Facts About The Prince: Iconic Singer’s Career, Real Name, Height, Girlfriends And Death Explained

Prince was one of the most legendary and influential singers of all time.

His music has adopted various genres and styles over the years, and his death in 2016 has shocked the music world and beyond.

The American star was a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor during his career, and he was known for his flamboyant and androgynous style, and for his wide vocal range.

Prince was prolific with his music production, releasing 39 albums during his lifetime, including iconic LPs. Purple rain and Sign the time.

  • Where was Prince born, what was his real name and who were his parents?

    Prince at the Roxy in 1979.

    Picture:
    Getty


    The singer’s full name was Prince Rogers Nelson and he was born in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958.

    He was the son of jazz singer Mattie Della and pianist and composer John Lewis Nelson. Her four grandparents were from Louisiana.

    Prince was named after his father’s stage name Prince Rogers, which his father used when performing with Prince’s mother in a jazz band called the Prince Rogers Trio.

    However, Prince didn’t like his name and wanted people to call him Skipper instead, a name that stuck throughout his childhood.

    Her younger sister, Tyka, was born on May 18, 1960.

    Prince’s parents divorced when he was 10 years old. Her mother then remarried Hayward Baker, with whom she had a son named Omarr.

    Prince had a difficult relationship with Omarr, causing him to change homes on several occasions, sometimes living with his father and sometimes with his mother.

  • How did Prince get into music?

    Prince and his sister developed a keen interest in music from a young age, encouraged by their father.

    He wrote his first song, ‘Funk Machine’, on his father’s piano at the age of seven.

    His stepfather took Prince to see James Brown in concert, while his father bought him his first guitar.

    In 1975, Pepe Willie, the husband of Prince Shauntel’s cousin, formed the group 94 East with Marcy Ingvoldstad and Kristie Lazenberry, hiring Andre Cymone and Prince to record tracks.

    In 1976, Prince recorded a demo with producer Chris Moon. Unable to secure a recording contract, Moon brought the tape to Owen Husney, a businessman from Minneapolis, who signed a management contract with 19-year-old Prince.

    Eventually, Prince signed a contract with Warner Bros. The record company agreed to give Prince creative control over three albums and his debut album. For you was released in 1978.

  • Why did Prince change his name to a symbol?

    The Prince Love Symbol

    The symbol of the prince’s love.

    Image: Alamy


    In 1993, Prince found himself in conflict with the record company Warner Bros.

    The label refused to release Prince’s huge backlog of music at a high rate and, in rebellion, Prince adopted the “Love Symbol” as his stage name.

    In order to use the symbol in print media, Warner Bros. organized a massive shipment of floppy disks with a custom font.

    Prince was then called the artist formerly known as Prince or “the artist”.

    In 1994, Prince began releasing albums quickly to free himself from his contractual obligations to Warner Bros.

    He also started to appear with the word “slave” written on his face. Warner Bros. then succumbed to Prince’s wishes to release an album of new material, Come.

  • How tall was Prince?

    Prince stood at 5 ft 2 (157.5 cm) high.

    Speaking about his stature, he said: “People say I wear heels because I am short. I wear heels because women love them.

  • Has Prince ever been married and had children?

    Prince and first wife Mayte Garcia in 1995

    Prince and first wife Mayte Garcia in 1995.

    Picture:
    Getty


    Prince has been romantically linked with various women over the years, including Kim Basinger, Madonna, Vanity, Jill Jones, Sheila E, Carmen Electra, Susannah Melvoin, and Sherilyn Fenn.

    In 1990, he saw 16-year-old dancer Mayte García standing in front of her tour bus and called her a “future wife”, pointing to her partner Rosie Gaines.

    García started working as one of his choir singers and dancers after graduating from high school. They were married on February 14, 1996, when he was 37 and she was 22.

    The couple had a son named Amiir (born October 16, 1996), who died a week after his birth due to Pfeiffer syndrome.

    The couple finally divorced in 2000.

    Prince then married Manuela Testolini, a Canadian businesswoman, in a private ceremony in 2001. They divorced in May 2006.

    Prince and second wife Manuela Testolini in 2005

    Prince and second wife Manuela Testolini in 2005.

    Picture:
    Getty


  • How and when did Prince die?

    Prince’s last show was on April 14, 2016, when he was not feeling well.

    As he returned to Minneapolis the next morning, he became unconscious and his private jet made an emergency landing at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois.

    He was hospitalized and given naloxone, a drug used to block the effects of opioids, usually following an overdose.

    Messages left by fans after Prince

    Messages left by fans after Prince’s death.

    Picture:
    Getty


    Once he became conscious, he left against medical advice. His representatives said he suffered from dehydration and had the flu for several weeks.

    Prince was spotted cycling the next day and he shopped that night for Record Store Day, making a cameo appearance at a dance party at his Paisley Park recording studio complex.

    On April 19, he attended a performance by singer Lizz Wright at the Dakota Jazz Club.

    On April 20, 2016, Prince’s representatives called a California addiction medicine and pain management specialist, asking for medical help.

    On April 21, the local sheriff’s office received a call to 911 requesting that an ambulance be dispatched to Prince’s home. The caller first told the dispatcher that an unidentified person at the house was unconscious, then moments later said he was dead and eventually identified him as Prince.

    There was no sign of suicide or foul play. A press release from the Midwestern Medical Examiner’s Office in Anoka County on June 2 said the musician died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at the age of 57.

    The fentanyl that led to his overdose came in the form of counterfeit pills designed to look like a generic version of the pain reliever paracetamol. How and where Prince obtained the drugs that led to his death has been investigated by various law enforcement agencies.

    In 2018, the Carver County District Attorney announced that the investigation into the circumstances of the singer’s death had ended without criminal charges.

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