRun, continuing his chronic music making journey- performing and touring relentlessly, now a pop culture icon unmatched and absolutely ingrained as a legend and benchmark- Prince's energy seemed limitless. However, on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57, Prince was found dead in his mansion. And the pop music world is a sadder place.