The world was taken by shock this afternoon as word spread that iconic musician Prince was found dead in his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, MN today.
His untimely death comes just a week after his plane made an emergency landing following a concert in Atlanta. Although he was not hurt during the incident, he complained about not feeling well afterwards, and was rushed to the hospital in Illinois Friday. He was released, however, after just a few hours. At the time his rep told TMZ he had been battling the flu for several weeks.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, MN. In a PBS interview, Prince told Tavis Smiley that he was “born epileptic” and “used to have seizures” when he was young. During the interview, 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’s interest in music began at an early age, writing his first song at age seven. Although he recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes while in his late teens, he released his debut album For You in 1978, under the guidance of manager Owen Husney. The following year, his album Prince went platinum due to the success of the singles “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. His ensuing three records; “Dirty Mind” (1980), “Controversy” (1981), and “1999” (1982), continued his success, showcasing Prince’s trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporation of elements of rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop,. By 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution. At the time they released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name. He also starred in “Under the Cherry Moon” which featured Kristin Scott Thomas.
A prolific songwriter, Prince in the 1980s wrote songs for and produced work by many other acts, often under pseudonyms. He also continued to make a name for himself as a. renowned innovator and flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range.
At the time of his death, Prince sold over He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility, In November 2006, Prince was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, In fact, Rolling Stone has ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Despite his diminutive physique, Prince was romantically linked with many celebrities, including Kim Basinger, Madonna, Vanity, Sheila E., Carmen Electra, Susanna Hoffs, Anna Fantastic, Sherilyn Fenn, and Susan Moonsie of Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6.(who also recently died). He was engaged to Susannah Melvoin in 1985, then at the age of 37, married his then-22 year old backup singer and dancer Mayte Garcia on Valentine’s Day 1996. They had a son, Boy Gregory (born October 16, 1996), who was born with Pfeiffer syndrome and died a week after birth. Prince and Mayte divorced in 1999. In 2001, Prince married Manuela Testolini in a private ceremony. Testolini filed for divorce in May 2006. He also had a short-term relationship with protégée Bria Valente in 2007.