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Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016), known as Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was a musical innovator and known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, soul, psychedelia, and pop. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, the son of Mattie Della (née Shaw; 1933–2002) and John Lewis Nelson (1916–2001). His parents were both African American, and his family ancestry is centered in Louisiana; all four of his grandparents came from that state. Prince's father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer. Prince was named after his father, whose stage name was Prince Rogers, and who performed with a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. In a 1991 interview with A Current Affair, Prince's father said, "I named my son Prince because I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do". Prince's childhood nickname was Skipper.

He secured a recording contract with Warner Bros. at the age of 18, and released his album For You in 1978. His 1979 album Prince went platinum, and his next three records—Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)—continued his success, showcasing Prince's trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and blending of funk, dance, and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name and was met with widespread acclaim. After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded and Prince released the critically-acclaimed double album Sign o' the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting The New Power Generation band in 1991.

In the early 1990s, Prince became embroiled in a contractual battle with Warner Bros. In 1993, he changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol Prince logo.svg, also known as the "Love Symbol", and soon began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations to Warner Bros. He released five records between 1994 and 1996 before signing with Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as "Prince" again. He released 16 albums after that and his final album, HITnRUN Phase Two, was first released exclusively on the Tidal streaming service on December 11, 2015. Prince died at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57 after suffering from flu-like symptoms for over two weeks.

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