A Rockapaedia Obituary
'Prince' Rogers Nelson died aged fifty-seven at his home in Paisley Park, California, U.S.A.
His representatives called Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a California specialist in addiction medicine and pain management, on April 20th 2016 seeking medical help for him. Kornfeld scheduled to meet with 'Prince' on April 22nd and he contacted a local physician who cleared his schedule for a physical examination on April 21st. On April 21st the Carver County Sheriff's Office received a 9-1-1 call requesting that an ambulance be sent to Prince's home at Paisley Park. The caller initially told the dispatcher that an unidentified person at the home was unconscious, then moments later said he was dead, and finally identified the person as 'Prince' Rogers Nelson. The caller was Dr. Kornfeld's son, who had flown in with buprenorphine that morning to devise a treatment plan for opioid addiction. Emergency responders found 'Prince' Rogers Nelsonun responsive in an elevator and performed CPR, but a paramedic said he had been dead for about six hours, and they were unable to revive him. A press release from the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Anoka County on June 2nd stated that 'Prince' Rogers Nelson had died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl.
Following an autopsy, his remains were cremated. On April 26th 2016, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's sister and only full sibling Tyka Nelson filed court documents in Carver County, to open a probate case, stating that no will had been found. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's five half-siblings also have a claim to his estate, that sums millions of dollars and included real state, stocks, cars, etc.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson's cremated remains were placed into a custom, 3D printed urn shaped like the Paisley Park estate.
''Prince' Rogers Nelson' was born on June 7th 1958 in Minneapolis, USA. His parents were both African-American and his family ancestry is based in Louisiana where all four of his grandparents came from. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's father was a pianist and songwriter, and his mother a jazz singer. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was given his father's stage name, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson, which his father used while performing with a jazz group called the NelsonRogers Trio. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's childhood nickname was Skipper. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson has said he was "born epileptic" and "used to have seizures" when he was young. He also said: "My mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, 'Mom, I'm not going to be sick anymore,' and she said, 'Why?' and I said, 'Because an angel told me so.'"
'Prince' Rogers Nelson had a sister sister, Tika Evene. Both siblings developed a keen interest in music, and this was encouraged by their father. 'Prince' Rogers Nelsonwrote his first tune, "Funk Machine", on his father's piano when he was seven years old. When 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was ten years old his parents separated. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson subsequently repeatedly switched homes, sometimes living with his father and sometimes with his mother and stepfather. He then moved into the home of neighbors named Anderson and befriended their son Andre.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson attended Minneapolis' Bryant Junior High and then Central High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. He played on Central's junior varsity basketball team, and continued to play basketball recreationally as an adult.
In 1975, Pepe Willie, the husband of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's cousin, Shauntel, formed the band '94 East'. Willie wrote the songs, and 'Prince' Rogers Nelson contributed guitar tracks. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson and Willie co-wrote the 94 East song, "Just Another Sucker".
In 1976, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson created a demo tape with producer Chris Moon, in Moon's Minneapolis studio. Unable to secure a recording contract, Moon brought the tape to Owen Husney, a Minneapolis businessman, who signed 'Prince' Rogers Nelson, age seventeen years old, to a management contract, and helped him create a demo at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis with producer & engineer David Z. With the help of Husney, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. The record company agreed to give 'Prince' Rogers Nelson creative control for three albums and ownership of the publishing rights. Husney and 'Prince' Rogers Nelson then left Minneapolis and moved to Sausalito, California, where 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's first album, 'For You', was recorded at Record Plant Studios. The album was mixed in Los Angeles and released on April 7th 1978. According to the 'For You' album notes, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson wrote, produced, arranged, composed, and played all twenty-seven instruments on the recording, except for the song "Soft and Wet", whose lyrics were co-written by Moon. The cost of recording the album was twice 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's initial advance. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson used the 'Prince' Music Co. to publish his songs. "Soft and Wet" reached Number twelve on the Hot Soul Singles chart and Number ninety-two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song "Just as Long as We're Together" reached Number ninety-one on the Hot Soul Singles chart.
In 1979, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson created a band with André Cymone on bass, Dez Dickerson on guitar, Gayle Chapman and Doctor Fink on keyboards, and Bobby Z. on drums. Their first show was at the Capri Theater on January 5th 1979. In October 1979 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released the album,''Prince' Rogers Nelson', which was Number four on the Billboard Top Rythm & Blues/Black Albums charts and Number twenty-two on the Billboard 200, and went platinum. It contained two Rythm & Blues hits: "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover" which sold over a million copies, and reached Number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number one for two weeks on the Hot Soul Singles chart. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson performed both these songs on January 26th, 1980, on American Bandstand.
In 1980, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released the album 'Dirty Mind', which contained sexually explicit material, including the title song, "Head", and the song "Sister", and was described by Stephen Thomas Erlewine as a "stunning, audacious amalgam of funk, new wave, Rythm & Blues, and pop, fueled by grinningly salacious sex and the desire to shock." Recorded in 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's own studio, this album was certified gold, and the single "Uptown" reached Number five on the Billboard Dance chart and Number five on the Hot Soul Singles charts. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was also the opening act for Rick James' 1980 'Fire It Up' tour.
In February 1981, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live, performing "Partyup". In October 1981, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released the album, 'Controversy'. He played several dates in support of it, at first as one of the opening acts for the Rolling Stones, on their US tour. He began 1982 with a small tour of college towns where he was the headlining act. The songs on 'Controversy' were published by Controversy Music – ASCAP, a practice he continued until the Emancipation album in 1996.
In 1981, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson formed a side project band called the Time. The band released four albums between 1981 and 1990, with 'Prince' Rogers Nelson writing and performing most of the instrumentation and backing vocals and with lead vocals by Morris Day. In late 1982, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a double album, '1999', which sold over three million copies. The title track was a protest against nuclear proliferation and became 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's first top ten hit in countries outside the USA. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's "Little Red Corvette" was one of the first two videos by black artists, along with Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", played in heavy rotation on MTV, which had been perceived as against "black music" until CBS President Walter Yetnikoff threatened to pull all CBS videos. The song "Delirious" also placed in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "International Lover" earned 'Prince' Rogers Nelson his first Grammy Award nomination at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards.
During this period 'Prince' Rogers Nelson referred to his band as the Revolution. . The band consisted of Lisa Coleman and Doctor Fink on keyboards, Bobby Z. on drums, Brown Mark on bass, and Dez Dickerson on guitar. Jill Jones, a backing singer, was also part of the lineup for the 1999 album and tour. Following the 1999 Tour, Dickerson left the group for religious reasons. In the book 'Possessed: The Rise and Fall of 'Prince', author Alex Hahn says that Dickerson was reluctant to sign a three-year contract and wanted to pursue other musical ventures. Dickerson was replaced by Coleman's friend Wendy Melvoin. At first the band was used sparsely in the studio, but this gradually changed during the mid-1980s.
A lead single from Purple Rain, "When Doves Cry" became a signature song of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's. It features an intro to a guitar solo and a Linn LM-1 drum machine, followed by a looped guttural vocal.
According to his former manager Bob Cavallo, in the early 1980s 'Prince' Rogers Nelson required his management to obtain a deal for him to star in a major motion picture, despite the fact that his exposure at that point was limited to several pop music hits and music videos. This resulted in the hit film Purple Rain, which starred 'Prince' Rogers Nelson and was loosely autobiographical, and the eponymous studio album, which was also the soundtrack to the film. The Purple Rain album sold more than thirteen million copies in the USA and spent twenty-four consecutive weeks at Number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The film won 'Prince' Rogers Nelson an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and grossed over sixty-eight million dollars in the USA. Songs from the film were hits on pop charts around the world; "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" reached Number one, and the title track reached Number two on the Billboard Hot 100. At one point in 1984, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson simultaneously had the Number one album, single, and film in the USA. It was the first time a singer had achieved this feat. The Purple Rain album is ranked seventy-second in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; it is also included on the list of Time magazine's All-Time 100 Albums. The album also produced two of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's first three Grammy Awards earned at the twenty-seventh Annual Grammy Awards—Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.
After Tipper Gore heard her eleven-year-old daughter Karenna listening to 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's song "Darling Nikki", which gained wide notoriety for its sexual lyrics and a reference to masturbation, she founded the Parents Music Resource Center. The center advocated the mandatory use of a warning label ("Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics") on the covers of records that have been judged to contain language or lyrical content unsuitable for minors. The recording industry later voluntarily complied with this request.
In 1985, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson announced that he would discontinue live performances and music videos after the release of his next album. His subsequent recording,'Around the World in a Day', held the Number-one spot on the Billboard 200 for three weeks. From that album, the single "Raspberry Beret" reached Number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Pop Life" reached Number seven.
In 1986, his album 'Parade' reached Number three on the Billboard 200 and Number two on the Rythm & Blues charts. The first single, "Kiss", with the video choreographed by Louis Falco, reached Number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In the same year, the song "Manic Monday", written by 'Prince' Rogers Nelson and recorded by The Bangles, reached Numbr two on the Hot 100 chart. The album 'Parade' served as the soundtrack for 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's second film, 'Under the Cherry Moon'. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson directed and starred in the movie, which also featured Kristin Scott Thomas. Although the Parade album went platinum, 'Under the Cherry Moon' received a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture), and 'Prince' Rogers Nelson received Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Director, Worst Actor, and Worst Original Song (for the song "Love or Money").
In 1986, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson began a series of live performances called the 'Hit n Run – Parade Tour'. After the tour 'Prince' Rogers Nelson disbanded The Revolution and fired Wendy & Lisa. Brown Mark quit the band; keyboardist Doctor Fink remained. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson recruited new band members Miko Weaver on guitar, Atlanta Bliss on trumpet, and Eric Leeds on saxophone.
Prior to the disbanding of The Revolution, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was working on two separate projects, The Revolution album Dream Factory and a solo effort, 'Camille'. Unlike the three previous band albums, 'Dream Factory' included input from the band members and featured songs with lead vocals by Wendy & Lisa. The Camille project saw 'Prince' Rogers Nelson create a new androgynous persona primarily singing in a sped-up, female-sounding voice. With the dismissal of The Revolution, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson consolidated material from both shelved albums, along with some new songs, into a three-LP album to be titled 'Crystal Ball'. Warner Bros. forced 'Prince' Rogers Nelson to trim the triple album to a double album, and 'Sign o' the Times' was released on March 31st 1987. The album peaked at Number six on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The first single, "Sign o' the Times", charted at Number three on the Hot 100. The follow-up single, "If I Was Your Girlfriend", charted at Number sixty-seven on the Hot 100 and went to Number twelve on Rythm & Blues chart. The third single, a duet with Sheena Easton, "U Got the Look", charted at Number two on the Hot 100 and Number eleven on the Rythm & Blues chart, and the final single, "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man", finished at Number ten on Hot 100 and Number fourteen on the Rythm & Blues chart. It was named the top album of the year by the Jazz & Pop critics' poll and sold three-point-two million copies. In Europe it performed well, and 'Prince' Rogers Nelson promoted the album overseas with a lengthy tour.
The Sign o' the Times tour was a success overseas, and Warner Bros. and 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's managers wanted to bring it to the US to promote sales of the album. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson did not want a full US tour, as he was ready to produce a new album. As a compromise, the last two nights of the tour were filmed for release in movie theaters. The film quality was thought substandard, and reshoots were done at 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's Paisley Park studios. The film 'Sign o' the Times' was released on November 20th 1987. The film got better reviews than Under the Cherry Moon, but its box-office receipts were minimal, and it quickly closed at cinemas.
The next album intended for release was 'The Black Album'.' More instrumental and funk and Rythm & Blues themed than recent releases, The Black Album also had 'Prince' Rogers Nelson experiment with hip hop music on the songs "Bob George" and "Dead on It". 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was set to release the album with a monochromatic black cover with only the catalog number printed, but after 500,000 copies had been pressed, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson imagined that the album was evil and had it recalled. It was later released by Warner Bros. as a limited edition album in 1994.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson went back in the studio for eight weeks and recorded Lovesexy. Released on May 10th 1988, Lovesexy serves as a spiritual opposite to the dark The Black Album. Every song is a solo effort by 'Prince' Rogers Nelson, except "Eye No", which was recorded with his backing band at the time. Lovesexy reached Number eleven on the Billboard 200 and Number five on the Rythm & Blues albums chart. The lead single, "Alphabet St.", peaked at Number eight on the Hot 100 and Number three on the Rythm & Blues chart; it sold seven hundred and fifty thousand copies.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson again took his post-Revolution backing band (minus the Bodyguards) on a three leg, 84-show Lovesexy World Tour; although the shows were well received by huge crowds, they lost money due to the expensive sets and props.
In 1989, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson appeared on Madonna's studio album Like a Prayer, co-writing and singing the duet "Love Song" and playing electric guitar on the songs "Like a Prayer", "Keep It Together", and "Act of Contrition". He also began work on several musical projects, including Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic and early drafts of his Graffiti Bridge film, but both were put on hold when he was asked by Batman director Tim Burton to record several songs for the upcoming live-action adaptation. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson went into the studio and produced an entire nine-track album that Warner Bros. released on June 20th 1989. Batman peaked at Number one on the Billboard 200, selling 4.3 million copies. The single "Batdance" topped the Billboard and Rythm & Blues charts.
The single, "The Arms of Orion" with Sheena Easton, charted at Number thirty-six and "Partyman" (also featuring the vocals of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's then-girlfriend, nicknamed Anna Fantastic) charted at Number eighteeen on the Hot 100 and at Number five on the Rythm & Blues chart, and the love ballad "Scandalous!" went to Number five on the Rythm & Blues chart. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson had to sign away all publishing rights to the songs on the album to Warner Bros. as part of the deal to do the soundtrack.
In 1990, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson went back on tour with a revamped band for his back-to-basics Nude Tour. With the departures of Boni Boyer, Sheila E., the horns, and Cat, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson brought in keyboardist Rosie Gaines, drummer Michael Bland, and dancing trio The Game Boyz. The European and Japanese tour was a financial success with a short, greatest hits setlist. As the year progressed, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson finished production on his fourth film, Graffiti Bridge, and the 1990 album of the same name. Initially, Warner Bros. was reluctant to fund the film, but with 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's assurances it would be a sequel to Purple Rain as well as the involvement of the original members of The Time, the studio approved the project. Released on August 20th 1990, the album reached Number six on the Billboard 200 and Rythm & Blues albums chart. The single "Thieves in the Temple" reached Number six on the Hot 100 and Number one on the Rythm & Blues chart; "Round and Round" placed at Number twelve on the US charts and Number two on the Rythm & Blues charts. The song featured the teenage Tevin Campbell (who also had a role in the film) on lead vocals. The film, released on November 20th 1990 grossed four-point-two million dollars. After the release of the film and album, the last remaining members of The Revolution, Miko Weaver and Doctor Fink, left 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's band.
1991 marked the debut of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's new band, the New Power Generation. With guitarist Miko Weaver and long-time keyboardist Doctor Fink gone, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson added bass player Sonny T., Tommy Barbarella on keyboards, and a brass section known as the Hornheads to go along with Levi Seacer (taking over on guitar), Rosie Gaines, Michael Bland, and the Game Boyz. With significant input from his band members, Diamonds and Pearls was released on October 1st 1991. Reaching Number three on the Billboard 200 album chart, Diamonds and Pearls saw four hit singles released in the United States. "Gett Off" peaked at Number twenty-one on the Hot 100 and Number six on the Rythm & Blues charts, followed by "Cream", which gave 'Prince' Rogers Nelson his fifth US Number one single. The title track "Diamonds and Pearls" became the album's third single, reaching Number three on the Hot 100 and the top spot on the Rythm & Blues charts. "Money Don't Matter 2 Night" peaked at Number twenty-three and Number fourteen on the Hot 100 and Rythm & Blues charts respectively.
In 1992, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson and The New Power Generation released his twelth album, 'Love Symbol Album', bearing only an unpronounceable symbol on the cover. The album peaked at Number five on the Billboard 200. The label wanted "7" to be the first single, but 'Prince' Rogers Nelson fought to place "My Name Is 'Prince' in that slot, as he "felt that the song's more hip-hoppery would appeal to the same audience" that had purchased the previous album. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson got his way, but "My Name Is 'Prince" reached Number thirty-six on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number twenty-three on the Rythm & Blues chart. The follow-up single "Sexy MF" charted at Number sixty-six on the Hot 100 and Number seventy-six on the Rythm & Blues chart. The label's preferred lead single choice "7" reached Number seven. 'Love Symbol Album' went on to sell two-point-eight million copies worldwide.
After two failed attempts in 1990 and 1991, Warner Bros. released a greatest hits compilation with the three-disc 'The Hits/The B-Sides' in 1993. . The collection features the majority of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's hit singles (with the exception of "Batdance" and other songs that appeared on the Batman soundtrack), and several previously hard-to-find recordings, including B-sides spanning the majority of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's career, as well as some previously unreleased tracks such as the Revolution-recorded "Power Fantastic" and a live recording of "Nothing Compares 2 U" with Rosie Gaines. Two new songs, "Pink Cashmere" and "Peach", were chosen as promotional singles to accompany the compilation album.
In 1994, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson began to release albums in quick succession as a means of releasing himself from his contractual obligations to Warner Bros. The label, he believed, was intent on limiting his artistic freedom by insisting that he release albums more sporadically. He also blamed Warner Bros. for the poor commercial performance of the Love Symbol Album, claiming they had marketed it insufficiently. It was out of these developments that the aborted 'The Black Album' was officially released, seven years after its initial recording. The "new" release was already in wide circulation as a bootleg. Warner Bros. then succumbed to 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's wishes to release an album of new material, to be entitled 'Come'.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson pushed to have his next album The Gold Experience released simultaneously with Love Symbol-era material. Warner Bros. allowed the single "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" to be released via a small, independent distributor, Bellmark Records, in February 1994. The release reached Number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and Number one in many other countries, but it did not prove to be a model for subsequent releases. Warner Bros. still resisted releasing The Gold Experience, fearing poor sales and citing "market saturation" as a defense. When released in September 1995, The Gold Experience reached the top ten of the Billboard 200 initially.
'Chaos and Disorder', released in 1996, was 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's final album of new material for Warner Bros., as well as one of his least commercially successful releases. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson attempted a major comeback later that year when, free of any further contractual obligations to Warner Bros., he released 'Emancipation , a thirty-six song, 3-CD set, each disc one hour long. The album was released via his own NPG Records with distribution through EMI. To publish his songs on Emancipation, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson did not use Controversy Music – ASCAP, which he had used for all his records since 1981, but rather used Emancipated Music Inc.
Certified Platinum by the RIAA, 'Emancipation' is the first record featuring covers by 'Prince' Rogers Nelson of songs of other artists: Joan Osborne's top ten hit song of 1995 "One of Us"; "Betcha by Golly Wow!" (written by Thomas Randolf Bell and Linda Creed); "I Can't Make You Love Me" (written by James Allen Shamblin II and Michael Barry Reid); and "La-La (Means I Love You)" (written by Thomas Randolf Bell and William Hart).
'Prince' Rogers Nelson released 'Crystal Ball', a five-CD collection of unreleased material, in 1998. The distribution of this album was disorderly, with some fans pre-ordering the album on his website up to a year before it was shipped; these pre-orders were delivered months after the record had gone on sale in retail stores. The retail edition has only four discs, as it is missing the Kamasutra disc. There are also two different packaging editions for retail; one is a four-disc sized jewel case with a white cover and the Love Symbol in a colored circle while the other contains all four discs in a round translucent snap jewel case. The discs are the same, as is the CD jacket. The Newpower Soul album was released three months later. His collaborations on Chaka Khan's Come 2 My House and Larry Graham's GCS2000, both released on the NPG Records label around the same time as Newpower Soul, were promoted by live appearances on Vibe with Sinbad and the NBC Today show's Summer Concert Series.
In 1999, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson once again signed with a major label, Arista Records, to release a new record, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic. In an attempt to make his new album a success, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson gave more interviews than at any other point in his career, appearing on MTV's Total Request Live (with his album cover on the front of the Virgin Megastore, in the background on TRL throughout the whole show), Larry King Live (with Larry Graham) and other media outlets. A few months earlier, Warner Bros. had also released The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale, a collection of unreleased material recorded by 'Prince' Rogers Nelson throughout his career.
The pay-per-view concert, Rave Un2 the Year 2000, was broadcast on December 31, 1999 and consisted of footage from the December 17th and 18th concerts of his 1999 tour. The concert featured appearances by guest musicians including Lenny Kravitz, George Clinton, Jimmy Russell, and The Time. It was released to home video the following year.
On May 16th, 2000, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson stopped using the Love Symbol moniker and returned to using "'Prince", after his publishing contract with Warner/Chappell expired. In a press conference, he stated that, after being freed from undesirable relationships associated with the name "'Prince'", he would revert to using his real name. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson continued to use the symbol as a logo and on album artwork and to play a Love Symbol-shaped guitar. For several years following the release of Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson primarily released new music through his Internet subscription service.
In 2002, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released his first live album, One Nite Alone... Live!, which features performances from the One Nite Alone...Tour. The 3-CD box set also includes a disc of "aftershow" music entitled It Ain't Over!. During this time, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson sought to engage more effectively with his fan base via the NPG Music Club, pre-concert sound checks, and at yearly "celebrations" at Paisley Park, his music studios. Fans were invited into the studio for tours, interviews, discussions and music-listening sessions. Some of these fan discussions were filmed for an unreleased documentary, directed by Kevin Smith.
On February 8th 2004, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson appeared at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards with Beyoncé. In a performance that opened the show, they performed a medley of "Purple Rain", "Let's Go Crazy", "Baby I'm a Star", and Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love". The following month, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The award was presented to him by Alicia Keys along with Big Boi and André 3000 of OutKast. As well as performing a trio of his own hits during the ceremony, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson also participated in a tribute to fellow inductee George Harrison in a rendering of Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", playing a two-minute guitar solo that ended the song. He also performed the song "Red House" as "Purple House" on the album Power of Soul.
In April 2004, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released 'Musicology' through a one-album agreement with Columbia Records. The album rose as high as the top five on some international charts (including the US, UK, Germany, and Australia). The US chart success was assisted by the CDs being included as part of the concert ticket purchase, thereby qualifying each CD (as chart rules then stood) to count toward US chart placement. Three months later, Spin named him the greatest frontman of all time. That same year, Rolling Stone magazine named 'Prince' as the highest-earning musician in the world, with an annual income of fifty-six-point-five million dollars, largely due to his Musicology Tour, which Pollstar named as the top concert draw among musicians in US. He played ninety-six concerts; the average ticket price for a show was sixty-one dollars. Musicology went on to receive two Grammy wins, for Best Male Rythm & Blues Vocal Performance for "Call My Name" and Best Traditional Rythm & Blues Vocal Performance for the title track. Musicology was also nominated for Best Rythm & Blues Song and Best Rythm & Blues Album, and "Cinnamon Girl" was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked 'Prince' Rogers Nelson Number twenty-seven on their list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In April 2005, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson played guitar (along with En Vogue singing backing vocals) on Stevie Wonder's single "So What the Fuss", Wonder's first since 1999.
In late 2005, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson signed with Universal Records to release his album, '3121', on March 21st 2006. The first single was "Te Amo Corazón", the video for which was directed by actress Salma Hayek and filmed in Marrakech, Morocco, featuring Argentine actress and singer Mía Maestro. The video for the second single, "Black Sweat", was nominated at the MTV VMAs for Best Cinematography. The immediate success of 3121 gave 'Prince' Rogers Nelson his first No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 with the album.
To promote the new album, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on February 4th 2006, 17 years after his last SNL appearance on the 15th anniversary special, and nearly twenty-five years since his first appearance on a regular episode in 1981.
At the 2006 Webby Awards on June 12th 'Prince' Rogers Nelson received a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his "visionary use of the Internet to distribute music and connect with audiences", exemplified by his decision to release his Long Playing record 'Crystal Ball ' exclusively online.
In July 2006, weeks after winning a Webby Award, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson shut down his NPG Music Club website, after more than five years of operation. On the day of the music club's shutdown, a lawsuit was filed against 'Prince' Rogers Nelson by the British company HM Publishing who were owners of the Nature Publishing Group and NPG. Despite these events occurring on the same day, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's attorney stated that the site did not close due to the trademark dispute.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson appeared at multiple award ceremonies in 2006: on February 15, he performed at the 2006 Brit Awards, along with Wendy & Lisa and Sheila E., and on June 27th 'Prince' Rogers Nelson appeared at the 2006 BET Awards, where he was awarded Best Male Rythm & Blues Artist. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson performed a medley of Chaka Khan songs for Khan's BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
In November 2006, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame; he appeared to collect his award but did not perform. Also in November 2006, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson opened a nightclub called 3121, in Las Vegas at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino. He performed weekly on Friday and Saturday nights until April 2007, when his contract with the Rio expired. On August 22nd 2006, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released 'Ultimate 'Prince'. The double disc set contains one CD of previous hits, and another of extended versions and mixes of material that had largely only previously been available on vinyl record B-sides. That same year, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson wrote and performed a song for the hit animated film Happy Feet. The song, "The Song of the Heart", appears on the film's soundtrack, which also features a cover of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's earlier hit "Kiss", sung by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. In January 2007, "The Song of the Heart" won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
On February 2nd 2007, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson played at the Super Bowl XLI press conference, and the Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show in Miami, Florida on February 4th 2007, on a large stage shaped like his symbol. The event was carried to 140 million television viewers, his biggest ever audience. In 2015, Billboard.com ranked the performance as the greatest Super Bowl performance ever.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson played twenty-one concerts in London during mid-2007. The Earth Tour included twenty-one nights at the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena, with Maceo Parker in his band. Tickets for the O2 Arena were capped by 'Prince' Rogers Nelson at £31.21. The residency at the O2 Arena was increased to 15 nights after all 140,000 tickets for the original seven sold out in 20 minutes. It was then further extended to 21 nights.
On June 28th 2007, the Mail on Sunday stated that it had made a deal to give 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's new album, Planet Earth, away for free with the paper, making it the first place in the world to get the album. This move sparked controversy among music distributors and also led the UK arm of 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's distributor, Sony BMG, to withdraw from distributing the album in UK stores. The UK's largest high street music retailer, HMV, stocked the paper on release day due to the giveaway. On July 7th 2007, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson returned to Minneapolis to perform three shows. He performed concerts at the Macy's Auditorium (to promote his new perfume "3121") on Nicollet Mall, the Target Center arena, and First Avenue. It was the first time he had played at First Avenue, the club appearing in the film Purple Rain, since 1987.
From 2008, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was managed by UK-based Kiran Sharma. On April 25th 2008, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he debuted a new song, "Turn Me Loose". Only Days after, he headlined the 2008 Coachella Festival. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was paid more than five million dollars for his performance at Coachella, according to Reuters. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson cancelled a concert, planned at Dublin's Croke Park on June 16th 2008, at 10 days' notice. In October 2009 promoters MCD Productions went to court to sue him for one-point-six million Euros to refund 55,126 tickets. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson settled the case out of court in February 2010 for two-point-nine-five million dollars. During the trial, it was said that 'Prince' Rogers Nelson had been offered twenty-two million dollars for seven concerts as part of a proposed 2008 European tour. In October 2008, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a live album entitled Indigo Nights, a collection of songs performed live at aftershows in the IndigO2.
On December 18th 2008, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson premiered four songs from his new album on LA's Indie rock radio station Indie 103.1. The radio station's programmers Max Tolkoff and Mark Sovel had been invited to 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's home to hear the new rock-oriented music. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson gave them a CD with four songs to premiere on their radio station. The music debuted the next day on Jonesy's Jukebox, hosted by former Sex Pistol Steve Jones.
On January 3rd 2009, the new website LotusFlow3r.com was launched, streaming and selling some of the recently aired material and concert tickets. On January 31st 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released two more songs on LotusFlow3r.com: "Disco Jellyfish", and "Another Boy". "Chocolate Box", "Colonized Mind", and "All This Love" were later released on the website. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a triple album set containing Lotusflower, MPLSoUND, and an album credited to Bria Valente, called Elixer, on March 24th 2009, followed by a solid release on March 29th.
On July 18th 2009, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson performed two shows at the Montreux Jazz Festival, backed by The New Power Generation including Rhonda Smith, Renato Neto and John Blackwell. On October 11th 2009, he gave two surprise concerts at the Grand Palais. On October 12th he gave another surprise performance at La Cigale.
In January 2010, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson wrote a new song, "Purple and Gold", inspired by his visit to a Minnesota Vikings football game against the Dallas Cowboys. The following month, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson let Minneapolis-area public radio station 89.3 The Current premiere his new song "Cause and Effect" as a gesture in support of independent radio.
In 2010, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was listed in Time magazine's annual ranking of the "100 Most Influential People in the World".
'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a new single on Minneapolis radio station 89.3 The Current called "Hot Summer" on June 7th his 52nd birthday. Also in June, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson appeared on the cover of the July 2010 issue of Ebony, and he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 BET Awards.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson released his album 20Ten in July 2010 as a free covermount with publications in the UK, Belgium, Germany, and France. He refused album access to digital download services and closed LotusFlow3r.com.
On July 4th 2010, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson began his 20Ten Tour, a concert tour in two legs with shows in Europe. The second leg began on October 15th and ended with a concert following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 14th. The second half of the tour had a new band, John Blackwell, Ida Kristine Nielsen, and Sheila E. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson let Europe 1 debut the snippet of his new song "Rich Friends" from the new album 20Ten Deluxe on October 8th 2010. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson started the Welcome 2 Tour on December 15th 2010.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame on December 7th 2010.
On February 12th 2011, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson presented Barbra Streisand with an award and donated one and a half million dollars to charities. On the same day, it was reported that he had not authorized the television show Glee to cover his hit "Kiss", in an episode that had already been filmed.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson headlined the Hop Farm Festival on July 3rd 2011, marking his first UK show since 2007 and his first ever UK festival appearance.
Despite having previously rejected the Internet for music distribution, on November 24th 2011, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a reworked version of the previously unreleased song "Extraloveable" through both iTunes and Spotify. Purple Music, a Switzerland-based record label, released a CD single "Dance 4 Me" on December 12th 2011, as part of a club remixes package including Bria Valente CD single "2 Nite" released on February 23rd 2012. The CD features club remixes by Jamie Lewis and David Alexander, produced by 'Prince' Rogers Nelson.
In January 2013, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a lyric video for a new song called "Screwdriver". In April 2013, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson announced a West Coast tour titled Live Out Loud Tour with 3rdeyegirl as his backing band. The final two dates of the first leg of the tour were in Minneapolis where former Revolution drummer Bobby Z. sat in as guest drummer on both shows. In May, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson announced a deal with Kobalt Music to market and distribute his music.
On August 14th 2013, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a new solo single for download through the website 3rdeyegirl.com. The single "Breakfast Can Wait" had cover art featuring comedian Dave Chappelle's impersonation of the singer in a sketch on the 2000s Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show.
In February 2014, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson performed concerts with 3rdeyegirl in London titled the Hit and Run Tour. Beginning with intimate shows, the first was held at the London home of singer Lianne La Havas, followed by two performances of what 'Prince' Rogers Nelson described as a "sound check" at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, and another at Shepherds Bush Empire. On April 18th 2014, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a new single entitled "The Breakdown". He re-signed with his former label, Warner Bros. Records after an eighteen-year split. Warner announced that 'Prince' Rogers Nelson would release a remastered deluxe edition of his 1984 album Purple Rain in 2014 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album. In return, Warner gave 'Prince' Rogers Nelson ownership of the master recordings of his Warner recordings.
In spring 2014 he launched NPG Publishing, a music company to administer his own music and that of other artists, without the restrictions of mainstream record companies.
In May 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray and the subsequent riots, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson released a song entitled "Baltimore" in tribute to Gray and in support of the protesters in Baltimore. He also held a tribute concert for Gray at his Paisley Park estate called "Dance Rally 4 Peace" in which he encouraged fans to wear the colour grey in honor of Freddie Gray.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson's penultimate album, Hit 'n' Run Phase One, was first made available on September 7th 2015, on the music streaming service Tidal before being released on CD and download on September 14th. His last album, Hit n Run Phase Two, was meant as a continuation of this one, and was released on Tidal for streaming and download on December 12th 2015.
The first projects to be announced following 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's death were a greatest hits album, 4ever, which was released in November 2016, and an expanded and remastered reissue of Purple Rain for 2017.
An EP featuring six unreleased 'Prince' Rogers Nelson recordings, titled Deliverance, was announced on April 19th 2017, with an expected release date for later that same week. The next day, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's estate was granted a temporary restraining order against George Ian Boxill - an engineer who co-produced the tracks and was in possession of the master tapes - and halted the release of the EP.
On February 9th, 2017, 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's estate signed a distribution deal with Universal Music Group, which includes the post-1995 recordings on his NPG Records label and unreleased tracks from his vault. However, on June 27th Comerica, acting on behalf of the estate, requested that Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide cancel the estate's deal with Universal, as UMG's contract would interfere with a contract with Warner Music Group that 'Prince' Rogers Nelson signed in 2014. WMG would lose the rights to 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's pre-1993 library in 2021. After Universal's attorneys were granted access to the Warner contract, the attorneys also offered to cancel the deal. On July 13th the court voided Universal's deal with 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's estate, though Universal will continue to administer 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's songwriting credits and create merchandise.
Following his death, fans left flowers, purple balloons, and mementos beneath 'Prince' Rogers Nelson's star painted on the front of the First Avenue nightclub.
'Prince' Rogers Nelson saw Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg, a Twin Cities specialist in family medicine in Excelsior, on April 7th 2016, and again on April 20th. On April 7th 'Prince' Rogers Nelson postponed two performances at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta from his Piano & A Microphone Tour; the venue released a statement saying he had influenza. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson rescheduled and performed the show on April 14th even though he still was not feeling well. While flying back to Minneapolis early the next morning, he became unresponsive, and his private jet made an emergency landing at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, where he was hospitalized and received Narcan, but he left against medical advice. Representatives said he suffered from dehydration and had influenza for several weeks. 'Prince' Rogers Nelson was seen bicycling the next day in his hometown of Chanhassen. He shopped that evening at the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis for Record Store Day and made a brief appearance at an impromptu dance party at his Paisley Park recording studio complex, stating that he was feeling fine. On April 19th he attended a performance by singer Lizz Wright at the Dakota Jazz Club.