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The music world was rocked with news Thursday that iconic singer and songwriter Prince died after battling a recent illness. The Minneapolis native remains as one of the most influential musicians of his era, and his loss is nothing short of devastating.

Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958. His father, John Lewis Nelson was a pianist and songwriter, and his mother Mattie Shaw was a jazz vocalist. While in high school in Minneapolis, Prince began playing regularly in a band that featured Morris Day, future band mate Andre Cymone and others known about the city.

In the mid-seventies,  while still a teenager, Prince’s career began to explode as others began to take  notice of his vocal and songwriting ability along with his playing. Warner Bros. Records released Prince’s debut record, For You, in 1978. The following year, his self-titled LP launched the artist into stardom.

As one of the most prolific artists of all time, Prince released an amazing amount of material. With 39 studio albums, 13 EPs, four live albums, and dozens of singles, Prince’s output spans four decades. Beyond his work as a recording artist, Prince provided hit records to artists such as Sinead O’Connor, Madonna, The Bangles, The Time, Chaka Khan and several other acts.

Prince’s final studio album, HITnRUN Phase Two, was released last December. His last public appearance was at an impromptu dance party where the admission was only $10. Prince held the April 16 event, he tweeted,  “2 GIVE THANX 4 THE GOOD WEATHER AND 4 ALL THE LOVE AND SUPPORT…” after news broke that he had fallen ill days prior.

Sadly, the musical genius died just days later.

Rest Powerfully in Purple Peace, Prince.

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Remembering Prince Through the Years
15 photos

(Photo: AP)

2 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: Prince Rogers Nelson

  1. Tonya penny on said:

    I have always appreciated him as an artist, seems like I’ve learned more about him since his passing than when he was alive, a great gift of God 2 all that embraced him, RIH, WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

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