His Royal Purpleness is 55 today!
55! The man barely looks over 30. Now, I must confess. I have loved him ever since I was 11 and I first heard ‘Let’s go Crazy’ from his Purple Rain album. As I have just knocked on the door of 40 – that is a mighty long time. In all honesty, I don’t think I could be friends with anyone who didn’t like his masterpiece – the epic ‘Sign O’ the Times’ double album released in 1987. If you ever have a long car journey, folks, I urge you to download it and you won’t ever regret it.
So as Prince Rogers Nelson, hailing from Minneapolis, celebrates being 55, I thought I’d throw out a few facts about the purple one:
He has sold over 100 million records worldwide! Prince produces, composes, write, arranges and plays almost every instrument on his albums. What else would you expect from the man who wrote his first album age 7. 7!!
He recorded his first album in 1978 called ‘For you’ and has gone on to release a further 25 studio albums 5 soundtracks, 2 live albums, 5 compilation albums and 10 internet albums. Phew! (If you never checked out a little known one called ‘Dirty Mind’ I promise you it is the funkiest one he ever made). He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, which was the first year he was eligible. He aint short of award either: nominated for 33 Grammys, he has won 7. He has also won a Golden Globe and an Academy award and several Brits…
Linked with many famous women over the years, Kim Basinger, Madonna, Susannah Hoffs, and Carmen Electra to name a few, he married his backup singer and dancer, Mayte Garcia on Valentine’s Day, 1996. They went on have a son, Boy Gregory in October 1996. Sadly he was born with Pfeiffer syndrome and died a week after birth. He has since married and divorced Manuela Testolini and is now dating Bria Valente.
According to rumour, Prince has a vault beneath his Minneapolis recording studios, where he keeps all his unreleased material. Apparently there are hundreds of songs there, but Prince refuses to share them with us all… While Rolling Stone magazine might rank him at no. 27 on their list of 100 greatest musicians of all time – in my heart he ranks as no.1.
I’ve been lucky enough to see him in concert three times – the last time being at the 02 in London when he played a record amount of 21 dates in a row, in July 2007. That summer he rocked out to half a million people – and we all fell under his spell. Singers, musician, artists, they come and go. But there will only ever be one musical genius like Prince.
Happy Birthday to the king of funk, heels and all.