Where to begin, Prince, as many of us know, was an icon! He has an astonishing amount of accomplishments, so many in fact, you’d be reading a novel instead of a single, sweet, short and simple blog post (which even at that is a bit long). So with that being said I will give you the cliff note version of Prince’s life, his most memorable moments throughout his career (some inside his mansion) and what’s to come in the future! I also have images of Prince's Mansion and some interesting facts you won't beleive!
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Prince, singer, musician, songwriter, producer (1958 – 2016)Prince was named Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7th, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Family: Father-John Nelson, also a musician and Mother-Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer who performed with John Nelson’s band. Prince also had a sister Tyka Nelson. In later years he acquired 5 half-siblings.
Music: Even though his parents separated at the age of only 10, Prince was so interested by music he taught himself how to play the guitar, drums and the piano.
The First Band: In high school Prince put together his first band and named it Grand Central, only to later change the name to Champagne. Prince’s first band member was Andre Anderson who later changed his name to Morris Day.
The First Deal: By 1978 Warner Bros. Records signed Prince
The Launch of Prince’s Career: First Album Debut was in 1978 called For YouBonus: Can you believe Prince played all of the instruments you hear on this album?
Prince continued to develop his career and released multiple tracks that reached top 20 sometimes even top 3 on the music charts. He was gaining more attention from expressing his spirituality and sexuality through his music.
International success by 1982: After releasing his 1982 Album, one song hit the top 20 title track and a few others were on the top 10 hits.
The 80’s: (My favorite) Purple Rain came out in 1984 (also the year I was born). It reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Then came When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy, and both hit number 1.
Becoming The Icon: He was memorable, his music was different, he left a visual impression, trademark curls, ruffles and embellishments you’ll never forget!
Big Time: Prince was consolidating a few of his shelved projects and was able to produce a double album with multiple tracks reaching within the top 5 on the pop charts and R&B charts.
The 90’s: This era marked a new generation and a new sound. Prince’s band was able to blend the sounds of contemporary r&b with jazz, soul and a little hip-hop. This lead to his successful album Diamonds and Pearls in 1991 which hit number 3 on the Billboard’s 200 album chart.
Bonus: (WARNING NOT FOR CHILDREN): Did you ever see/or hear about Prince’s performance in 1991 for the MTV Music Video Awards? He turns around at the end of the stage to reveal……check it out for yourself! (YouTube: Prince’s 1991 MTV Music Video Awards)
Let’s just compare, Michael Jackson and Madonna were only making $60 million dollar contracts that were also all inclusive!
Collaborations: Chaka Khan, Sinead O’Connor (The Cranberries), Tom Jones, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Patti Labelle and Janelle Monae.
In 1993 Prince changed his name to a symbol O(+> which was the fusion of female and male astrological symbols. Let’s just say most fans didn’t take to that too well. This wasn’t the best of times for Prince, he felt enslaved by his label, Warner Bros.. He would go on stage and perform with the word SLAVE drawn on the side of his face. Eventually he was released from all obligations and he continued to make magic happen with his music.
The 2000’s: By 2004 Prince was performing with celebrities like Beyoncé Knowles and was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He continued to release tracks, tour, wine Grammy’s and even Golden Globe awards.
2007: Prince performed for the Super Bowl XLI halftime show (even though if you remember that year it was heavily pouring…maybe he should’ve sang Purple Rain instead?)
2010: His career continued to climb: Billboard.com named Prince the greatest Super Bowl performer. TIME Magazine featured Prince as 1 of the 100 most influential people in the world and did I mention he also won a BET award for Lifetime Achievements? Just when you thought he won every award possible he is also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame! He may have been what we call a work-a-holic, what do you think?
Prince Takes a Political Stand
He also held a tribute performance at his Paisley Estate in memory of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who died while in police custody in Baltimore. Gray’s death inspired Prince for the song “Baltimore.”
Keeping It Private: Prince was extremely private about his personal life. He preferred to spend time at his home than out and about in the spotlight.
Dated: Susannah Melvoin (sister of one of Prince’s previous drummers) & Sheila E. (drummer extraordinaire, worked on her album together)
Married: (Valentine’s Day 1996 to be exact) to Mayte Garcia
Children: Son-Born October 16, 1996 but unfortunately passed away 1 week later from Pfeiffer Syndrome.
Divorce: Their marriage was annulled in ’91 and divorced by 2000
Marriage #2: Prince married Manuela Testolini in 2001, (she was employed by one of Prince’s charitable organizations).
Divorce #2: Took place 2006
How It All Ended
On April 21, 2016 Prince passed away at his Paisley Park Estate in Minnesota. Earlier that week he spent time in the hospital with what was diagnosed as a severe case of the Flu.
Autopsy’s were performed by the Carver County sheriff’s department and Midwest Medical Examiner’s office. I wasn’t able to locate the exact cause of death at this time. Prince’s remains were cremated and a small private funeral was held for his family and friends on April 23rd, 2016.
October 2016: Prince’s Paisley Park Estate Opens to the public as a museum.
It was reported that Prince's estate has an underground vault that houses more than a centuries worth of unreleased tracks. As of this year one of his unpublished tracks, Moonbeam Levels, has been released (2017).
INSIDE THE PAISLEY PARK ESTATE
Images 1-4: Exterior images of the Paisley Park Estate
Image 5: Glass pyramids that are said to light up purple when the musician is home
Image 6: The extravagant lobby area with Prince's love symbol on the floor and portions of the balconies painted like clouds in the sky
Image 7: This mannequin is an exact replica with Prince's exact measurements. This allows his wardrobe to be tailored and custom-made on-site.
Image 8: One of Prince's many custom-made outfits
Image 9: This is an image Inside the "Foo Foo room" which kept all of his awards
Image 10: The vault door into the "Foo Foo room"
Image 11: A custom-made vending machine which looks to house gum and other items
Image 12: One of Prince's many recording rooms within the Paisley Estate
Image 13: One of Prince's more creative rooms that housed multiple projectors and screens on the walls
Image 14: Another room inside the mansion. This purple room offered star gazing on the walls.
Image 15: A small sneak of Prince's Paisley Estate Menu
Image 16: A luxurious recording studio and large room which housed all of Prince's instruments
Image 17: Album cover for the album Around The World In A Day, that Prince designed himself
Image 18: Prince's rehearsal stage was also built inside of Paisley Park Estates
Images 19-23: More photos of the inside of the Paisley Musueam
Image 24: Panton's new color "Love Symbol #2" in honor of Prince and his love of purple
I hope everyone enjoyed the timeline of Prince's life and his amazing accomplishments. I also hope I was able to share enough images of the Paisley Estate to give you a glimpse into Prince's world. My research and sources are listed below feel free to check out the links for more information!
Prince was a brilliant human being. Pure genius in his musical abilities and business deals. He was and always will be an amazing American icon.
If you have any interesting facts or memories of Prince I’d love to hear them!
Thanks for taking this tour of Prince’s life and his mansion with me!
Stay tuned for my Style Quiz next week, finally you’ll be able to see what your design style is. Are you traditional, mid-century mod or maybe even a bit Victorian!