Here is a look at the life of Prince, a multitalented entertainer famed for his eclectic sound, glittery wardrobe and provocative lyrics.
Birth date: June 7, 1958
Death date: April 21, 2016
Birth place: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Birth name: Prince Rogers Nelson
Father: John Nelson, jazz pianist
Mother: Mattie Shaw, social worker and singer
Marriages: Manuela Testolini Nelson (2001-2007, divorced); Mayte Garcia (1996-2000, divorced)
Children: with Mayte Garcia: Amiir, who died shortly after birth.
Nominated for 38 Grammy Awards, with seven wins. Received the Recording Academy’s honorary President’s Merit Award in 1986 and in 2017, his album “Sign O’ the Times” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
One Oscar win, for the original song score of “Purple Rain.”
Five of Prince’s singles topped the charts and 14 other songs hit the Top 10.
The singer’s predilection for lavishly kinky story-songs earned him the nickname, His Royal Badness. He was also known as the “Purple One” because of his colorful fashions. In the film, “Purple Rain,” his character was nicknamed “The Kid.”
“Darling Nikki,” a song that details a one-night stand, prompted the formation of the Parents Music Resource Center. Led by Al Gore’s wife, Tipper, the group encouraged record labels to place advisory labels on albums with explicit lyrics.
As the Minnesota Vikings prepped to take on the New Orleans Saints in the 2010 NFC championship game, Prince wrote a fight song entitled “Purple and Gold” to inspire his home team. The Vikings lost.
Prince declared, “Albums still matter; like books and black lives, albums still matter tonight and always,” before presenting the award for Best Album during the 57th annual Grammy Awards.
1978 – Prince’s debut album, “For You,” is released by Warner Bros. He plays all the instruments on the LP and produces it himself, making him, at 19-years-old, the youngest record producer in the history of Warner Bros. at the time.
1980 – “I Wanna be Your Lover,” from Prince’s eponymous sophomore album, peaks at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
1982-1983 – Prince scores a hit with the album, “1999.” Three singles – the title track, “Little Red Corvette” and “Delirious” – reach the Top 40.
1984 – The film, “Purple Rain,” a rock drama starring Prince, is released. Its soundtrack, by Prince and the Revolution, contains hits like, “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Purple Rain.”
February 26, 1985 – Prince wins two Grammy awards for “Purple Rain” – Best Album Of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special and Best Rock Performance by a Duo Or Group with Vocal. He gets a third Grammy – Best Rhythm & Blues Song – for writing “I Feel For You,” a hit recorded by Chaka Khan.
March 25, 1985 – Wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score, for “Purple Rain.”
1985-1992 – Releases eight albums, one per year, including the soundtrack for Tim Burton’s “Batman.” Stars in two more movies, “Under the Cherry Moon” and “Graffiti Bridge.” A concert film, “Sign O’ the Times” hits theaters in 1987.
1987 – Unveils a $10 million recording complex/movie studio called Paisley Park in a Minneapolis suburb.
February 24, 1987 – Wins a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song, “Kiss.”
1993 – Changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol due to a dispute with his record label, Warner Bros. At the time, he is commonly called the “Artist Formerly Known as Prince.”
1994 – Warner Bros. releases an abandoned collection of songs that has come to be known as “The Black Album.” Bootleg copies of the tracks, recorded in 1987, had been circulating widely for years.
2000 – When the singer’s publishing contract with Warner Bros. expires, he reclaims the name Prince.
2001 – Becomes a Jehovah’s Witness.
2004 – Prince performs on the Grammy awards with Beyoncé. A month later, he is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
February 13, 2005 – Wins two Grammy awards. One is for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Call My Name” and the other is for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “Musicology.”
November 2006 – Prince opens 3121, a nightclub in Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He performs there on the weekends for six months.
February 10, 2008 – Wins a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Future Baby Mama.”
May 09, 2015 – Addressing the unrest after Freddie Gray’s death in police custody, Prince releases the song, “Baltimore.” He performs a Rally 4 Peace benefit concert in Baltimore the next day, with a portion of proceeds donated to youth groups in the city.
April 21, 2016 – Prince dies at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota. A call is made to 911 when he is found unresponsive in his home elevator and CPR is attempted but unsuccessful.
April 27, 2016 – Bremer Trust is appointed the Special Administrators by a Carver County judge to manage the estate of Prince and now “has the authority to…supervise the Decedent’s assets and determine the identity of the Decedent’s heirs.” According to a court document, Prince did not have a will at the time of his death.
June 2, 2016 – According to a report released by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, Prince died from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl.
October 6, 2016 – Paisley Park is temporarily opened to the public.
October 25, 2016 – The Chanhassen City Council votes to rezone Paisley Park so it can permanently operate as a museum and offer tours.
April 17, 2017 – Unsealed court documents show opioid painkillers — some in prescription bottles with the name Kirk Johnson on them — were found in several places in Paisley Park following Prince’s death. Federal prosecutors and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating how Prince obtained prescription medications and from whom.
August 24, 2018 – Prince’s family files a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Michael Schulenberg, who prescribed the painkiller Percocet to Prince. The lawsuit also names Iowa Health System, UnityPoint Health, Walgreens, North Memorial Healthcare as defendants, alleging they failed to diagnose and treat Prince’s opioid addiction and prevent his death.