Prince (musician)

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Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Prince was renowned as an innovator, and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, soul, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.

He went by the name Prince but between 1993 and 2000 he went by an unpronounceable symbol and was referred to The Artist Formerly Known as Prince. Prince has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. During his career, he produced ten platinum albums, had 40 top ten singles, and promoted singers such as Sheila E., Carmen Electra, The Time, and Vanity 6. He wrote over one thousand songs which have been released by himself, under a pen name, or by another artist. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility.


  • With special thanks
    2 Clare Fischer 4 Making Brighter the Colors
    Black and White
  • At this point, I wouldn't want to jinx it by meeting him. His arrangements are incredible. I just send him a tape, we talk on the phone, and he sends me the finished orchestra tracks. Hear that? I'm gonna get that chord on the radio!
    • Discussing his then nearly decade-and-a-half-long working relationship with arranger Clare Fischer (whom he'd never met, nor ever would meet, face to face), as quoted in the January 2000 issue of Keyboard Magazine, reprinted in Keyboard Presents Synth Gods (2011), edited by Ernie Rideout, p. 97
  • It's a hurtful place, the world, in and of itself. We don't need to add to it. And we're in a place now where we all need one another, and it's going to get rougher.
    • Tavis Smiley Show, PBS [1] (April 27, 2009).
  • Well, the reason why is because I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses and we've never voted. That's not to say that I don't think Barack Obama - President Obama - is a very smart individual and he seems like he means well. Prophecy is what we all have to go by now.
    • When asked why he doesn't vote, Tavis Smiley Show (April 27, 2009).
  • The internet's completely over. [...] The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you.
  • Chris Rock: I love the story of how you turned down an offer to appear in Michael Jackson's music video for, Bad.
    Prince: You know that Wesley Snipes character? That would've been me. Now you run that video in your mind. The first line in that song is "your butt is mine." Now I said to Michael, who's gonna sing that to whom? 'Cause you sure ain't singing it to me and I sure ain't singing it to you so right there we got a problem.
    • VH1 interview (1997) [2]
  • I've been to the mountaintop. There's nothing there.
    • To Jim Walsh, in context of writing new material.[1]

Song lyrics[edit]

Love... Thy will be done
I can no longer hide, I can no longer run
You can live your own life and I'll live mine
I will never try to keep you down
And even if I only see you some of the time
I'm just happy when you come around

For You (1978)[edit]

  • You can live your own life and I'll live mine
    I will never try to keep you down
    And even if I only see you some of the time
    I'm just happy when you come around
    And even if the sun don't shine
    I'm warm enough when you're in these arms of mine
    Just as long as we're together.

Prince (1979)[edit]

  • I wanna be your lover
    I wanna be the only one that makes you come running
    I wanna be your lover
    I wanna turn you on, turn you out, all night long, make you shout
    Oh, lover! Yeah.
    I wanna be the only one you come for.
  • There's some talk going 'round town
    That you really don't give a damn
    They say you really put me down
    When I'm doing the best I can
    I gave you all of my love
    I even gave you my body
    Tell me, baby, ain't that enough?

Dirty Mind (1980)[edit]

  • Now where I come from
    We don't let society
    Tell us how it's supposed to be
    Our clothes, our hair
    We don't care
    It's all about being there
    Everybody's going Uptown
    That's where I wanna be
    Set your mind free.

Controversy (1981)[edit]

  • I just can't believe all the things people say—Controversy
    Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay? -- Controversy
    Do I believe in God? Do I believe in me?
  • Do I believe in God? Do I believe in me?
    Some people wanna die so they can be free
    (I said) Life is just a game, we're all just the you wanna play?
    • Controversy
  • C'mon everybody, yeah, this is your life
    I'm talking about a revolution we gotta organize
    We don't need no segregation, we don't need no race
    New age revelation, I think we got a case.

    I'm OK as long as u are here with me
    Sexuality is all we ever need.

1999 (1982)[edit]

  • I was dreamin' when I wrote this
    So sue me if I go 2 fast.
    But life is just a party, and parties weren't meant 2 last.
    War is all around us, my mind says prepare 2 fight
    So if I gotta die I'm gonna listen 2 my body tonight.

    Yeah, they say two thousand zero zero party over,
    oops out of time
    So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999.

  • I guess I shoulda closed my eyes
    When U drove me 2 the place
    Where your horses run free.
    'Cuz I felt a little ill
    When I saw all the pictures
    Of the jockeys that were there before me.

    Believe it or not,
    I started to worry
    I wondered if I had enough class.
    But it was Saturday night
    I guess that makes it all right
    And U say, "Baby, have U got enough gas?"

  • I get delirious whenever you're near
    Lose all self-control, baby just can't steer
    Wheels get locked in place
    Stupid look on my face.
    It comes 2 makin' a pass, pretty mama
    I just can't win a race.

Purple Rain (1984)[edit]

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life.
  • Dearly beloved
    We are gathered here today
    2 get through this thing called life.

    Electric word life
    It means forever and that's a mighty long time
    But I'm here 2 tell U
    There's something else:
    The afterworld.

    A world of never ending happiness
    U can always see the sun, day or night.

  • So when u call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
    U know the one - Dr Everything'll Be Alright
    Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
    Ask him how much of your mind, baby.

    'Cuz in this life
    Things are much harder than in the afterworld
    In this life,
    You're on your own.

    • Let's Go Crazy
  • Dr. Everything'll Be Alright will make everything go wrong
    Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
    Hang tough children.
    • Let's Go Crazy
  • I knew a girl named Nikki
    I guess U could say she was a sex fiend
    I met her in a hotellobby
    Masturbating with a magazine.
    She said "How'd U like 2 waste some time?"
    And I could not resist when I saw little Nikki grind.
  • Dig if U will the picture
    Of U and I engaged in a kiss.
    The sweat of your body covers me.
    Can U my darling,
    Can U picture this?

    Dream if U can a courtyard,
    An ocean of violets in bloom.
    Animals strike curious poses;
    They feel the heat,
    The heat between me and U.

  • How can U just leave me standing?
    Alone in a world that's so cold? (So cold)
    Maybe I'm just 2 demanding
    Maybe I'm just like my father, 2 bold
    Maybe you're just like my mother
    She's never satisfied (She's never satisfied)
    Why do we scream at each other?
    This is what it sounds like
    When doves cry.
    • When Doves Cry
  • I'm not a woman;
    I'm not a man.
    I am something that U'll never understand.
    I'll never beat U;
    I'll never lie.
    And if U're evil I'll forgive U by and by.
  • I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow
    I never meant 2 cause u any pain
    I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing
    I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain.

Around the World in a Day (1985)[edit]

  • There is a park that is known
    4 the face it attracts
    colorful people whose hair
    On 1 side is swept back
    The smile on their faces
    It speaks of profound inner peace
    Ask where they're going
    They'll tell U nowhere
    They've taken a lifetime lease
    On Paisley Park.
  • I was workin' part-time in a 5-and-dime.
    My boss was Mr. McGee, huh.
    He told me several... times
    That he didn't like my kind cuz I was a bit 2 leisurely.
    It seems that I was busy doin' somethin' close 2 nothin',
    But different than the day before
    That's when I saw her, ooh, I saw her,
    She walked in through the out door ...out door.

    She wore a raspberry beret
    The kind U find in a second hand store
    Raspberry beret
    And if it was warm she wouldn't wear much more
    Raspberry beret
    I think I love her.

  • Pop life
    Everybody needs a thrill
    Pop life
    We all got a space 2 fill
    Pop life
    Everybody can't be on top
    But life it ain't real funky
    Unless it's got that pop
    Dig it.

Parade Under the Cherry Moon (1986)[edit]

  • I want to live life to the ultimate high,
    Maybe I'll die young like heroes die,
    Maybe I'll kiss you some wild special way.
    If nobody kills me or thrills me soon,
    I'll die in your arms under the cherry moon.
    • Under the Cherry Moon
  • Happiness in it's uncut form
    Is the feeling that I get, you're warm, warm
    Happy's what I get when we do what we do
    Happiness, mama, is being with u
    Good lord.
  • Women not girls rule my world
    I said they rule my world
    Act your age, mama (not your shoe size)
    Not your shoe size
    Maybe we could do the twirl
    U don't have 2 watch Dynasty
    2 have an attitude
    U just leave it all up 2 me
    My love will be your food

    U don't have 2 be rich
    2 be my girl
    U don't have 2 be cool
    2 rule my world
    Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
    I just want your extra time and your

Sign O' the Times (1987)[edit]

Here we are folks
The dream we all dream of…
  • Oh yeah
    In France a skinny man
    Died of a big disease with a little name
    By chance his girlfriend came across a needle
    And soon she did the same
    At home there are seventeen-year-old boys
    And their idea of fun
    Is being in a gang called The Disciples
    High on crack, totin' a machine gun.
  • Here we are folks
    The dream we all dream of
    Boy versus girl in the World Series of love
    Tell me, have U got the look?
  • U walked in (I walked in)
    I woke up (U woke up)
    I never seen a pretty girl look so tough' baby (baby)
    U got that look, yes U do (yes U do)
    Color U peach and black
    Color me takin' aback, baby
    Crucial, I think I wantcha.
    • U Got the Look

Lovesexy (1988)[edit]

  • I'm going down 2 Alphabet Street
    I'm gonna crown the first girl that I meet
    I'm gonna talk so sexy
    She'll want me from my head 2 my feet.
  • This feeling's so good in every single way,
    I want it morning, noon and night of every day;
    And if by chance I cannot have it, I can't say
    But with it I know heaven's just a kiss away.
    • Lovesexy

Batman (1989)[edit]

  • I've seen the future and it will be
    I've seen the future and it works
    If there's life after, we will see
    So I can't go like a jerk
    Systematic overthrow of the underclass
    Hollywood conjures images of the past
    New world needs spirituality that will last
    I've seen the future and it will be.

Graffiti Bridge (1990)[edit]

Pardon me 4 living, but this is my world 2
I can't help that what's cool to us might be strange to u.
  • Pardon me 4 living, but this is my world 2
    I can't help that what's cool to us might be strange to u.
    Pardon me 4 breathing, can we borrow some of your air?
    The problem with u and your kind is that u don't know love is there.

Diamonds and Pearls (1991)[edit]

  • Gett off - 23 positions in a 1 night stand.
    Gett off - I'll only call u after if u say I can.
    Gett off - let a woman be a woman and a man be a man.
    Gett off - if u want 2 baby here I am (Here I am).

The Gold Experience (1995)[edit]

Emancipation (1996)[edit]

  • It's 2 o'clock in the morning and I just can't sleep
    Outside the rain is pourin', I'm lonely as can be
    Maybe 2night'll be different than the nights before
    I need 2 feel someone beside me, I can't be alone no more

Musicology (2004)[edit]

  • I’ve never seen the moon look so lovely as the night I saw it with you.
    It let me know I’d never seen the moon before. (Never seen the moon before)
    So many speak of the moon as though it had no flaws.
    But to compare it to a beauty like yours would give one pause.

Quotes about Prince[edit]

I always thought, how cool the guy is — to rise up and to just get stormed upon — and just bring what he brought —  that was so special. ~ Bruce Rodgers
  • Somebody like Prince, who is so impressive as a human being, it is difficult to not completely canonize him. He is amazing, a gift to humanity. But at the same time, he was a guy we worked with every day and it could get really stressful and annoying. One day he'd come in and be all excited and energetic and happy and want to goof around. The next day he'd walk in really somber with a cloud over his head, mumble into the microphone, and be a dick. Evey show we played, he videotaped and made us watch on the bus afterward. He was charming and funny, but also boring, repetitive and self-absorbed.
    • Lisa Coleman, in Prince and The Parade and Sign o' the Times Era Studio Sessions 1985 and 1986 (2021) by Duane Tudahl
  • [M]ost of the pop music out today I consider to have become a homogenized product. It gets to the point that so much of what is going on is copying everything else that is out, because there is a businessman that knows what he has just sold millions of records with, and so he keeps trying to get every group that comes in to do it, you know. You know, you approach somebody who is well known as a booker or manager, and the first remark will be, "I love what you do, but you would have to change this to this, and that to that, and this to this, in order for me to be able to sell it." Well, by the time you've changed that, of course, it's like everything else that is out there. And when Prince first started sending me songs, I thought maybe that by the time I had done four arrangements that I would have started getting some sort of a repetitive something or other. I have been extremely surprised to find that each one is as different from the last as the next one is going to be different. Some of them are like little art songs. Some of them have dealt with heavy things like friendship and death. I mean, death of a friend. And yet, some of them are as baudy as...
  • I've talked to him on the phone, received notes through the mail, but I've never seen him face to face. I sent him my last LP and I understand that he turned his head away as he took the disc out, saying, "I don't want to see what he looks like. I have this image and I don't want to destroy it." So there's a certain amount of mystery involved. I suppose if he knew I were a gray-haired, older guy with a big paunch, he might say, "Oh, that ruins it."
  • Prince is intelligent. He never visits the studio when I am working for him; and I have never met him in person. He sends me memos and we talk over the phone. Once I sent him my Grammy-winning CD. I heard from people that were present at the time that while he took out the disc he looked away from the cover, saying, 'I don't want to know what he looks like. It is working just fine as it is.' Prince does not want to meet me because he knows that the minute he walks into a studio he will start interfering. It is uncommon that a person with such a strong ego realizes that I have an ego too.
  • The morning of the game, I opened the curtains in my hotel room, and Oh my God — it was like a scene from Moby Dick — it was like the winds were blowing the palm tress, the rains were one of those Miami rainstorms which would just not relent ... were in this truck, sitting behind Don Mischer, and I remember Don said, put me off the phone with Prince. Don says, "I want you to know it's raining" — and Prince, like: "Yes it's raining" — and "Are you OK?" And Prince was like "Can you make it rain harder?" — and I thought Right on! … To me its about one guy in front of a hundred thousand people, and a hundred million people on television, and its your moment to be "Prince — at the Super Bowl", and Mother Nature is dropping thousands and thousands of gallons of rain. I always thought, how cool the guy is — to rise up and to just get stormed upon — and just bring what he brought —  that was so special.
  • I think Prince was heads, hands and feet about all the rest of them, I thought he left (Michael) Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that. But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don't kid yourself, that's what he did. Slowly, I'll grant you … but that's what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.

External links[edit]

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  1. Walsh: I said to him, "Come on, man—don't you want to make another Sign o' the Times, another Purple Rain?" I don't know if I framed it exactly like that, but he said, "No, no—Jim, I've been to the mountaintop. There's nothing there."