News World On This Day: Pop icon and celebrated musician Prince was born
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On This Day: Pop icon and celebrated musician Prince was born

Prince is one of the most beloved and well-respected musicians of his time. Photo: Getty
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Prince has gone down in history as one of the greatest musicians of his generation.

Known for writing the hit songs When Doves Cry and Purple Rain, Prince took the world by storm with his unique blend of R&B, funk, pop, New Wave and progressive rock.

It all started on this day in 1958, when he was born Prince Rogers Nelson in the US state of Minneapolis.

From the very beginning, music was in Prince’s blood.

His parents were jazz singer Mattie Della Shaw and pianist and songwriter John Lewis Nelson.

But even they couldn’t have predicted the global success that awaited their son.

Prince wrote his first song Funk Machine on his dad’s piano when he was just seven years old.

Prince performing in 1984.
Prince performing onstage during the 1984 Purple Rain Tour in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Getty

Over the years, he learned to master other instruments like guitar, bass guitar, drums and the synthesiser – and went on to win a staggering 32 music awards and was nominated for another 48.

It wasn’t just his musical ability and extensive vocal range that transfixed millions of fans around the world.

On stage, he transformed into different characters, and became known for his flamboyant and androgynous persona.

Prince was also known for his prolific output, releasing 39 albums during his life, with a vast array of unreleased projects left in a vault at his home after his death.

It is believed the vault contains dozens of fully produced albums and more than 50 music videos that have never been released, along with various other media.

He released hundreds of songs under his own name and multiple pseudonyms during his life, as well as writing songs that were made famous by other musicians, such as Nothing Compares 2 U and Manic Monday.

Prince was known for his extravagant, gender-bending outfits. Photo: Getty

In the midst of a contractual dispute with Warner Bros. in 1993, Prince changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol (known to fans as the Love Symbol), and was sometimes referred to as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince or TAFKAP, or simply the Artist.

The complete number of songs written by Prince ranges anywhere from 500 to well over 1000.

He died at the age of 57 in 2016 of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his home.