Prince Rogers Nelson was named by his dad, John L. Nelson, who fronted a Minneapolis jazz band called, "The Prince Rogers Trio." That's quite a name to live up to and Prince surpassed those expectations tenfold.
Meanwhile, my parents told me that if I was a girl I was going to be named Jill...a name I could never live up to.
There was originally a bass line in his massive hit, "When Doves Cry," but Prince took it out in the final mixing of the song. This was unheard of, especially for what is considered a dance/R&B tune. So why did he do it? You don't need to know why. Don't question the ways of Prince, rather blindly accept his brilliance and say thank you.
3. Prince Originally Did Not Write 'Kiss' for Himself
He wrote it for the band Mazarati, a funk/rock group on his Paisley Park label that was being produced by Prince's bass player, Brown Mark. As the story goes, Prince wrote the song fairly quickly and just gave it to the band, who then reworked it, making it a more sparse and minimalistic sound, similar to what the popular version is. They next day Prince heard it, liked it...and took it back. Prince offered them the chance to record the song "Jerk Out." Mazarati declined, and Prince gave it to The Time, and the song became their biggest hit.
His song "Darling Nikki" off of Purple Rain was so scandalous to the future Mrs. Vice President that in 1985 Tipper Gore formed the PMRC, or the Parents Music Resource Center, to combat songs that were deemed inappropriate for children. I mean, really, is the lyric, "I knew a girl named Nikki I guess you could say she was a sex fiend/I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine," that dirty?
Listen, I was a kid when I first heard that song and I turned out fine. Seriously...I AM FINE.
5. Prince Technically Did Not Write 'Manic Monday'
It is common knowledge that Prince wrote The Bangles breakout hit, "Manic Monday." The actual writing credit goes to a man named Christopher Tracy. Who is Christopher Tracy? Well, if you said it's Prince's nom de plume, you are correct. And if you said it was also the name of the character that Prince played in his second and underrated (yes, underrated) film, Under the Cherry Moon, then you are again correct and a big Prince fan.
But not as big as me...no one is as big of a Prince fan as me.
Many of Prince's song lyrics contain the number seven. There is his hit song "7," of course, as well as his B-side "17 Days," and such lyrics as "I begged for a kiss/she gave me 7" from "I Love U in Me, "Every Christmas night for 7 years now/I drink banana daiquiris 'til I'm blind," from "Another Lonely Christmas," to name a few. So what's the deal with Prince and the number seven?*
(*Please read that above sentence in a Seinfeld voice.)
Well, according to religious scholars, the number seven is associated with God and all things spiritual and mystic: concepts and ideas that Prince had always been fascinated with since a young child. Plus, he was born on June 7th...and he died at 10:07am.
Though a long-standing resident of Minneapolis, in 2004 Prince rented the LA home of NBA power forward Carlos Boozer, then went ahead and completely remodeled the entire place without the basketball player's permission (though Prince sent him a large check to pay for the costs to return it to normal). According to Boozer, Prince placed his logo front and center where Boozer previously had two lions, pillars were painted purple, a guest bedroom was converted into a hair salon and an exercise room was turned into a nightclub, complete with disco ball.
You're welcome, Carlos.
8. Prince and the King of Pop Almost Had a Collabo
Kevin Smith was once hired by Prince to direct a documentary in 2001. Smith had contacted him with the hopes of getting clearance for one of Prince's songs for his upcoming film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Prince, a big fan of Smith's 1999 film Dogma, said no to the song but how about a documentary about himself? Naturally, Smith jumped at the chance, did the documentary, only to have Prince put it into his infamous "Vault," declaring it was only for "private use."
I have a vault, too. Okay, it's really more of a drawer, and all it contains are scraps of paper from an unfinished spy novel, a few inkless pens, a LeBron James jersey that no longer fits me, and an endless supply of broken dreams.
He sang, he danced, he created brilliant music. But Prince could also roller skate like a winged angel. According to Roots drummer Questlove, when he was once invited by his Royal Badness to an after-hours skating party, "Prince had the briefcase out on the floor. He clicked the lock and opened it, and took out the strangest, most singular pair of roller skates I had ever seen. They were clear skates that lit up, and the wheels sent a multicolored spark trail into your path...He took them out and did a big lap around the rink. Man. He could skate like he could sing."