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Prince

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Artist details


Birth Name: Prince Rogers Nelson
Date Of Birth: 7 June 1958, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Activity: Multi-instrumentalist musician, Singer, Songwriter, Arranger, Composer, Record Producer, Actor, Film Director.
Aliases(s): Alexander Nevermind, Artist (Formerly Known As Prince), Camille, Christopher Tracy, Jamie Starr, Joey Coco, Paisley Park, The Starr Company.
Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Clavinet, Drums, Percussions.
Bands
In chronological order:
Studio activity
First known recording:
  • to be completed.
Released Material:
Unreleased Material:
With The NPG:
With Related Artists:
Labels
In alphabetical order:
Live activity
First known live performance:
Tour Overview:
One-Off Performances overview:
Guest Appearances overview:
TV Shows overview:
Awards Shows overview:

Prince Rogers Nelson is an American musician. He performs under the mononymous name of Prince, but has also been known by various other names, among them an unpronounceable symbol Image:SymbolSmaller.png (usually spelled out as O(+>) which he used as his name between 1993 and 2000, during which time he was usually referred to as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

Prince is a prolific artist, having released several hundred songs both under his own name and with other artists. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the first year he was eligible in 2004.

In 2004, he was named the top male pop artist of the past 25 years by ARC Rock on the Net, and Rolling Stone ranked Prince #28 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

From his early material, rooted in R&B, soul and funk, Prince has expanded his musical palette throughout his career, absorbing many other genres including pop, rock, jazz, new wave, psychedelica and hip hop. Some of his primary influences include Sly Stone, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic and Carlos Santana.

The distinctive characteristics of his early-to-mid 1980s work, such as sparse and industrial-sounding drum machine arrangements and the use of synthesizer riffs to serve the role traditionally occupied by horn riffs in earlier R&B, funk and soul music, were called the "Minneapolis sound" and have proved very influential.


Musical Career
Early Life

Prince Rogers Nelson was born June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to John L. Nelson and Matti Shaw. John was a pianist and songwriter, and Matti was a jazz singer. He was named after his father, whose stage name was Prince Rogers, and who performed with a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. In a 1991 Current Affair interview, John L. stated, “I named my son Prince because I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do.” His childhood nickname was Skipper.

After the birth of his sister Tyka in 1960, Prince's parents gradually drifted apart. After they formally separated when Prince was ten, he had a troubled relationship with his stepfather that resulted in him going to live with his father. Prince lived briefly with his father, but was thrown out after his father found him in bed with a female friend and later he settled in with a neighborhood family, the Andersons, befriending their son, Andre Anderson (later called André Cymone).

Prince and Anderson joined Prince's cousin Charles Smith in a band called Grand Central that they formed in high school (Smith would later be replaced by Morris Day.) His initial contributions were on piano and guitar, but would share vocals with Anderson in what was mainly an instrumental band, playing clubs and parties in the Minneapolis area.

As time went by and Prince's musical interests broadened, he found himself producing the arrangements for the band. Grand Central evolved into Shampayne and started playing original music drawing on a range of influences including Sly & the Family Stone, James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Miles Davis, Parliament-Funkadelic, Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix. At one point Prince was a student at the Minnesota Dance Theatre.

In 1976, he started work on a demo tape with producer Chris Moon in a Minneapolis studio. Prince also had the patronage of Owen Husney (of The High Spirits), to whom Moon introduced him, a connection that helped him produce a high-quality demo recording. Husney started contacting major labels and ran a campaign promoting Prince as a star of the future, resulting in a bidding war eventually won by Warner Bros. Records as they were the only label to offer Prince creative control of his songs.

First Steps

Pepé Willie, husband of Prince's cousin, Shantel, was an early influence in Prince's career. Along with Husney, Willie was mentor and manager for Prince during the Grand Central days, and he employed Prince for his own recordings.

In 1977, Willie formed the band 94 East, with Marcy Ingvoldstad and Kristie Lazenberry that would later include André Cymone and Prince. Prince would compose most of the music for Willie's lyrics and typically played guitar and keyboards in the studio, while also contributing many songs for the group, including Just Another Sucker.

The band recorded an album, Minneapolis Genius – The Historic 1977 Recordings. Although it was not a solo album and was not commercially released until many years later, it is considered Prince's first professional album. For unknown reasons, Prince does not acknowledge the existence of this album. In 1995, the original recordings with Prince and André Cymone were released by Willie as "94 East featuring Prince": Symbolic Beginning.

For You

Prince released his first major-label album, For You, on 7 April, 1978. The majority of For You was written and performed by Prince, except for the song Soft And Wet (lyrics co-written by Moon). This was the first of Prince's albums containing the now ubiquitous legend: "Produced, Arranged, Composed and Performed by Prince".

Like most albums in his career, For You was recorded without a band; Prince purportedly played all 27 instruments on the album, though they were different types of string, percussion, and keyboard instruments.

Prince spent twice his initial advance recording the album, which sold modestly and charted low on the Billboard Top LP's & Tapes charts, while reaching an honest #21 on Billboard Soul LP's chart. The single Soft And Wet performed quite well on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles charts, reaching #12; it only reached #92 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Just As Long As We're Together didn't enter the Billboard Hot 100, and flopped at #91 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart.

Prince used Prince's Music Co. for publishing songs from this album.

By 1979, Prince had recruited his first backing band featuring childhood friend Andre Anderson, rechristened André Cymone, on bass, Dez Dickerson on guitar, Gayle Chapman and Matt Fink (later Dr. Fink) on keyboards, and Bobby Z. on drums. Prince intentionally enlisted a multi-racial, mixed-gender group, much like the band put together by one of his greatest influences, Sly Stone.

They had their first shows at the Capri Theatre on January 5 and 6th in 1979. Reportedly, Prince mostly mumbled into the microphone, whilst Dez and Andre ran back and forth into the audience. Warner executives were at the second show, which was plagued with electrical difficulties and a snowstorm, and decided Prince had promise but the band needed more time to gel before it could tour. This was just after their gear was stolen from their rehearsal base at Del’s Tyre Mart.

Prince

In October 1979, Prince released his follow-up self-titled album Prince, which reached #4 on the Billboard Soul LP's charts; it contained two R&B hits: I Wanna Be Your Lover and Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?.

These two R&B hits were performed on January 26, 1980, on American Bandstand with this first backing band. Legend has it that Prince became annoyed when, during the interview segment, Dick Clark expressed surprise that Prince and his bandmates hailed from Minneapolis "of all places". Prince refused to speak, instead answering a question by gesturing with his hand. It was later admitted by Dez Dickerson that it was planned from the beginning as a way to throw Dick Clark off his game. Dickerson was quoted as saying, "Great. We're illiterate, but we play well".

For his second album, Prince used Ecnirp Music – BMI (CAE/IPI #: 64634572) for publishing his songs, which he would also use for his next album Dirty Mind too.

Prince was certified gold status, while the single I Wanna Be Your Lover hit #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles charts. Prince opened for Rick James' 1980 Fire It Up tour with the label "punk funk" being applied to both artists, although it reportedly didn't sit comfortably with Prince.

The 80's

Controversy Era

Dirty Mind

Prince gained critical acclaim with his 1980 release of Dirty Mind, again entirely self-recorded and released using the demos of the songs. Dirty Mind is particularly notable for its sexually explicit material, in particular the title track, Head, and controversial Sister. During this period, Prince began to attract attention for the clothes he wore on-stage: high-heeled shoes, boots and black bikini briefs and tended to flaunt and express an intense sexuality on-stage. On tour, Lisa Coleman replaced keyboardist Gayle Chapman in the band, who felt the sexually explicit lyrics and stage antics of Prince's concerts conflicted with her religious beliefs.

His stylistic choices brought him trouble as an opening act for The Rolling Stones' for two Los Angeles Coliseum shows in 1981, where he was infamously pelted with garbage while wearing bikini briefs, leg warmers, high-heeled boots, and a trench coat, eventually booed off the stage for his wardrobe and androgynous lyrics. These shows occurred just before the release of Controversy and also when he was breaking in his new bassist Mark Brown (later Brown Mark), who was then just 18 and out of high school.

Controversy

Soon after he released the album Controversy, with the single of the same name charting internationally for the first time. In February 1981, Prince made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live performing Partyup. Starting with the album Controversy, Prince used Controversy Music[8] – ASCAP for publishing his songs, which he would use for his following sixteen records until Emancipation in 1996.

In 1981, Prince formed a "side project" (a misnomer label, given that his band was only used for performances and contributed little to recording sessions) band called The Time. Prince was able to do this thanks to a clause in his contract with Warner Bros. The Time released four albums between 1981 and 1990, with Prince writing and performing all instruments and backing vocals throughout, with the lead vocals handled by Morris Day.

1999

In 1982, he released the 1999 double-album (released in some countries as a single-album) which "broke" Prince into the mainstream in the US and internationally, selling over three million copies. The title track was a protest against nuclear proliferation and became his first top ten hit internationally.
With his video for Little Red Corvette he joined Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie as part of the first wave of African American artists on MTV. The song Delirious also went top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was placed at number six in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for 1983. Around this time Prince began crediting his band as The Revolution, which consisted of Dez Dickerson on guitar, Lisa Coleman and Dr. Fink on keyboards, Bobby Z. on drums, and Brown Mark on bass.

The band's name was printed in reverse on the cover of 1999; however Prince refrained using the name "The Revolution" until Dickerson left the band due to religious reasons, while in the 2003 book Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince, Alex Hahn states that Prince wanted Dickerson to commit to a new three year contract with the group, but Dickerson refused and struck out on his own. Dickerson was replaced by Wendy Melvoin, a childhood friend of Lisa. The band members were known for being solid musicians and a strong live act, but their talents would be used sparsely in the studio. Their presence in Prince's recordings, however, would increase through the mid-1980s.

The Revolution

Purple Rain

Prince's 1984 album, Purple Rain (concurrent with the film of the same name) sold more than thirteen million copies in the US and spent twenty-four consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200. The Academy Award-winning film grossed more than $80 million in the US alone, and has proved to be Prince's biggest cinematic success to date.

Two songs from Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Let's Go Crazy, topped the US pop singles chart and were hits around the world, while the title track reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Prince simultaneously held the spots #1 film, #1 single, and #1 album in the US. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain", and the album ranks at 72 in the top 100 of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list; the album is also listed in The All-TIME 100 Albums of TIME Magazine.

It was the album's song Darling Nikki that Tipper Gore overheard her twelve-year-old daughter, Karenna, listening that inspired her to found the Parents Music Resource Center. The center has advocated the mandatory use of a warning label ("Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics") on the covers of records that have been judged to contain language or lyrical content unsuitable for minors. The recording industry voluntarily complied with their request in response to the Senate hearings.

Around The World In A Day

In 1985, after the successful Purple Rain Tour, Prince announced that he would discontinue both live performances and music videos after the release of Around The World In A Day, which held the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 for three weeks. Prince's ban on music videos supposedly ended when the album stalled in the charts and, after a video for Raspberry Beret, then reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

Parade

Prince released the album Parade in 1986. The album hit #3 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the R&B charts. The first single, Kiss, would top the Billboard Hot 100. The song was originally written for another Prince side project, Mazarati. At the same time, another song originally written for Apollonia 6, Manic Monday by The Bangles, reached #2 on the Hot 100. Parade served as the soundtrack for Prince's second film Under the Cherry Moon.

Prince both directed and starred in the movie, that also featured Kristen Scott Thomas as his love interest, Mary Sharon, in her first feature film role. Following the film and album release, Prince returned to touring with several scattered Hit N Run shows in the U.S. and embarked on his first full scale European tour, the Parade Tour in the summer of 1986, and ending the tour in September with his first appearance in Japan.

At the end of the Hit N Run - Parade Tour, Prince disbanded The Revolution, as he let go Wendy and Coleman|Lisa, replaced Bobby Z. with Sheila E., and Brown Mark quit, having wanted to leave before the Parade Tour. All that remained of the original line-up was keyboardist Matt Fink. Brought in to replace them were Miko Weaver on guitar, Atlanta Bliss on trumpet, Eric Leeds on saxophone, (all of whom had joined the expanded "Counter-Revolution" line-up on the Parade Tour) Boni Boyer on keyboards, Levi Seacer, Jr. on bass, as well as dancer and love interest, Cat Glover.

Prince also appeared on Madonna's studio album Like a Prayer, co-writing and singing the duet Love Song and playing electric guitar (uncredited) on "Like a Prayer", "Keep It Together", and "Act of Contrition".

Solo Again

Sign O' The Times

Prior to the disbanding of The Revolution, Prince was working on two separate projects. The Revolution album, Dream Factory and a solo effort, Camille. Unlike the three previous band albums, Dream Factory included significant input from the band members and even featured a number of songs with lead vocals by Wendy and Lisa, while the Camille project saw Prince create a new persona primarily singing in a sped up, female-sounding voice. With the dismissal of The Revolution, Prince consolidated material from both shelved albums, along with some new songs, into a three-LP album to be titled Crystal Ball. However, with the low sales of his previous two albums, Warner forced Prince to make the release a double album and Sign O' The Times was released on March 31, 1987.

The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The first single, Sign O' The Times, would chart at #3 on the Hot 100. The follow-up single, If I Was Your Girlfriend charted poorly at #67 on the Hot 100, but went to #12 on R&B chart. The third single, a duet with Sheena Easton, U Got The Look charted at #2 on the Hot 100, #11 on the R&B chart, and the final single I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man finished at #10 on Hot 100 and #14 on the R&B chart.

Despite the album receiving the greatest critical acclaim of any album in Prince's career, including being named the top album of the year by the Pazz & Jop critics' poll, album sales steadily declined, although it eventually sold 3.2 million copies. In Europe however, it performed well and Prince promoted the album overseas with a lengthy tour. Putting together a new backing band from the remnants of The Revolution, Prince added bassist Levi Seacer, Jr., Boni Boyer on keyboards, and dancer/choreographer Cat Glover to go with new drummer Sheila E. and holdovers Miko Weaver, Dr. Fink, Eric Leeds, Atlanta Bliss, and 'the Bodyguards' (Jerome Benton, Wally Safford, and Greg Brooks) for the Sign O' The Times Tour.

The tour was a huge success overseas with Warner and Prince's managers wanting to bring it to the U.S. to resuscitate sagging sales of Sign O' The Times, however Prince balked at a full U.S. tour, as he was ready to produce a new album. A compromise was made where he filmed the last two nights of the tour to be released in movie theaters as a concert film. Unfortunately, the film quality was deemed sub-par and reshoots were performed at his Paisley Park studios. The film Sign O' The Times was released on November 20, 1987. Much like the album, the film was critically praised, (at least more than the previous year's Under The Cherry Moon) however its box office receipts were minimal and it quickly left theaters.

Lovesexy

The next album intended for release was to be The Black Album. More instrumental and funk and R&B themed than recent releases, The Black Album also saw Prince experiment with rap on the songs Bob George and Dead On It. Prince was set to release the album with a complete monochromatic black cover with only the catalog number printed, but at the last minute, even though 500,000 copies had been pressed, Prince had a spiritual epiphany that the album was evil and had the album recalled. (Although it would later be released by Warner Bros. as a limited edition album in 1994.) Prince went back in the studio for eight weeks and recorded Lovesexy.

Released on May 10, 1988, Lovesexy serves as a spiritual opposite to the dark The Black Album. Every song is a solo effort by Prince, with exception of Eye No No which was recorded with his backing band at the time, dubbed the "Lovesexy Band" by fans. Lovesexy would reach #11 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on the R&B albums chart. The lead single, Alphabet St., peaked at #8 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart, but finished with only selling 750,000 copies.

Prince again took his post-Revolution backing band (minus 'the Bodyguards') on a three leg, 84 show Lovesexy Tour, that although, it played to huge crowds and were well received shows, financially lost money due to the expensive sets and props incorporated.

Batman

In 1989, Prince began work on a number of musical projects, including Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic and early drafts of his Graffiti Bridge film, but both were put on hold when he was asked by Batman director Tim Burton to record several songs for the upcoming live-action adaptation. Prince went into the studio and produced an entire 9-track album that Warner released on June 20, 1989. Batman peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 4.4 million copies.

The single Batdance topped the Billboard and R&B charts. Additionally, the singles Partyman (also featuring the vocals of Prince's then girlfriend, nicknamed Anna Fantastic) charted at #18 on the Hot 100 and at #5 on the R&B chart, while the love ballad Scandalous went to #5 on the R&B chart. However, he did have to sign away all publishing rights to the songs on the album to Warner Bros. as part of the deal to do the soundtrack.

The 90's

NPG & Name Change

Graffiti Bridge

In 1990, Prince went back on tour with a revamped band for his stripped down, back-to-basics Nude Tour. With the departures of Boni Boyer, Sheila E., the horns, and Cat, Prince brought in Rosie Gaines on keys, drummer Michael B, and dancing trio, The Game Boyz, Tony M., Kirk Johnson, and Damon Dickson. The European and Japanese tour was a financial success with its short, greatest hits setlist.

As the year progressed, Prince finished production on his fourth film, Graffiti Bridge and the album of the same name. Initially, Warner Bros. was reluctant to fund the film, however with Prince's assurances it would be a sequel to Purple Rain as well as the involvement of the original members of The Time, the studio green-lit the project. Released on August 20, 1990, the album reached #6 on the Billboard 200 and R&B albums chart. The single Thieves In The Temple reaching #6 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.

The film, released on November 20, 1990, was a critical and box office flop, grossing just $4.2 million. After the release of the film and album the last remaining members of The Revolution, Miko Weaver and Dr. Fink left Prince's band.

Diamonds And Pearls

1991 marked the debut of Prince's new band, the The New Power Generation. The name come from a concept developed into his previous album, through the number New Power Generation. With guitarist Miko Weaver and long-time keyboardist Doctor Fink gone, Prince added bass player Sonny T., Tommy Barbarella on keyboards, and a brass section known as the Hornheadz to go along with Levi Seacer, Jr. (taking over on guitar), Rosie Gaines, Michael Bland, and Game Boyz.

With significant input from his band members, Diamonds And Pearls was released on October 1, 1991. Reaching #3 on the Billboard 200 Diamonds And Pearls saw the singles Gett Off chart at #21 on the Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B charts while Cream gave Prince his fifth US number one single.

1992 saw Prince and The New Power Generation release his twelfth album titled with an unpronounceable symbol: File: SymbolSmaller.png (later copyrighted as Love Symbol #2). would peak at #5 on the Billboard 200. While the label wanted 7 to be the first single, Prince fought to have My Name Is Prince as he "felt that the song's more hip-hoppery would appeal to the same audience" that had purchased the previous album.

Prince got his way but My Name Is Prince only managed to reach #36 on Billboard Hot 100 and #23 on the R&B chart. The follow-up single Sexy M.F. fared worse, charting at #66 on the Hot 100 and #76 on the R&B chart. The label's preferred lead single choice 7 would be the album's lone top ten hit reaching #7. would go on to sell 2.8 million copies worldwide.

The Hits / The B-Sides

After two failed attempts in 1990 and 1991, Warner Bros. finally released a greatest hits compilation with the three-disc The Hits / The B-Sides in 1993. The first two discs were also sold separately as The Hits 1 and The Hits 2.

In addition to featuring the majority of Prince's hit singles (with the exception of Batdance and other songs that appeared on the Batman soundtrack), The Hits / The B-Sides includes an array of previously hard-to-find recordings, notably B-sides spanning the majority of Prince's career, as well as a handful of previously unreleased tracks such as The Revolution -recorded Power Fantastic and a live recording of Nothing Compares 2 U with Rosie Gaines. Two new songs, Pink Cashmere and Peach, were chosen as promotional singles to accompany the compilation album.

1993 also marked the year in which Prince changed his stage name Image:SymbolSmaller.png, which is a combination of the symbols for male (♂) and female (♀). Because the symbol was and is unpronounceable, he was often referred to as "Symbol", "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince", or simply "The Artist".

Increased Output

The Black Album

In 1994, Prince's attitude towards his artistic output underwent a notable shift. He began to view releasing albums in quick succession as a means of ejecting himself from his contractual obligations to Warner Bros. The label, he believed, was intent on limiting his artistic freedom by insisting that he release albums more sporadically. He also blamed Warner Bros. for the poor commercial performance of the album, claiming that it was insufficiently marketed by Warner. It was out of these developments that the aborted Black Album was officially released, approximately seven years after its initial recording and near-release.

The "new" release, which was already in wide circulation as a bootleg, sold relatively poorly.

Come

Following that disappointing venture, Warner Bros. succumbed to Prince's wishes to release an album of new material, to be entitled Come. When Come was eventually released, it confirmed all of Warner's fears. It became Prince's poorest-selling album to date, struggling to even shift 500,000 copies. Even more frustrating was the fact that Prince insisted on crediting the album to "Prince 1958–1993".

The Gold Experience

Prince pushed to have his next album The Gold Experience released simultaneously with Image:SymbolSmaller.png -era material. Warner Bros. allowed the single The Most Beautiful Girl In The World to be released via a small, independent distributor, Bellmark Records, in February 1994. The release was successful, reaching #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in many other countries, but it would not prove to be a model for subsequent releases. Warner Bros. still resisted releasing The Gold Experience, fearing poor sales and citing "market saturation" as a defense.

When eventually released in September 1995, The Gold Experience failed to sell well, although it reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200 initially, and many reviewed it as Prince's best effort since Sign O' The Times. The album is now out-of-print.

Chaos And Disorder

Chaos And Disorder, released in 1996, was Prince's final album of new material for Warner Bros. as well as one of his least commercially successful releases.

Free at last

Emancipation

Prince attempted a major comeback later that year when, free of any further contractual obligations to Warner Bros. he released Emancipation. The album was released via his own NPG Records with distribution through EMI. To publish his songs on Emancipation, Prince did not use Controversy Music – ASCAP, which he had used for all his records since 1981, but rather used Emancipated Music Inc. – ASCAP.

While certified Platinum by the RIAA, some critics felt that the sprawling 36-song, 3-CD set (each disc was exactly 60 minutes long) lacked focus, and might have worked better as a single or double disc set. Emancipation is the first record featuring covers by Prince of songs of other artists: Joan Osborne's top ten hit song of 1995 One Of Us; Betcha By Golly Wow! (written by Thomas Randolf Bell and Linda Creed); Link=Eye Can't Make U Love Me Can't Make U Love Me (written by James Allen Shamblin II and Michael Barry Reid); and La, La, La Means Link=La,_La,_La_Means_Eye_Love_U Love U, originally La-La Means I Love You (written by Thomas Randolf Bell and William Hart).

Crystall Ball

Prince released Crystal Ball a 5-CD collection of unreleased material, in 1998. The distribution of this album was disorderly, with some fans pre-ordering the album on his website up to a year before it was eventually shipped to them, and months after the record had gone on sale in retail stores. The retail edition has only four discs, as it is missing the Kamasutra disk. There are also two different packaging editions for retail, one being in a 4-disc sized jewel case with a simplistic white cover and the File:SymbolSmaller.png -symbol in a colored circle; the other is all four discs in a round translucent snap jewel case. The discs are the same, as is the CD jacket.

Newpower Soul

The Newpower Soul album released three months later failed to make much of an impression on the charts. His collaboration on Chaka Khan's Come 2 My House, and Larry Graham's GCS2000, both released on the NPG Records label around the same time as Newpower Soul met with the same fate, despite heavy promotion and live appearances on Vibe with Sinbad, and the NBC Today show's Summer Concert Series.

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic

In 1999, Prince once again signed with a major label Arista Records to release a new record, Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic. In an attempt to make his new album a success, Prince easily gave more interviews than at any other point in his career, appearing on MTV's TRL (with his album cover on the front of the Virgin Megastore, in the background on TRL throughout the whole show), Larry King Live (with Larry Graham) and other media outlets. Nevertheless, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic failed to perform well commercially.

The Vault... Old Friends 4 Sale

A few months earlier, Warner Bros. had also released The Vault... Old Friends 4 Sale, a collection of unreleased material recorded by Prince throughout his career, and his final recording commitment on his contract with Warner Bros.

The greatest success he had during the year was with the EP 1999: The New Master, released in time for Prince to collect a small portion of the sales dollars Warner Bros. had been seeing for the album and singles of the original 1999. Both critics and fans panned 1999: The New Master, declaring it unimaginative.

The pay-per-view concert, Rave Un2 the Year 2000, was broadcast on 31 December 1999 and consisted of footage from the 17 December and 18 December concerts of his 1999 tour. The concert featured appearances by many guest musicians including Lenny Kravitz, George Clinton, and The Time. It was released to home video the following year. A remix album, Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic (as opposed to "Un2") was released exclusively through Prince's NPG Music Club in April 2000.

The 00's

Turnaround

On 16 May 2000, Prince ceased using the Image:SymbolSmaller.png moniker and returned to using "Prince" again, after his publishing contract with Warner/Chappell expired. In a press conference, he stated that, after being freed from undesirable relationships associated with the name "Prince", he would formally revert to using his real name. Prince still frequently uses the symbol as a logo and on album artwork and continues to play a Image:SymbolSmaller.png -shaped guitar.

The Rainbow Children

For several years following the release of Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, Prince primarily released new music through his Internet subscription service, NPGOnlineLtd.com (later NPGMusicClub.com). Two albums that show substantive jazz influence were available commercially at record stores: 2001's The Rainbow Children and, later, the 2003 instrumental record N.E.W.S. which was nominated for a Best Pop Instrumental Album Grammy. Another album of largely jazz-influenced music, Xpectation, was released via download in 2003 to members of the NPG Music Club.

One Nite Alone...

To be completed

One Nite Alone... Live!

In 2002, Prince released his first live album, One Nite Alone... Live!, which features performances from the One Nite Alone tour. The 3-CD box set, which also includes a disc of "aftershow" music entitled One Nite Alone... The Aftershow: It Ain't Over!, failed to chart. During this time, Prince sought to engage more effectively with his fan base via the NPG Music Club, pre-concert sound checks, and at yearly "celebrations" at Paisley Park, his music studios.

Fans were invited into the studio for tours, interviews, discussions and music-listening sessions. Some of these fan discussions were filmed for an unreleased documentary, directed by Kevin Smith. Smith discusses what happened during those days at length in his An Evening with Kevin Smith DVD. Performances were also arranged to showcase Prince's talents, as well as to collaborate with popular and well-established artists and guests including Alicia Keys, The Time, Erykah Badu, Nikka Costa, George Clinton, Norah Jones.

N.E.W.S.

To be completed

Xpectation

To be completed

Musicology

On 8 February 2004, Prince appeared at the Grammy Awards with Beyoncé Knowles. In a performance that opened the show, Prince and Knowles performed a medley of Purple Rain, Let's Go Crazy, Baby I'm A Star, and Knowles' "Crazy in Love" to positive reviews (video). The following month, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The award was presented to him by Alicia Keys along with Big Boi and André 3000 of OutKast. As well as performing a trio of his own hits during the ceremony, Prince also participated in a tribute to fellow inductee George Harrison in a rendition of the deceased artist's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", playing a long guitar solo that ended the song (video).

On 19 February, The Tavis Smiley Show broadcast included a performance of Reflection from Prince's Musicology album. Prince was accompanied by Wendy Melvoin, formerly of The Revolution.

In April 2004, Prince released Musicology through a one-album agreement with Columbia Records. The album rose as high as the top five on a number of international charts (including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia). The US chart success was assisted by the CD being included as part of the concert ticket purchase, and each CD thereby qualifying (as chart rules then stood) towards US chart placement.

That same year, Pollstar named Prince the top concert draw among musicians in USA. Grossing an estimated $87.4 million, Prince's Musicology Tour was the most profitable tour in the music industry for 2004. The artist played an impressive run of 96 concerts; the average ticket price for a show was US$61. Further highlighting the success of the album, Prince's Musicology went on to receive two Grammy wins, for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for Call My Name and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for the title track.

Musicology was also nominated for Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album, while Cinnamon Girl was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The album became the artist's most commercially successful since Diamonds And Pearls, partly due to a radical scheme devised which included in Billboard's sales figures those that were distributed to each customer during ticket sales for the Musicology Tour.

Prince was ranked 7th Greatest Artist of All Time in Acclaimed Music's list of The 1000 Greatest Artist of All Time. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Prince #28 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In December 2004, Prince was ranked #5 on the Top Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years list by [www.rockonthenet.com]. He was the highest-ranked male performer on the list.

In April 2005, Prince played guitar (along with En Vogue singing backing vocals) on Stevie Wonder's single "So What the Fuss", Wonder's first since 1999.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city of New Orleans on 29 August 2005, Prince offered a personal response by recording two new songs, S.S.T. and the instrumental Brand New Orleans, at Paisley Park in the early hours of 2 September. Prince again performed all instrumental and vocal parts. These recordings were quickly dispersed to the public via Prince's NPG Music Club, and S.S.T. was later picked up by iTunes, where it reached #1 on the store's R&B chart. On 25 October, Sony Records released a version of the single on CD.

Move To Universal

3121

In late 2005 Prince signed with Universal Records to release his album, 3121, on 21 March 2006, (3/21). The first single was the Latin-tinged Te Amo Corazón, the video for which was directed by actress Salma Hayek and filmed in Marrakech, Morocco, featuring Argentine actress and singer Mía Maestro. The song was covered by Viktoria Tolstoy on her album Pictures of Me, along with another Prince song, Strollin'. The video for the second single, Black Sweat, was nominated at the MTV VMAs for Best Cinematography. The immediate success of 3121 gave Prince his first #1 debut on the Billboard 200 with the album.

To promote the new album, Prince was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on February 4, 2006, seventeen years after his last SNL appearance. He performed two songs from the album, Fury and Beautiful, Loved And Blessed, with Tamar Davis. Prince also held a contest to win a trip to see a 'Purple Ticket Concert' at his private residence in Hollywood, California. Seven winning tickets were placed inside 3121 CD packages in the US, and other tickets were given away in various contests on the internet and around the world. On 6 May 2006, twenty-four prize winners (with a guest each) attended a star-studded private party and performance at Prince's home.

On June 12, 2006, Prince received a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his "visionary" use of the Internet; Prince was the first major artist to release an entire album, 1997's Crystal Ball, exclusively on the internet. A few weeks after winning the award, Prince abruptly shut down his official NPG Music Club website at 12:00 AM on July 4, 2006 after over five years of operation. The NPG Music Club sent out an email, claiming that: "In its current 4m there is a feeling that the NPG Music Club gone as far as it can go. In a world without limitations and infinite possibilities, has the time come 2 once again make a leap of faith and begin anew? These r ?s we in The NPG need 2 answer. In doing so, we have decided 2 put the club on hiatus until further notice."

On the day of the music club's shutdown, a lawsuit was filed against Prince by the British company HM Publishing (owners of the Nature Publishing Group, also NPG). Despite these events occurring on the same day, Prince's attorney has called it pure coincidence and stated that the site did not close due to the trademark dispute.

Prince appeared at multiple award ceremonies in 2006. On February 15, 2006, Prince performed at the BRIT Awards along with Wendy and Lisa and Sheila E. He played Te Amo Corazón and Fury from 3121 and Purple Rain and Let's Go Crazy from Purple Rain. On June 27, 2006, Prince appeared at the BET Awards, where he was awarded Best Male R&B Artist.

In addition to receiving his award, Prince performed a medley of Chaka Khan songs for Khan's BET Lifetime Award. Prince had previously written and performed several songs with the singer. In November 2006, Prince was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, appearing to collect his award but not performing. Also in November 2006, Prince opened a nightclub named 3121 in Las Vegas at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino. He performed weekly on Friday and Saturday nights until April 2007 His contract with the Rio ended.

Ultimate

On August 22, 2006, Warner Bros. Records released Ultimate, a compilation of remastered material. The double disc set contains one CD of previous hits, and another of extended versions and mixes of material that had largely only previously been available on vinyl record B-sides.

Prince wrote and performed a song for the hit 2006 animated film "Happy Feet". The song, entitled The Song Of The Heart, appears on the film's soundtrack, which also features a cover of Prince's 1986 hit Kiss, sung by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. In January 2007, "Song of the Heart" won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Prince arrived late supposedly due to traffic problems and thus was unable to make an acceptance speech, but actor Hugh Grant prompted him later in the ceremony to take a bow.

21 Nights

On February 2, 2007, Prince played at the Super Bowl XLI press conference. He and the band played a set comprising of Chuck Berry's hit, Johnny B. Goode", Anotherloverholenyohead from Parade and Get On The Boat from 3121. Prince performed at the Super Bowl XLI halftime show in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007. The performance consisted of three Purple Rain tracks (Let's Go Crazy, Baby I'm A Star and the title track), along with cover versions of "We Will Rock You" by Queen, "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan, the Foo Fighters song "Best Of You" and "Proud Mary" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Coincidentally, Miami had rain on the day of the Super Bowl, which was lit purple during the performance of Purple Rain. He played on a large stage shaped as his famous symbol. The event was carried to 140 million television viewers, the largest audience of his life.

Prince announced that he would play 21 concerts in London over the summer of 2007. The 21 Nights In London : The Earth Tour included 21 nights at the 20,000 capacity O² Arena. Tickets for the O² Arena were priced at £31.21 (including a free copy of Prince's latest album), in order to make the concerts "affordable for everybody". The residency at the O² Arena was increased to 15 nights after all 140,000 tickets for the original seven sold out in just 20 minutes. It was then further extended to 21 nights.

On 10 May, 2007, Prince performed a 'secret' gig at London's Koko in front of a small crowd (between) fans and celebrities. Tickets went on sale that morning on a first-come-first-served basis (again at £31.21). A prelude to the forthcoming summer gigs in London, Prince played a relaxed set of classic hits including "Kiss (changing the lyric from "You don't have to watch Dynasty" to "Desperate Housewives"), Girls & Boys and Nothing Compares 2 U alongside more recent tracks, plus a well-received cover version of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".

Prince made an appearance at the 2007 ALMA Awards, performing with Sheila E. in June 2007.

Planet Earth

On 28 June, 2007, the UK national newspaper The Mail on Sunday revealed that it had made a deal to give Prince's new album, Planet Earth, away for free with an "imminent" edition of the paper, making it the first place in the world to get the album. This move sparked controversy among music distributors and also led the UK arm of Prince's distributor, Sony BMG, to withdraw from distributing the album in UK stores. The UK's largest high street music retailer, HMV decided to stock the paper on release day due to the giveaway.

On 7 July, 2007 Prince returned to his hometown of Minneapolis to perform three shows in what was unofficially declared Prince Day in Minnesota. He performed concerts at the Macy's Auditorium on Nicollet Mall, the Target Center and First Avenue.

Prince at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2007. To be developped.

On 25 April, 2008, Prince performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he debuted a new song, "Turn Me Loose". Days after, he headlined the Coachella Festival 2008.

Indigo Nights

In October 2008 Prince released a live album entitled Indigo Nights, as well as 21 Nights, an accompanying book of poems, lyrics and photos. The book chronicled his record-breaking tenure at London's O² Arena in 2007, while the album is a collection of songs performed live at aftershows in the IndigO².

LotusFlow3r

On 18 December, 2008, Prince premiered 4 songs from his new album on LA's Indie 103 radio show, comprising a cover of Crimson And Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells, together with Colonized Mind, Wall Of Berlin and 4ever. The same day, another new Prince composition entitled (There'll Never B) Another Like Me premiered on the website, www.mplsound.com - replacing a shorter, instrumental version of the song which streamed several days previously. In a subsequent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Prince announced his intention to release three separate albums in 2009: LotusFlow3r, MPLSound, and an album, credited to the new protege, Bria Valente, called Elixer.

On 3 January, 2009, a new website (http://www.lotusflow3r.com) was launched, streaming some of the recently-aired material (Crimson And Clover, (There'll Never B) Another Like Me and Here Eye Come) and promising opportunities to listen to and buy music by Prince and guests, watch videos and buy concert tickets for future events. Prince recently released 3 more songs on his new website: Chocolate Box, Colonized Mind, and All This Love.

On 31 January, 2009, Prince launched more music on the Lotusflow3r website, releasing two new songs: Disco Jellyfish, and Another Boy by Bria Valente.

Prince set a new standard for his live performances on March 28th 2009, in Los Angeles, playing 3 concert within a single day at 3 different venues. He revised the idea later in the year with the "2 in 1" night formula, a concept he previewed in Montreux, on July 18th: 2 concerts the same night in the same venue. He refined it a month later on August 13th in Monaco, finding in Salle Garnier a venue of exception. After seeing a fashion show in Le Grand Palais, in Paris, Prince revamped "2 in 1" into "All Day, All Night" and performed 2 consecutives concerts on October 11th 2009.

Prince closed the decade with a one-off concert in his hometown, on October 24th, 2009.

The 10's

A newly written song, Purple And Gold, was made available to stream on www.vikings.com from 21 January, 2010 as a "fight-song" to support the Minnesota Vikings (football team) in the NFL playoffs.

The following month, Prince let Minneapolis-area public radio station 89.3 The Current premiere his new song Cause And Effect as a gesture in support of independent radio.

In a poll by BBC 6 Music listeners in April 2010, Prince was ranked the eighth-best guitarist of the previous 30 years.

Prince released a new single on Minneapolis radio station 89.3 The Current called "Hot Summer" on June 7, his 52nd birthday. Also in June, Prince appeared on the cover of the July 2010 issue of Ebony and he received a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the 2010 BET Awards.

Rejection of the Internet and touring.

20TEN

Prince released his album 20TEN in July 2010 as a free covermount with publications in the UK, Belgium, Germany, and France. Prince has refused access to the album to digital download services. He also closed his official website, LotusFlow3r.com. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Prince said: "The Internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it... Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."

On July 4, 2010 Prince began his 20TEN Tour, a summer concert tour in Europe. The second leg, named Prince Live 2010 began on October 15 and ended with a concert following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 14. Prince Live 2010 feature a new NPG line-up including John Blackwell on drums to replace Cora Coleman-Dunham, Ida Kristine Nielsen on bass instead of Josh Dunham, and Sheila E. on percussions.

Welcome 2 America Tour

On 8 October, 2010, french radio station Europe 1 debut the clip of a new song, Rich Friends, from 20TEN Deluxe (thought to be a deluxe edition of 20TEN that never materialized). The track, a previously-unreleased song, was streamed in full (with three station IDs overdubbed onto the track) on KTU.com (the website of New York, NY, USA, radio station 103.5 KTU), beginning on 14 October, 2010.

A live recording of Stratus, a cover version of the 1973 Billy Cobham track, was streamed on Drfunkenberry.com, beginning on 2 November, 2010. The recording, taken from 22 October, 2010, MCH MultiArena / Jyske Bank Boxen, Herning, Denmark, is the first available recording to feature new bass guitarist Ida Nielsen.

Prince was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame on December 7, 2010.

On 13 December, 2010, KTU.com released an audio podcast of Prince's appearance the same day on New York, NY, USA, radio station 103.5 KTU, giving a brief interview about the upcoming Welcome 2 America Tour, due to start 2 days after, on December 15, 2010. This is believed to be the first authorized podcast of a Prince interview.

Prince took the opportunity of the Welcome 2 America Tour to preview new songs: Black Muse, sung by Shelby J., Liv Warfield & Elisa Dease while Prince was offstage, was played during the first Welcome 2 America Tour show, 15 December, 2010., Welcome 2 America was premiered on 18 December, 2010, and lyrics from the track have been included a few times in performances of Dreamer since then. The lyrics of Gingerbread Man have been sung over the backing music of The Question Of U/The One a few times, beginning 29 December, 2010.

On February 12, 2011, Prince presented Barbra Streisand with an award and donated $1.5 million to charities. On the same day, it was reported that he was unimpressed about Glee covering his hit "Kiss", and that he had not authorized this.

A digital album titled The Best Of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame + Museum Live was released on 15 March, 2011, including Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison and Prince's live version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, marking its first audio release (the song was previously released on DVD).

94 East released a digital collection of The Cookhouse Five sessions on 5 April, 2011. This set includes If We Don't, If You See Me, I'll Always Love You, Games and Better Than You Think, featuring Prince as a musician, to mark the 35th anniversary of their recording (although the tracks were recorded in 1975). The tracks are remixed by Matt "Dr." Fink.

Welcome 2 America Euro 2011 Tour

On May 18, 2011, it was announced that Prince would be headlining Hop Farm Festival on July 3, 2011, marking his first UK show since 2007 and his first ever UK festival appearance.

Like he did during the Welcome 2 America Tour, Prince previewed new songs during the Welcome 2 America Euro 2011 Tour: We Live (2 Get Funky), was performed on the French TV show Le Grand Journal, broadcast live on TV and online (although the song was first played live three days earlier, 24 June, 2011) and he sang lyrics to a new song, Only Heaven Knows (over the music of Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa on 30 June, 2011 at Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France.

Also played were: a previously-unknown song by new bandmember Andy Allo, People Pleaser, which contains writing input by Prince, a song tentatively known as When She Comes, performed at the one-off show on 11 May, 2011 and another song tentatively titled U Will B was played on 5 May, 2011.

On 14 August, 2011 a 4:40 video of Hot Thing (including a sample from Alphabet St.) as performed on 12 August, 2011, Slottsskogen, Gothenburg, Sweden at the Way Out West Festival was streamed on Andy Allo's Facebook page, as "Hot Thing, Way Out West Fest 8/12/11". The video also included clips of 777-9311 and I Would Die 4 U.

On 18 August, 2011 a 2:15 video of Empty Room as performed on 17 August, 2011 at Hallenstadion, Zürich, Switzerland was streamed on Andy Allo's Facebook page, as "Empty Room, Zurich Switzerland". The video was an excerpt of the last quarter of the song, and over the end the video has the text: Thanks Euro 4 the best summer ever.

Later in the summer, Zürcher Oberländer reported that Prince recorded at Powerplay Studios, Maur, Switzerland, from 20 -31 August, 2011.

Welcome 2 Canada Tour

Despite having previously rejected the internet for music distribution, On 23 November, 2011 a single of Extraloveable, containing a 2011 re-recording of the previously-unreleased 1982 track Extraloveable, was released on iTunes Canada. The song features a rap by Andy Allo, and was presented as a Canadian exclusive to celebrate the tour to come, but it was also available in Europe and in Australia from the 24th onwards. It was also made available on Spotify. The digital single was released in the USA a few days after on 29 November, 2011.

On 25 November, 2011, ChumFM.com released an audio podcast of Prince's appearance the same day on Toronto, ON, Canada, radio station 104.5 CHUM FM, giving a brief interview about the upcoming Welcome 2 Canada Tour. The podcast lasts 46:25 and includes highlights of the whole show; Prince appears only in the final ten minutes.

On 27 November, 2011 a 1:35 video of Cool from 26 November, 2011 Toronto, CA - Air Canada Center concert was streamed on Andy Allo's Facebook page. This was followed hours later by a 2:25 video of Angel from the same show, which was removed and replaced by a full 6:59 video the following day, 27 November, 2011.

On 9 December, 2011 a 6:32 video of Sly and the Family Stone's Stand!, from the 8 December, 2011, MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada concert, was streamed on Andy Allo's Facebook page.

Swiss record label Purple Music released a new version of the 2009 single Dance 4 Me on 9 December, 2011, containing newly-created remixes of the track. The single was available under Vinyl, Vinyl Picture Disc and CD formats.

On 14 December, 2011 a 0:42 video of Shockadelica, from the 13 December, 2011, Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB, Canada concert, was streamed on Andy Allo's Facebook page. On 21 December, 2011 a live video of Take Me With U, from the 16 December, 2011, Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada concert, was streamed on Andy Allo's Facebook page.

On 23 February, 2012 Swiss record label Purple Music released 2nite, a Bria Valente single, containing newly-created remixes of the track written and produced by Prince (originally from her 2009 album Elixer).

On 8 March, 2012, a 1:09 clip of the studio version of People Pleaser by Andy Allo (executive produced by, and likely featuring Prince) was streamed on drfunkenberry.com to accompany an announcement about the album Superconductor. The album includes three songs co-written by Prince: Superconductor, The Calm and Long Gone. Prince is also the album's executive producer, along with Trombone Shorty (marking his first appearance on a Prince -related album), Maceo Parker and the Hornheadz (making their first appearance on a Prince -related album since 2001's The Rainbow Children) and members of the New Power Generation.

Welcome 2 Australia Tour

On 16 April, 2012, a 8:37 rehearsal version of The Dance Electric by Prince and the New Power Generation was streamed on drfunkenberry.com to promote the forthcoming Welcome 2 Australia Tour. A week later, on 23 April, 2012, another rehearsal track, a 9:54 rehearsal version of Mutiny containing an interpolation of Ice Cream Castles by Prince and the New Power Generation was streamed on drfunkenberry.com. The file was also posted via Soundcloud by Paul Peterson on behalf of fDeLuxe.

The Welcome 2 Australia Tour started on 11 May, 2012 in Sydney, at the Allphones Arena and stopped in Melbourne, on 30 May, 2012 at the Rod Laver Arena.

On 23 April, 2012, a 9:54 rehearsal version of Mutiny containing an interpolation of Ice Cream Castles by Prince and the New Power Generation was streamed on drfunkenberry.com to promote the forthcoming Welcome 2 Australia Tour. The file was also posted via Soundcloud by Paul Peterson on behalf of fDeLuxe.

On 30 May, 2012, TripleM.com.au released an audio podcast of Prince's telephone interview the same day on Melbourne, Australia, radio station 105.1 Triple M, giving a brief interview about the Welcome 2 Australia Tour on the day of its final show during an in-studio interview with tour dancer Damaris Lewis.

On 10 June, 2012 a live video of Something In The Water (Does Not Compute), from the 30 May, 2012: Rod laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia concert, was streamed on Andy Allo's Facebook page.

On 12 June, 2012, a 19:00 rehearsal version of Days Of Wild containing interpolations of Wild And Loose, Ain't Nobody and America by Prince and the New Power Generation was streamed on Cassandra O'Neal Facebook page. A few minutes later Shelby J. also shared the rehearsal on her Soundcloud page. 45 minutes before the "jam" was streamed, Liv Warfield advertized about it on her Facebook page, with the following text:
"On April 17, 2012, several bystanders in the streets of Chanhassen, Minnesota saw Paisley Park swaying back and forth 2 the sound of "Days of Wild and Loose". This is a copy of the 19 minute rehearsal of that jam! Thank U, Prince and The New Power Generation..."Aint nobody LOVE YA betta than AUSTRALIA!".

Welcome 2 Chicago Residency

On 31 August, 2012, a residency at Chicago's United Center was announced for September. Falling somewhat short of a residency, only three shows came to fruition.

3rdEyeGirl

On 22 November, 2012, swiss label Purple Music released a new Prince single, Rock And Roll Love Affair. Available on Vinyl, CD and Digital formats, the single include the original version of the song, a radio mix and 4 Jamie Lewis remixes. The single, which featured Andy Allo had been on rotation on European radios since 12 October, 2012.

During the remainder of 2012, Prince assembled a new band 3rdEyeGirl. A YouTube account was created on 31 December, 2012 to launch the first band video, a December 2012 rehearsal of Bambi, introducing Hannah Ford and Donna Grantis.

In January 2013, unreleased material such as an extended version of Laydown and a remix of Rock And Roll Love Affair, were streamed via the YouTube account, soon promoted by a newly created [3rdEyeGirl twitter Account]. New songs were also posted: Same Page Different Book and a live excerpt of Chapter & Verse.

Soon after a three night residency was organized in Minneapolis at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant where Prince introduced three band line-ups:

  • A jazz oriented quartet featuring himself, Ronald Bruner Jr. (drums), Andrew Gouché (bass) and Cassandra O'Neal (keyboards, vox);
  • A new NPG line-up featuring Ronald Bruner Jr. (drums), Andrew Gouché (bass), Ida Nielsen (guitar, bass), Cassandra O'Neal (keyboards, vox), Shelby J. (vox), Elisa Dease (vox, tambourine), Liv Warfield (vox, tambourine) and a 6 piece horns section;
  • A rock-oriented band, 3rdEyeGirl featuring himself (guitar), Hannah Ford (drums), Ida Nielsen (bass) and Donna Grantis (guitar).

On 25 January, 2013 Andy Allo unveiled a 6:22 acoustic version of a new song, U Will B on her Facebook page. This is to date the last Prince collaboration stream she posted on the internet.

On 4 February, 2013 European record label Purple Music released Prince's single Screwdriver in digital format.

The next day, Prince new merchant website 3rdEyeGirl.com released an unreleased remix of Screwdriver and a new song, Breakfast Can Wait, in digital format.

On 10 February, 2013 a new website, prince2013.com was launched, and released a Screwdriver|video for the song Screwdriver; the video was available in .mov and .mp4 formats. It was also made available on 3rdEyeGirl.com. 5 days later, the video was deleted from both websites, and replaced it by an edited version, available in .mov and .mp4 formats for the same price.

On 15 February, 2013 3rdEyeGirl.com released Boyfriend, a new song. Three days later the website again released a new song: That Girl Thang, an acoustic guitar number.

On 22 February, 2013 3rdEyeGirl.com released Live Out Loud, the first song featuring 3rdEyeGirl lead vocals by Hannah Ford, Donna Grantis and Ida Nielsen; Live Out Loud|a music video for the song was then released on 2 March, 2013.

On 13 March, 2013 a 2:32 video entitled Plectrumelectrum: an extremely short film by Madison Dubé (shot in Paisley Park) was streamed on her Vimeo account and promoted by 3rdEyeGirl Twitter account. The track performed a rearranged version of "Elektra (Elektra Suite)", a number composed by Donna Grantis that she had formerly released in 2012 on her album: "Suites".

On 31 March, 2013 a 6:37 audio video rehearsal of Let's Go Crazy was streamed on Madison Dubé Vimeo account and promoted by 3rdEyeGirl Twitter account.

On 3 April, 2013 a 4:37 'audio video' instrumental rehearsal medley of Boom followed by Stratus (dubbed BOOMSTRATUS) was streamed on Madison Dubé's Vimeo account, with revolving photographs of the 3rdEyeGirl band as background images behind the track. It was removed within minutes, as Madison Dubé stated it was a work-in-progress. The same instrumental version was put back on line a few hours later.

On 9 April, 2013 a 3:44 music video of Guitar directed by Sanaa Hamri on 24 April 2008 was made available on 3rdEyeGirl.com. The release was promoted via the 3rdEyeGirl Twitter account

On 12 April, 2013, a new song FixUrLifeUp was premiered on Toronto (Canada) radio station CBC Radio's show Q with Jian Ghomeshi, in order to promote the opening dates of the Live Out Loud Tour, starting three days later.

Live Out Loud Tour

The tour consisted of 18 dates in selected cities on the West Coast of America, with an additional stop in Vancouver as tour opener, and a last concert organized in Minneapolis, Myth Live. Most dates featured two concerts. The tour, meant to present 3rdEyeGirl to the public, was mostly promoted on the band an associates social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube).

On 16 April, 2013, a 5:24 live excerpt of She's Always In My Hair from 15 April, 2013 The Vogue, Vancouver, Canada, was streamed on DrFunkenberry blog.

After the tour, videos and new songs continued to regularly be streamed or released online.

On 16 May, 2013, Fixurlifeup single, listed as "3rdEyeGirl (feat. Prince)", was released on iTunes; Fixurlifeup music video premiere followed on 23 May, 2013, on Vevo.

On 24 May, 2013, blogger Dr. Funkenberry premiered a snippet of Prince and 3rdEyeGirl rehearsing a cover version of Pearl Jam's Even Flow.

On 12 June, 2013, Ain't Gonna Miss U When U're Gone a new song by Prince featuring Ledisi was released on 3rdEyeGirl.com.

On 19 June, 2013, a new mix of Extraloveable, Extraloveable Reloaded, augmented with horns but with Andy Allo's rap eddited out was released on 3rdEyeGirl.com.

3rdEye TV

Launched by Prince on 12 June, 2013 via LiveStream.com, the new TV channel had broadcast for the first four days of its existence in a row, from 19 June, 2013 to 23 June, 2013. Two new broadcasts were then aired on 26 June, 2013 and 27 June, 2013. All these were from Paisley Park Studios.

On 30 June, 2013, part of a show was broadcast live from Chicago. After that the broadcasts continued with an irregular interval.

Broadcasts were usually not advertised until about one hour before show time. An announcement was often made on the channel's blog, reading for example "Tune in shortly for a surprise". Some Broadcasts were not advertised though, and went on air without notice. Members could subscribe to get a notification via e-mail or text when the TV broadcast went live. Duration of the broadcasts varied from three to 90 minutes.

Prince and 3rdEyGirl used the TV broadcast to present a lot of new material, covers, unseen live footage and rehearsals:

From 11 to 27 July, 2013 3rdEye TV temporarily ceased broadcast, while Prince, The NPG and 3rdEyeGirl were touring in Europe. The last episodes mainly consisted of live material from 15 July, 2013 Auditorium Stravinski, Montreux, Switzerland, 4 August, 2013, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden, 7 August, 2013, Dyrehaven - Bøgescenen, Skanderborg, Denmark, 11 August, 2013 (show #2), Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 17 August, 2013, Coliseu dos Recreios - Sala Principal, Lisbon, Portugal.

Between mid-August to October 2013, live material was posted on 3rdEyegirl3rdEyeGirl social media channels instead of 3rdEye TV.

3rdEye TV ceased broadcast after episode #21, on 5 October, 2013.

A Singles Market

Breakfast Can Wait

For the remainder of 2013, Prince continued to release one-off singles or unreleased songs either on iTunes or on YouTube: Groovy Potential was made available on 3rdEyeTunes.com on 14 August, 2013, Breakfast Can Wait was re-released on 3rdEyeTunes.com on 17 August, 2013 before being released as a digital single on iTunes, Amazon and other digital platforms on 3 September, 2013.

On 10 September, 2013, Janelle Monáe's second album The Electric Lady was released, featuring Prince on the track Givin Em What They Love.

On 2 October, 2013, a soundcloud excerpt of Big City was posted on the NPG Twitter account.

A lot of promotion for Breakfast Can Wait music video ensued in October: a clip of a Breakfast Can Wait remix dubbed "The Breakfast Experience" was posted on The NPG Soundcloud account and Breakfast Can Wait music video was premiered on Prince's VEVO account on 11 October, 2013.

On 16 October, 2013, a rehearsal of The Sweeter She Is, a cover of The Soul Children's The Sweeter He Is, was given to a fan on twitter to release and then posted by @VanessaMpls3121 on her Twitter account.

On 19 October, 2013, live video excerpts of Let's Go Crazy, I Like It There, Stratus and Plectrumelectrum from 19 October, 2013 (am) Paisley Park, Chanhassen, MN, USA were put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account.

On 22 October, 2013, a live video of I Like It There from 19 October, 2013 (am) Paisley Park, Chanhassen, MN, USA was made available on 3rdEyeTunes.com.

On 24 October, 2013, a 5-track EP titled The Breakfast Experience was released on iTunes, containing different versions of Breakfast Can Wait, remixed by Joshua Welton. A video teaser for the EP was previously released on the 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account on 12 October, 2013.

On 31 October, 2013, a rehearsal recording of Something In The Water (Does Not Compute), recorded on 30 October, 2013 at Paisley Park Studios, was available as a static video (with artwork by Stella Blu on the 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account. It was made available on 1 November, 2013 for purchase on 3rdEyeTunes.com.

Da Bourgeoisie

On 18 November, 2013, a download of a 'demo' later revealed to be titled Da Bourgeoisie was posted on 3rdEyeGirl Twitter account. The final version was made available on 3rdEyeTunes.com on 25 November, 2013.

The last days of 2013 were dedicated to a three nights residency at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, USA.

On 7 January, 2014, a live video of The Sweeter She Is from 29 December, 2013 Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT, USA was put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account.

On 7 January, 2014, a live video of So Dark from 05 October, 2013, Paisley Park, Chanhassen, MN, USA was put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account.

On 7 January, 2014, a live video of Cause And Effect from 17 August, 2013, Coliseu dos Recreios - Sala Principal, Lisbon, Portugal was put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account.

On 28 January, 2014, a short audio sample of Pretzelbodylogic, a new song, was put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account. Pretzelbodylogic single was released on iTunes 3 days after.

Prince appeared in New Girl, a special episode broadcast on FOX immediately after their Sports’ coverage of SUPER BOWL XLVIII on 2 February, 2014 at 10:30-11:00 PM ET/7:30-8:00 PM PT and attracted an audience of 25.8 million viewers.

London Hit And Run Club Residency

February 2014 was dedicated to a hit and run club tour in London. Announced at last minute notice, most of the times less than twelve hours before showtime, tickets for the show were to be collected at venue ticket office, with a strict rule of one ticket per person and immediate venue entry. The surprise gigs generated a lot of press in the United Kingdom, serving promotion for a 3rdEyeGirl forthcoming PlectrumElectrum album.

On 5 February, 2014, a live video of I Like It There from 5 February, 2014 (am), Electric Ballroom, London, England was put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account.

On 13 February, 2014, a live video of Chaos And Disorder from 9 February, 2014, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, England was put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account.

On 18 February, 2014, Liv Warfield digitally released her second album The Unexpected, including two tracks with Prince involvement - The Unexpected and Your Show.

On 23 February, 2014, a live video excerpt of Let's Go Crazy from 22 February, 2014, Manchester Academy 1, Manchester, England was put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account. A full version of the same song was made available on 26 February, 2014.

On 27 February, 2014, a live video of Something In The Water (Does Not Compute) from 22 February, 2014, Manchester Academy 1, Manchester, England was put on 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account.

On 4 March, 2014, Prince and The NPG hosted the The Arsenio Hall Show. On 5 March, 2014, Prince's performances of Funknroll, She's Always In My Hair and Mutiny (all recorded the previous day) were broadcast and posted on the show's website as individual performance videos.

Fallinlove2nite

On 7 March, 2014, radio station 102.3 KJLH, based in Los Angeles, CA, broadcast studio versions of Funknroll and Fallinlove2nite, along with an interview with Liv Warfield.Fallinlove2nite single by Prince featuring Zooey Deschanel was released as a digital single on 17 March, 2014, four days after the track was streamed on iHeart Radio.

 
Additional Information

Personal Life Stage Names Copryright Ownership

  • In the 1980s and early 1990s, Prince was thought to be romantically linked with many celebrities, including Madonna (although that proved to be false), Anna Fantastic, Carmen Electra, Sheena Easton, Susan Moonsie, Troy Beyer, Susanna Hoffs, Kim Basinger, and Nona Gaye.
  • Prince had an on and off relationship with high school girlfriend Susan Moonsie from about 1980 till 1985. There were a combination of reasons that led to the end of their relationship, she first attempted to end their relationship around 1983 when Prince was infatuated with fellow Vanity 6 bandmate, Denise Matthews, aka Vanity. Moonsie chose to stop her relationship with him and even became good friends with Vanity, although after the disintegration of that relationship, the two began seeing one another although never an official couple again. The relationship continued as such until 1984, as Prince got as close to a monogamous relationship with Susannah Melvoin (Wendy's twin sister) and resulted in a heated argument that served as the inspiration for "When Doves Cry".
  • During the Dirty Mind Tour in 1980, Prince met 18 year-old back-up singer, Jill Jones who was performing with Teena Marie as an opening act for his tour. Prince loved her voice, encouraged her to sing, and stayed in touch with Jones. She became a backup vocalist, and girlfriend, for Prince when he invited her to the Sunset Sound recording studios in 1982, to sing backing vocals for several tracks on the 1999 album and went on tour with him for the 1999 Tour.
  • In 1982, he met then B-movie actress and nude model Denise Matthews at a American Music Awards backstage party. Prince re-named her Denise Matthews, stating he saw his female reflection when he looked at her. However, the relationship was very tumultuous, as Denise Matthews was a very strong-willed woman where as Prince liked timid women. The fact that she wasn't his only girlfriend at the time led Vanity to drinking and drug abuse heavily and ultimately left the Prince camp just before shooting was to begin on the Purple Rain film.
  • He married his backup singer and dancer, Mayte Garcia, on Valentine's Day, 1996. They had one son named Boy Gregory, (born October 16, 1996) who was born with Pfeiffer syndrome and died shortly after birth. They were divorced in 1999.
  • In 1997, Prince approached funk bassist Larry Graham, one of his childhood idols, with questions about his Jehovah's Witness faith. In a later interview, Graham stated that Prince was in need of Biblical answers and advice and that Graham was glad to answer. Prince apparently became very interested in the religion. He was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 2001, marking his formal conversion to the faith. It was at this time that he released the album The Rainbow Children, which relied heavily upon Jehovah's Witness religious themes.
  • On December 31, 2001, Prince married Manuela Testolini in a private ceremony, but she filed for divorce in May 2006.
  • Prince is a vegetarian. In 2006 he was voted the "world's sexiest vegetarian" in PETA's annual online poll. The liner notes for his album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic featured a message about the cruelty involved in wool production.
  • Prince is a supporter of the Minneapolis football team Minnesota Vikings. He resides near Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Prince has used pseudonyms to separate himself from the music (either his own or that of others) for which he has had input; "I was just getting tired of seeing my name," he said, "If you give away an idea, you still own that idea. In fact, giving it away strengthens it. Why do people feel they have to take credit for everything they do? Ego, that's the only reason.". These pseudonyms include: Jamie Starr and The Starr Company (for the songs he wrote for The Time and many other artists from 1981–1984), Joey Coco (for many unreleased Prince songs in the late 1980s, as well as songs written for Sheena Easton & Kenny Rogers), Paisley Park (occasionally used in the early 1990s for his production credits on songs, including those written for Martika and Kid Creole), Alexander Nevermind (for writing the 1984 song "Sugar Walls" by Sheena Easton), and Christopher (used for his song writing credit of "Manic Monday" for The Bangles).
  • The unpronounceable symbol (later dubbed "Image:SymbolSmaller.png #2"):
    In 1993, during negotiations regarding the release of Prince's album The Gold Experience, a legal battle ensued between Warner Bros. and Prince over the artistic and financial control of Prince's output. During the lawsuit, Prince appeared in public with the word "slave" written on his cheek.

    Prince explained his name change as follows:
    The first step I have taken towards the ultimate goal of emancipation from the chains that bind me to Warner Bros. was to change my name from Prince to Image: SymbolSmaller.png. Prince is the name that my mother gave me at birth. Warner Bros. took the name, trademarked it, and used it as the main marketing tool to promote all of the music that I wrote. The company owns the name Prince and all related music marketed under Prince. I became merely a pawn used to produce more money for Warner Bros... I was born Prince and did not want to adopt another conventional name. The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was Image: SymbolSmaller.png, a symbol with no pronunciation, that is a representation of me and what my music is about. This symbol is present in my work over the years; it is a concept that has evolved from my frustration; it is who I am. It is my name.
  • "Prince" is a trademark owned by Paisley Park Enterprises, Inc. It was initially filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2005 in the categories of printed materials, clothing, electronic commerce, and entertainment services based on first commercial in 1978 Various searches to the USPTO did not find any registrations or transfers of "Prince" or related names by Warner Bros. In 1991, PRN Music Corporation assigned the trademarks "Prince," "The Time," "Paisley Park," "New Power Generation," and "Prince and the Revolution" to Paisley Park Enterprises.
  • Critics have argued Prince's name change as an attempt by the artist to reinvent himself, providing an opportunity to redevelop his style. One commentator noted:
    Prince started his career as a big R&B star with limited mainstream success. At that point, he left the middle of the road and headed for the ditch. In 1980, it was risky to record new wave songs with lusty lyrics that assured no radio airplay (the classic Dirty Mind), but it paid off. Critics took notice and he became an underground favorite. This paved the way for his huge success with 1999 and Purple Rain. Certainly that was the pinnacle of his career, as far as worldwide earnings and universal adulation are concerned. But by heading for the ditch again, by changing his name and experimenting with his style, by lowering his stock value and escaping his record contract, Prince has become an underground artist again. In late 1996, the first collection of Prince music since his break with Warner Bros. appeared in record stores, a sprawling three-hour extravaganza integrating great dance grooves and slow-burning ballads. Critical response has been overwhelmingly positive, and sales have been brisk despite the high price of a 3-CD set. It's no coincidence that he titled this album Emancipation.
  • In 1995, Prince threatened to sue a 900 line operated by Nathan Wright for his Purple Underground Magazine Phone line for playing to the public for the first time segments of The Black Album. Prince's attorneys Lavely & Singer demanded royalties in a cease and desist letter served to Wright. Instead Wright offered to work with Prince and split the profits. Wright and Prince's attorneys then worked on deal to share profits but the deal never transpired (copies of these documents are available for verification). Instead Prince started his own 900 line while Wright was able to continue his without any further action.
  • On September 14, 2007, Prince announced that he was going to sue YouTube and eBay because they "appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorized music and film content which is core to their business success." A representative told Reuters, "The problem is that one can reduce it to zero and then the next day there will be 100 or 500 or whatever. This carries on ad nauseam at Prince's expense."
  • In October 2007, Stephanie Lenz filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Publishing Group, claiming they were abusing copyright law, after the music publisher had YouTube take down Lenz's home movie in which the Prince song Let's Go Crazy played faintly in the background.
  • On November 5, 2007, several fan sites of Prince formed "Prince Fans United" to fight back against legal requests made by Prince to cease and desist all use of photographs, images, lyrics, album covers and anything linked to Prince's likeness. While Prince's lawyers claimed that the use of such representations constituted copyright infringement, the Prince Fans United claimed that the legal actions were "attempts to stifle all critical commentary about Prince." On November 8, 2007, 'Prince Fans United' received a song named PFUnk providing a kind of "unofficial answer" to their movement. The song, originally debuted on the PFU main site, was retitled F.U.N.K., and is available on iTunes.
  • On November 14, 2007, it was reported that the satirical website b3ta.com had pulled their "image challenge of the week" devoted to Prince after legal threats from the star under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). b3ta co-founder Rob Manuel wrote on the site: "Under threat of legal action from Prince's legal team of "potential closure of your web site" - We have removed the Prince image challenge and B3ta apologizes unreservedly to AEG / NPG and Prince for any offense caused. We also ask our members to avoid photoshopping Prince and posting them on our boards."
  • At the 2008 Coachella Music Festival, Prince performed a cover of Radiohead's "Creep" but immediately after, he forced YouTube and other sites to remove footage that fans had taken of the performance, despite Radiohead's wishes for it to remain on the website. Days later, YouTube reinstated the videos, while Radiohead claimed "it's our song, let people hear it."
  • After ending his publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group, Prince teamed with Kobalt Music group for a label services deal, and used them for a few singles releases, before changing strategy and releasing Fallinlove2nite with Epic. Prince announced on 4 April, 2014 that he was assigning the rights to his catalog to NPG Music Publishing, a self owned and independant administrated entity. Of note this marks the first time Prince’s publishing will be independently controlled in more than 20 years. A website NPGMusicPublishing.com was launched.

References
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