Prince, whose real name is Prince Rogers Nelson, was an American singer-songwriter whose particularity, apart from his physique and his totally extraordinary talent, is to have sold no less than 100 million records to date. A level of sales that makes him one of the artists who have sold the most records in the world to date.
The name "Prince" will be given to him originally from an idea of his father, a jazzman by profession and whose stage name was precisely Prince Rogers.
He composed his first songs at the age of 7, but it was ten years later, in 1975, that his artistic career really began with the group 94 East. In which he officiates as a guitarist but where he also co-writes certain pieces.
Everything accelerated a year later in 1976 when businessman Oweh Husney signed him to his first artist contract. He was only 17 at the time.
Thanks to this providential help, Prince signs in the wake of Warner Bros. for 3 albums. This is how his first album, "For you", was released in 1978. Incredibly, Prince was going to play alone of the 27 instruments needed to make the album !
Album which is highly regarded as a success thanks to titles like "Soft and wet" and "Just as long as we’re together".
A year later, in 1979, Prince released a new album that bears only his name. And this time, it's a real hit. Prince had his first worldwide hit with the title "I wanna be your lover", singles that will sell over a million copies ! The singer's notoriety literally explodes.
The year 1980 saw him release the album "Dirty mind", in the eyes of some too sulphurous. As a logical consequence, the public's reception is more mixed. The album has much lower sales scores than its predecessor. Only the single "Uptown" will painfully pull out of the game.
At the rate of one album per year, it was the album "Contoversy" which was released a year later in 1981. An album that rhymes with a return to success, notably thanks to the eponymous title.
In parallel with his solo career, Prince opens the parenthesis The Time, a group with which he will produce no less than 4 albums between 1981 and 1990. He will perform most of the instrumental parts as well as the Chorus part.
His solo career will suddenly take off considerably from 1982 with the release of the double album "1999". Album which will sell more than 3 million copies and will produce no less than 4 mega hits. Mega hits of which the most famous will remain the single of the name of the album, as well as "Little red corvette" whose clip will be at the time one of the most broadcast on MTV for an artist of color.
From 1984 a new group parenthesis began with The Revolution. An exceptional year for the artist, who also saw him release an album and then a film bearing the same name, the now famous "Purple Rain". The album will sell 13 million copies, a record ! And the album, which also serves as the soundtrack for the film, will produce three gigantic hits, "When doves cry", "Let’s go crazy" and "Purple rain". Prince achieves such a level of achievement that he is No.1 in the Charts albums and singles, as well as in theatrical entries for the film. Never seen !
Like other years, 1985 saw the release of an album. This time it will be "Around the world in a day". It is a new planetary tidal wave but a notch below its predecessor. The main extracts will be "Raspberry beret" and "Pop life".
A year later in 1986, the album "Parade" was released, a new flagship album which was to offer him one of his most prestigious hits with the single "Kiss". A huge hit that will shatter everything in its path and which will surely remain as one of his most emblematic.
And when he's not writing mega hits for himself, he allows himself the luxury of writing them for others. The proof with the sumptuous "Manic Monday" he offers on a set at the Bangles.
His new cinematic experience, on the other hand, turns out to be a fiasco. Under the Cherry Moon is a failure in theaters and can't even cover its production costs. So much so that Prince even receives awards for the worst director, worst actor and worst soundtrack of the year ...
This failure in no way weakened the artist's ardor and the year 1987 saw him set off again as a solo artist, notably thanks to the album "Sign o’ the times ". Another huge planetary success carried mainly by the single of the same name and its shock and charming duo with Sheena Easton on the title "U got the look".
The year 1988 saw the artist work on the album "The black album". More instrumental than average and heavily influenced by Hip Hop, this project did not actually see the light of day until 8 years later in 1994, Prince finding at the time the album too at odds with his religious beliefs.
One album chasing another, so it's the album "Lovesexy", more politically correct in his eyes, which will be officially released that year. Album with average success, given the exceptional volume of sales of the previous ones. And which will mainly produce the single "Alphabet St".
1984 was an exceptional year for the artist. 1989 will prove to be almost at the same level with an appetizer of a luxury participation on the album "Like a prayer" by Madonna (co-writing of the track "Love song" and recording of the electric guitar part of the tracks "Like a prayer”,“Keep it together” and “Act of contrition”). But it's especially on the soundtrack of the new Batman that Prince will do wonders. He thus produced a 9-track album specially for the film, including the enormous title "Batdance". Flagship title which remains to this day one of his biggest successes in the Charts.
In 1990, Prince remade the film album stunt, this time called "Graffiti bridge". Unfortunately, the result turns out to be the same as before, namely an album which obtains very honorable sales scores notably thanks to the single "Thieves in the temple". While the film makes a resounding flop.
Who says new decade, says new group parenthesis. The New Power Generation was born in 1991 and produced its first album the same year under the name "Diamonds and pearls". And for the first time, it is once again a complete success. The album was a huge success and brought Prince his biggest hit across the Channel as well as a new top hit with the single "Cream". Followed by just 3 other huge hits which are "Get off", "Diamonds and pearls" and "Money don’t matter 2 night".
Change of vintage and new album accordingly. The year 1992 saw the release of the album "Love symbol". Album which somewhat misses its target and only obtains rather disappointing sales scores given the size of the artist (it will only sell 2.8 million copies ...). The singles "Sexy MF" and "My name is Prince" were only relatively successful. Only "7" will save the furniture by entering the Top 10 Singles.
1993 will be the year for the release of a special compilation, including many ‘Face B’. Compilation which will also contain two new singles, "Pink cashmere" and "Peach". Which will once again be relatively successful.
It was from this period that the artist went "to war" against the majors of the recording industry. Starting with Warner Bros. He also took the opportunity to change his name. A new name, or rather a non-name, based on an incredible combination of the male symbol and the female symbol.
The year 1994 saw the (re) release of the album "The black album", 8 years after its production. An exit which ends in failure. Prince then returns to the charge with a new album, “Come”, but this one will not achieve the expected sales scores, far from it.
All will not be lost that year thanks to the release, via an independent distributor, of the single "The most beautiful girl in the world". Single which will give Prince his biggest hit single of the decade. Single from the album "The gold experience". Album, again with average success and which will be released a year later in 1995.
Paradoxical year 1996 with good and bad. The album "Chaos and disorder", released under the Warner Bros label, received a very mixed reception from the public. On the other hand, the album "Emancipation" (album mainly based on covers of titles by other artists) and released under the own label of Prince NPG Records, is a real success. Mainly thanks to the success of the single “Betcha by golly Wow!".
The year 1998 turns out to be catastrophic with an album "Crystal ball" which turns out to be a total failure. Partly due to unacceptable delivery times of up to 1 year (!) For some fans who pre-ordered it ...
A year later in 1999 two albums were released under two separate labels (!). “Rave Un2 the joy fantastic” for Arista Records and “The vault : old friends 4 sale” for Warner Bros. Once again, the one released for Warner is a failure. The one for Arista will do much better.
Unfortunately, the new millennium will not help matters. Prince continues to release album after album but the public is no longer really there ...
The artist will no longer manage to place a single single in the Top10 on the Charts side and will experience only a few successes with titles like "Musicology" in 2004 and "Black sweat" in 2006.
A second part of his career difficult to negotiate, like many ex-glory of the 80s, which will find a dramatic end on April 21, 2016 with the sudden death of the artist.
Tragic end of an alien, with an extraordinary look, just like his size, with immense talent, often bordering on genius and who will remain unquestionably and unchallenged as one of the greatest composers of the modern era. He will leave behind one of the most prolific discography of the last 30 years, all artists combined.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
I wanna be your lover 1979
Sexy dancer 1980
Dirty mind 1980
Little red corvette 1983
When doves cry 1984
Let’s go crazy 1984
Purple rain 1984
Raspberry beret 1985
Pop life 1985
Girls and boys 1986
Sign of the times 1987
U got the look 1987
I could never take the place of your man 1987
Alphabet St 1988
Glam slam 1988
I wish U heaven 1988
Thieves in the temple 1990
Get off 1991
Diamonds and pearls 1991
Money don’t matter 2 night 1992
Sexy MF 1992
My name is Prince 1992
The morning papers 1993
The most beautiful girl in the world 1994
I hate you 1995
Betcha by golly wow ! 1996
The greatest romance ever sold 1999
Black sweat 2006
1979 ... at the origin of the beginning of the genesis. The first steps of a little youngster (literally and figuratively) who will become one of the greatest dance music composers of the modern era
1980 ... the 'Prince' style is not yet asserted but we can feel the rhythms dawning on the horizon which will become its unique trademark
1980 ... an incredible start to the decade which saw him release no less than 7 singles in this year 1980. We immediately see the trend : with him, it will be quantity without denying quality, that's obvious !
1980 ... a sound and a style which are already perfectly in tune with the times. We immediately feel that this Prince has already understood everything, and especially anticipated everything !
1981 ... after some trial and error, this time the 'Prince' style is in place. And what style ! Now everything is ready for a wave of hits like the world has rarely seen ...
1982 ... there is the Prince before this title, and the Prince after ... It is THIS title that serves as the border between a normal career and that which will be his, that is to say exceptional and totally extraordinary ! A-MA-ZING !
1983 ... the rise in power is inexorable and the rest promises to be absolutely HUGE. We are only at the appetizers ...
1984 ... the vintage of the century ! A breathtaking year for the artist who saw him release an album that would very quickly become legendary. Starting with this title which will surely remain as one of his most emblematic. IN-CRE-DI-BLE !
1984 ... the year with 4 interplanetary hits with this second title which will be almost as strong as the previous one. A genius inspiration...carried by a bodily extravagance that hits the mark every time !
1984 ... his 'Mona Lisa' ! The title of a lifetime, the title of a year, the title of an era, the title of a decade, the title of a century. A Masterpiece which definitively and indisputably consecrates him as one of the greatest musical geniuses of the twentieth century
1985 ... how to match such an incredible year 1984...? 1985 can only be a little notch below. But for a singer of this build, even the cut below is a cut above all the others !
1985 ... a year of transition where one feels Prince slightly less inspired than before. It suddenly lacks that grain of madness that made all the difference ...
1986 ... but it was without counting on this AMAZING title, a new title with brilliant inspiration and which will literally set fire to all the Dancefloor on the planet. Surely one of the biggest dance hits of the end of the 20th century !
1986 ... the titles follow one another but are not necessarily alike. A title of certain quality but which is far, very far, from competing with its predecessor ...
1986 ... in an ocean of mega hits, he occasionally lacks inspiration. Brilliant inspiration of course because a 'little' hit for him is a mega hit for others
1986 ... paradoxically, this title is one of his best known and yet, on the Charts side, he will not reach the heights that many of his titles have reached. Go figure ...
1987 ... business resumes ! The change of vintage is salutary and sees the artist return to success, the big, the enormous, the interplanetary !
1987 ... rarely the artist will have lent himself to the game of the duo but in any case each attempt will have been crowned with success. The proof with this title !
1987 ... back in solo and of course, new success. Nothing and no one can stop him now and everything becomes disconcertingly easy for him ...
1988 ... as a rule, with him, the first single of a new year is a hit. And once again, the custom is respected !
1988 ... a lesser-known title which nevertheless largely deserves the detour. Almost better than the previous one, moreover ... Pure Prince !
1988 ... an inspiration which is constantly regenerating and which produces mega hit after mega hit. There are the mega mega hits and the little mega hits. This one would rather be part of the 2nd category ...
1989 ... what did I say...! The first single of a new year is guaranteed to be a success ... But then there is a double jackpot ! Probably one of his HUGE hits. A planetary tidal wave !
1989 ... in the wake and in the same vein. Batman here, Batman there. A little tour and there it is again !
1989 ... he excels in all areas, in all styles and all tempos. Extreme versatility reserved for the Elite. An elite which has only a dozen individuals at the planetary level ...
1990 ... change of decade and the law of the first hits of the year N°1 is no longer relevant. There had to be a minimum of change ...
1991 ... it's not always easy to find rare inspiration and produce amazing hits. We will have to be satisfied at this point with a nice little title, nothing more ... But the best is yet to come !
1991 ... speaking of inspiration, here is a damn well inspired one ! A title that will remain as one of the 2 biggest of the decade. Like what, with him, you have to be patient...there is always a hit hidden in the corners
1991 ... an enormous year 1991 which saw him produce no less than 3 mega hits. Never finished the boy !
1992 ... 1991 was another exceptional year for the artist, 1992 could not repeat the feat. A good vintage, once again, but a little lower. And with him, even a notch below remains exceptional compared to the average of what the competition can produce ...
1992 ... anyway, the incredible momentum that brought him to the height of fame and success never falters. A longevity at this level absolutely exceptional !
1992..that's for sure, his name is Prince, we confirm. A title wacky that will not remain as his best, that's clear. But even the worst of its titles is still well above average ...
1992 ... surely his most successful title of the year. More finesse, more curves, more of everything. When the inspiration is there, everything is fine !
1993 ... it is clear that the 90s will not have been as incredible for the singer as the 80s. But he will never have had to be ashamed of everything he produced during this new decade, it's clear...
1993 ... it is also clear that we will have alternated between the very good and the much less. This title would rather be part of the 2nd category unfortunately ...
1994 ... as brilliant in the excess as in the very fine. This time, it will be the second face of his decidedly incredible talent ...
1994 ... a year 1994 definitely placed under the sign of finesse and calm. A highly inspired year that shows that with him, nothing is ever over !
1995 ... a year 1995 which starts on the same bases as that of the year 1994, that is to say softness and finesse. And it all works perfectly !
1995 ... a calm Prince who unfolds a tailor-made title. This title is well worth gold !
1996 ... and what to say about it. The 1980s were the decade of Dance mega hits, the 1990s were the decade of Intimist top hits. What more !
1999 ... his last notorious hit of the decade. Certainly, he is no longer on the same dynamic as before, but he still has some under the pedal, that's clear !
2004.. almost 30 years after its debut, still here ! Difficult to compete with the youngsters of the moment but he clings, he clings !
2006 ... his last hit at all. The last hit of a totally mind-blowing, extraordinary career which produced several of the biggest hits of the century. Hats off to the artist !
Top Bonus : the story of a lifetime I
Top Bonus : the story of a lifetime II
Official Website :
Greatest Hits :