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His popularity, personality quirks, and public persona have led many to dismiss the self-described "skinny mother-fucker with the high voice" as just a less-successful Michael Jackson, which misses the point. By any other name, the man born Prince Rogers Nelson is a consummate musician, one of the best singers, guitarists and bassists in music today. Plus he has a rich musical vocabulary and manic thirst for new sounds, which keep him from being stuck in one bag (or even four or five). And he's an intelligent lyricist and makes the sexiest records I've ever heard.
Ed Roman has said many times "If you look up Cool in the dictionary there would be a picture of Prince.
After early success on the R&B charts, he sailed to multiplatinum status with 1999 in 1982, then became the Next Big thing when his album & movie Purple Rain hit in 1984. He's never again approached that sales level, but has continued a flood of hit singles and albums until beginning a public feud with his record company, Warner Bros, in 1993, the year he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol. In 1996, he married backup singer/dancer Mayte, got out of his contract, and had his first child, all of which inspired the triple album Emancipation; he spent much of 1997 and 1998 on the road, while compiling an outtake compilation and working on albums by childhood idols Chaka Khan and Larry Graham. Then he declared war on his internet fan community, filing lawsuits against a passel of websites and threatening the rest. After a failed 1999 attempt to copy Carlos Santana's "vet-plus-current-stars" comeback, he changed his name back to Prince and shifted focus to his internet-only NPG Music Club, where you can pay $100 a year to get a few unreleased songs and videos per month.
The lineups: Prince & the Revolution (Purple Rain,
Around The World In A Day, Parade) featured Wendy
Melvoin, guitar; Lisa Coleman & Matt Fink, keyboards; Brown Mark,
bass; Bobby Z, drums.