32 Prince Facts: Insight Into The Legendary Artist’s Life

Prince is one of the most unique and popular artists with millions of fans and album sales all over the world, but what do you know about him? We’re going to give you 25 Prince facts, so keep reading to find out some interesting details! 

Prince Isn’t A Stage Name

While you might think Prince was his stage name, in reality, he was born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 7, 1958. 

He Sued Fans For Recording His Concerts

June 3, 2016 – Recording a concert. Image source: veeterzy veeterzy, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

One thing to know about Prince was that in the age of smartphones, he did not want you filming his concerts at all. In fact, he sued 22 people at his show in 2014 because they were recording his show, and he said it was an infringement. He also claimed it was bootlegged material since the fans uploaded the concert footage to YouTube. 

Prince Was Only 5’2” Tall 

Prince - Little Red Corvette (Official Music Video)

There’s a reason why we’ve always seen Prince on stage and elsewhere in heels, which is because he was 5’2” tall. That is fairly short for a man, and he used heels to conceal his below-average height. 

He’s Why Tipper Gore Demanded Warning Labels On Music 

One song Prince recorded on Purple Rain was Darling Nikki, which is a very sexually-explicit song that deals with masturbation among other topics. Tipper Gore, Al Gore’s wife at the time, purchased Purple Rain in 1984 for their daughter who was 11. She was so mad about the Darling Nikki lyrics that she formed the Parents Music Resource Center in 1985, which went after the recording industry and pressured them into putting explicit labels on albums to make parents aware of what their children were listening to. 

Prince Didn’t Fight Explicit Labels On Music 

Even though Prince’s music was the catalyst for the explicit labels on music, he wasn’t offended or upset that Tipper Gore and others demanded this change in the music industry. In fact, he was one of the first adopters of this new system and released a “clean” album version to help the cause. 

Prince First Wrote a Song At Age 7 

When he was just seven years old, he wrote his first track titled Funk Machine. It just goes to show that he has always been Prince from the time he was young until he passed away. 

His First Band Was Formed When He Was 13 

Prince was only 13 years old when he helped form a band called Grand Central. It included his future bass player Andre Anderson and Charles Smith, who was his second cousin. 

Prince Was Passionate About Purple

April 26, 2016 – Prince painting. Image source: Thomas from Minneapolis, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One fact most people know about Prince, but it bears repeating, is that he loved the color purple, which has been synonymous with his name for decades. 

Pantone Released a Shade Of Purple In His Honor 

Pantone names colour of the year in remembrance of Prince

Everyone knows Prince loved the color purple, so in 2017, the Pantone Color Institute decided to come out with a shade of purple in honor of him, which is called Love Symbol #2. The institute decided to use the color of the piano that he was supposed to have with him on his upcoming tour. 

He Has Over 600 Songs In His Catalog

Prince has an entire collection of tracks that he wrote in his catalog that easily passes the 600 mark, which is highly impressive.  

Prince Wrote Multiple Songs For Various Artists 

Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U (Official Music Video) [HD]

Even though Prince had a very successful music career of his own, he wasn’t just writing tracks for himself. He famously wrote songs for several artists, some of which you may not even know that he wrote including: 

  • Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor 
  • I Feel For You – Chaka Khan 
  • Manic Monday – The Bangles 
  • You’re My Love – Kenny Rogers
  • Love Song – Madonna
  • With This Tear – Celine Dion
  • Stand Back – Stevie Nicks 
  • Waiting Room – No Doubt 
  • Sugar Walls – Sheena Easton 

He Was Part of A Willy Wonka Promotion 

There was a Willy Wonka promotion in 2006, which was run by Universal, and tickets were hidden in Prince’s new album 3121. There were seven special purple tickets hidden in the United States and seven purple tickets hidden in international albums. These 14 lucky people were invited to attend a Prince concert at his home in Los Angeles, California, which was private and only for those people who found the hidden purple ticket. 

Prince’s Half-Sister Sued Him in 1987 

Prince - U Got The Look (Official Music Video)

U Got The Look was one of the most popular songs in the late 80s, and in 1987, Lorna Nelson, Prince’s half-sister, sued him saying that it was her who wrote the lyrics to the tune. It went to court, and a couple of years later, he won the court battle

He Played Basketball In High School 

Even though Prince was one of the shorter guys in his high school, he landed on the basketball team. Not only was he on the team, but he was one of the better basketball players on the team and even those that played against him said he was indeed skilled and could play some serious ball. 

Prince Had Several Aliases Throughout His Career

August 28, 2007 – Prince merchandising store at The O2 during The Earth Tour (21 nights in London 2007) in the United Kingdom. Image source: El Pantera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For a while, he went by Prince in his music life just as he did in his personal life, but he switched his name often and went by multiple aliases over the years. He was eventually known as Ƭ̵̬̊ or “Love Symbol #2” and that changed too. You may also know him as one of the following: The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, Joey Coco, Camille, Alexander Nevermind, Tora Tora, Christopher, and Jamie Starr. 

He Sent A Singing Telegram To A Friend 

July 10, 2012 – Janelle Monáe at ZMF 2012. Image source: Thomas Böcker from Bocholt, Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Janelle Monáe was Prince’s friend and also collaborator, and he had sent a singing telegram to her once upon a time. He did this to ask for a copy of the new album that he guest appeared on called The Electric Lady. 

The F-Word Was Said Twice On His First Saturday Night Live Appearance 

An interesting piece of history in the entertainment world is that when Prince first made an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1981, the F-word was said two times. The first time was when he was singing Partyup since there is a lyric in the song that contains the F-word, and it got by all of the censors at the time.

The second time it happened it was not him but Charles Rocket who dropped the word, and to this day, this was the only time in Saturday Night Live history where the word had been said twice in one show. 

Prince First Asked Stevie Nicks To Write Purple Rain 

Purple Rain is thought of as Prince’s signature song, but did you know he wanted Stevie Nicks to write the lyrics for it originally? She did not take him up on his offer to write it because it intimidated her, which may have worked out for the best given it’s his legacy tune.  

He Was Known For High-Energy Performances And Unique Fashion Style

October 6, 2009 – Prince at the Chanel Fashion Show, Spring-Summer 2010. Image source: nicolas genin, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you haven’t checked out a Prince performance before, you really should because he is known for giving fans high-energy performances. His energy on stage is nearly unmatched, and he always puts on a good show for fans regardless of his age. He was also known for his unique fashion choices, and some of them were way out there, but it was him, and he could get away with any outfit he chose. 

Prince Loved Orange Juice And Spaghetti

Unknown – A glass of orange juice. Image source: Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

While it might seem a little odd, Prince wasn’t complicated when it came to food, and among his favorite food and drink items were orange juice and spaghetti. 

He Had The #1 Album, Single & Film For a Week 

Purple Rain (1984) Official Trailer - Prince, Apollonia Kotero Movie

Purple Rain went to number one at the box office around July 27, 1984, and at the same time, the movie soundtrack also hit number one. That’s not all! The song When Doves Cry, which is featured on the soundtrack, hit number one on the Billboard chart too. 

Prince Would Not Sleep While Recording Music 

One thing that could have easily led to Prince’s downfall was the fact that when he was recording music in his studio, he would not sleep a wink, and this would go on for days at a time. It’s alleged that before he died he had not slept in over 154 hours, which is harmful to the body. He had an amazing work ethic but neglected his own health in the process. 

Purple Rain Originally Was Over 11 Minutes 

Prince - Purple Rain (Live At Paisley Park, 1999)

We might think that eight minutes is a long time for Purple Rain, the original version of the song came in over 11 minutes long! There were some lyrics that were removed from the track as it talked about money and that was thought to be inappropriate at the time. 

He Was Supposed To Be On Bad with Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Bad (Shortened Version)

A lot of people don’t know that Bad was supposed to include Prince, and it would have been a duet between the two iconic singers. However, once he started to read the lyrics, he backed out and declined Michael Jackson’s invitation. 

Prince Was Married Only Twice 

When we think of Prince, we think of the hyper-sexualized man whom we all know adored women and had relationships with dozens. That might be why he only chose to get married two times during his life, but neither marriage lasted that long. He was married in 1996 to Mayte Garcia until 2000, and then married Manuela Testolini in 2001, but they divorced in 2006. 

He Was Not a Fan Of The Internet

Prince did not seem to care for the digital world and was not a fan of the Internet, with a famous quote of his in 2010 saying that the Internet was “completely over,” and it was very mystifying. He hated the Internet to the point he would not put 20Ten on the various digital markets. 

Prince Had a Son Who Passed Away

Prince had a baby boy in 1996 with his wife at the time, Mayte Garcia, but this little baby boy died days after being born. His name was Amiir Nelson, and he was born with Pfeiffer Syndrome, which is a genetic mutation that affects the bones of the skull. 

He Advocated For The Artists To Have More Rights

Seeing as he was an icon in nearly every sense, it’s no surprise he also was a strong advocate for singers and other performers to have more rights to their work. 

Prince Was a Jehovah’s Witness

One interesting fact about Prince that a lot of people aren’t aware of is he was a Jehovah’s Witness and was even baptized. When he died in 2016, the church put out a tribute to the singer and memorialized him.

He Was A Fan Of Joni Mitchell

1983 – Joni Mitchell performing. Image source: Capannelle, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the more well-known facts about Prince is that he was a huge fan of Joni Mitchell. In fact, he would write her fan mail and tell her how much he enjoyed her work. She even said that she recognized him from when he was 15 and showed up at one of her performances in the front row.

Prince Did Much More Than Sing

April 26, 2008 – Prince at Coachella 2008. Image Source: penner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When Prince passed away in 2016, we lost more than just a talented singer, because he was a gifted guitar player, and one of the most prolific songwriters ever. He also could play other instruments including the piano. Did we mention he was a producer too? There wasn’t much he couldn’t do, and his multiple talents helped add to his aura. 

Privacy Was Crucial 

Prince was a very private person, and having his privacy was a crucial part of his life. There are a lot of details we don’t know about his personal life as he managed to keep his professional life separate from his personal one, which is hard to do in the digital age. That might also be why he didn’t like the Internet, people filming his shows, and didn’t use social media and other online platforms.

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