The Undisputed Power Of Prince

21 April 2019
Culture, Music, Prince
Warner Bros.
Remembering the music icon three years since his passing.

As fans around the world commemorate the anniversary of Prince’s death, we take a look back at how the man from the Midwest rose to become a music legend.

7 June 1958

Prince Rogers Nelson is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1965

Aged seven, Prince writes his first song “Funk Machine” on his father’s piano.

1978

Prince releases his debut album, For You. The lead single “Soft and Wet” peaks at number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1979

Prince releases his self-titled second studio album. Prince reaches number 22 on the Billboard 200 album chart, eventually going platinum.

1980

Prince releases Dirty Mind, his third album to critical acclaim.

Prince is the opening act for Rick James’ "Fire It Up" tour.

1981

Prince performs on Saturday Night Live for the first time.

Prince releases his fourth studio album titled Controversy.

Prince becomes one of the opening acts for The Rolling Stones.

1982

Prince releases his fifth studio album, 1999, the first of his releases to make the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart. The title track is also his first song to make the top ten in countries outside of the US. The album is certified quadruple platinum.

1983

The music video for “Little Red Corvette” from 1999 is one of the first two music videos by a black artist – the other being Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" – to be played regularly on MTV. 

Prince starts his rock band The Revolution.

1984

Prince receives his first two Grammy nominations for his work on 1999.

Prince stars in his first film, Purple Rain, releasing an accompanying album of the same name. The album spends 24 consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Prince becomes the first person in the US to simultaneously have a number one album, single and film.

1985

Prince wins an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain.

Prince wins two Grammys for Purple Rain: one for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and the other for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.

1986

Prince releases Parade, his eighth studio album, which serves as the soundtrack to his second film Under the Cherry Moon, which sees Prince star in the film and direct it.

"Kiss", the first single from Parade reaches number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The album goes platinum.

Prince disbands The Revolution.

1987

Prince releases Sign o’ the Times, his ninth studio album, which peaks at number six on the Billboard 200, and produces three top-ten hit singles. Sign o’ the Times is regarded as Prince's most critically acclaimed album.

Prince wins a Grammy for the song "Kiss".

1989

Prince records his eleventh studio album, Batman, that serves as the soundtrack to the film of the same name. The album peaks at number one on the Billboard 200, with the single "Batdance" topping the Billboard Hot 100.

Prince collaborates with Madonna on her album Like a Prayer, including co-writing and singing the duet "Love Song".

1991

Prince introduces his new band, The New Power Generation.

Prince releases his thirteenth studio album, Diamonds and Pearls. The album reaches the number three spot on the Billboard 200 chart, producing four hit singles.

1992

Prince releases his fourteenth studio album, officially titled as an unpronounceable symbol, which would later become known as Love Symbol. The album reaches number five on the Billboard 200.

1993

Prince adopts the “Love Symbol” as his stage name as he battles with Warner Bros. Records to have his music released.

1995

Prince releases The Gold Experience, his seventeenth studio album, which charts at number six on the Billboard 200.

1996

Chaos and Disorder, Prince's eighteenth and final album under Warner Bros. Records, is released.

Prince releases his aptly titled nineteenth studio album, Emancipation, that same year – it's the first of his records to feature covers of other artists. The album is certified platinum.

2000

Prince drops the “Love Symbol” as his stage name.

2004

Prince and Beyoncé perform together at the Grammys, opening the awards ceremony.

Prince is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Prince releases Musicology, the artist’s twenty-eighth studio album.

2005

Prince wins two Grammys: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his song “Call My Name”, and Best Traditional R&B Performance for his song “Musicology”.

Rolling Stone magazine ranks Prince at number 27 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".

2006

Prince releases his thirty-first studio album, 3121, and achieves his first number one debut on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Prince earns a Webby Award for his forward-thinking use of the internet, having released his album Crystal Ball exclusively online in 1998.

Prince is inducted in the UK Music Hall of Fame.

2007

Prince wins a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song (“The Song of the Heart”).

Prince performs at the Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show in Miami, Florida.

2008

Prince headlines the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

2010

Prince makes Time magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”.

Prince receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards.

Prince is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

2015

Prince releases the song “Baltimore” following the death of Freddie Gray.

21 April 2016

Prince dies of an accidental drug overdose aged 57.