Prince
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“I named my son Prince because I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do.” So said Prince’s father, John L Nelson, in 1991. By that point, however, Prince had exceeded everyone’s expectations – except maybe his own. Thanks to the phenomenal success of Purple Rain, in 1984 Prince became the first artist since The Beatles to simultaneously hold the No.1 spot for a single (‘When Doves Cry’), album and film (both Purple Rain), and he was catapulted into super-stardom. What followed was an unparalleled run of albums (Around The World In A Day, Parade, Sign “O” The Times, Lovesexy) that both helped define the 80s and establish Prince as a fearlessly creative artist driven by a unique vision.

By the time John Nelson made his (under)statement, Prince was on the cusp of yet another audacious reinvention: changing his name to an unpronounceable glyph (dubbed “The Love Symbol”) and declaring that “Prince is dead”. The results were a very public battle with his then record label, Warner Bros, during which Prince fought for artists’ rights. Having changed the future of music in the 80s, he spent the 90s challenging the music business, pioneering internet distribution and looking for new ways to share his music.

When he died, on 21 April 2016, of an accidental overdose of opioid painkiller fentanyl, Prince left behind an awe-inspiring legacy that will take many years to fully understand. His mythical Vault reportedly contains enough unreleased music to amass an entire alternate discography – perhaps several alternate discographies – while his creative innovations have rightfully earned him the often over-used label of “genius”.

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Essential Albums

For You

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Prince

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Dirty Mind

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Controversy

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1999

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Purple Rain

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Around The World In A Day

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Lovesexy

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Art Official Age

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