There's nothing here yet
By The Librarian
español / Italiano
Part of a series on: Jehovah's Witnesses >
Serena Williams- tennis player ; 8 Grand Slam champion. Her "baptized" status is disputed since she has never been disfellowshipped for having a baby out of wedlock with Drake or her publicly nude photographs. Let's just say she is now the most famous celebrity who CLAIMS to be one.
Venus Williams - tennis player ; 5 time Grand Slam champion
Damon Wayans - TV and Film Comedy Star. Part of "The Wayans Brothers" TV show back in the 1990's. - Their father was a JW (someone mentioned even Anointed)
Michael Jackson's Children and Mother Katherine Jackson
Rebbie Jackson - Singer, daughter of Katherine Jackson
Prince Rogers Nelson
Marques Houston - Singer and former member of the kid group "Immature" (and his manager)
Luke Evans - Actor
Coco Rocha- International Fashion Model
Terrence Howard - actor; Ray, Hustle & Flow, etc. Children and brother are JWs. Studied when he was 17 years old.
Bria Valente - Prince's Ex-GF back in 2007 - She has since remarried to another brother
George Benson - Musician / singer (see also: George Benson and Friends - Sing Praises to Jehovah)
**El General** - Panamanian singer
Bobby Martin - Grammy winning producer.
Mateo - African Musician
Aoife Ní Thuairisg - Irish Television Presenter
Tulsi Giri - Prime Minister of Nepal
Bill Underwood - Reporter for the Phoenix Times Examiner
Alexander P. Stewart - US Civil War Confederate General
Allison Lozz - Mexican Actress (former). recently left novelas (soap operas) to be a more active in the ministry, Spanish speaking members would know them.
Maurizio Bianchi - Musician
Ivana Brkic - Croatian Musician
Angelo Palego - Leader of team searching for Noah's Ark
Firpo Carr - Historian, author of Germany's Black Holocaust: 1890-1945; Wicked Words: Poisoned Minds - Racism in the Dictionary; founder: Scholar Technological Institute of Research, Inc. (STIR)
Henry Carr - Olympian and NFL player (deceased)
Herman Pizzanelli - Leading Uruguayan concert guitarist in the 1960s (convert to JWs)
Willie Wise - NBA professional basketball player for Seattle Super Sonics and Denver Nuggets
Dave Meyers - Professional basketball player (Los Angeles Lakers in 1970s)
Mark McCumber - Professional golfer
Dave Pear - NFL professional football player for Colts, Buccaneers, and Raiders (convert)
Kid Gavilan - welterweight champion boxer; elected to boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 (convert to JWs)
Jorge Påez "El Maromero" - Boxing World Champion
Pele Reid - Boxing Champion
Shont'e Peoples - professional football player (Saskatchewan Roughriders); convert to JWs
La Lupe - Cuban salsa singer (convert)
Janis Gill - ex wife of country music superstar, Vince Gill, is one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Vince Gill is NOT a Witness. He is strongly and violently opposed.
Fedor Chistyakov - Russian Singer
Richard Cameron - Dutch Musician
Valerie Campbell - Mother of Naomi Campbell
Tom Edur - Former NHL ice hockey player
Mrs.Ida Eisenhower - (Mother of President Dwight D Eisenhower)
Leopold Engleitner - Buchenwald concentration camp survivor and centenarian
Mickey Spillane - Novelist
Larry Graham - Sly & the Family Stone
Danny Granger - Indiana Pacers small forward; Professional Basketball Player
Teresa Graves - Reputedly the first black woman to play the lead in a police movie, also a singer
Gary Gygax - Co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons
Scott Johnson - Actor
Phillip Landry - Musican
Maher Shalal Hash Baz - Japanese musician, name comes from the Book of Isaiah
Margaret Keane - "Big Eyes" artist who said converting "changed her life."
Peter Knowles - Famous soccer player in England who quit his football career in 1970 aged 24 to join the Jehovah's Witnesses
Brian Locking - Bass guitarist with The Shadows for eighteen months, but left to Jehovah's Witnesses activities.
Hank Marvin - Lead guitarist for The Shadows
Bohumil Müller - Czech survivor of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp and underground religious leader under Communism.
Viv Nicholson - famous London lottery winner in 1961. She then became a devout JW. The musical Spend, Spend, Spend was based on her story.
Evelyn Ntoko (first wife of Nelson Mandela)
Lieby Piliso - Nelson Mandela's younger sister
Ken Richmond - The man who banged the gong in the Rank Organisation film logo from 1955 onward.
**Gevorg Petrosyanm** -The Georgian-Armenian “Caruso,” who drives a taxi, but dreams of the stage
Miu Sakamoto - Japanese Singer, a Daughter of Ryuichi Sakamoto andAkiko Yano
Damo Suzuki (Converted in the 1970s, current membership status uncertain)
Bobby Tambling - English footballer
Phil Terry - member of the 60's R&B group The Intruders.
David Thomas - Avant-garde rocker, "Jehovah's Kingdom come"
Jean Terrell - Replaced Diana Ross in the Supremes in 1970.
Akira Toriyama - Japanese Mangaka(Cartoonist), Author of Dragon Ball(Manga)
Yoshito Usui - Japanese Mangaka, Author of Crayon Shin-chan
Reena Virk - Canadian child murder victim
Lark Voorhies - actress, Saved By The Bell
Lou Whitaker - Former MLB baseball player for the Detroit Tigers.
Chet Lemon - played with the Detroit Tigers along with Lou Whitaker
Akiko Yano - Japanese Singer, Former wife of Ryuichi Sakamoto
Solveig Romero - Mexico and Switzerland, Actress and wife of Martin Campbell, the director of James Bond Casino Royale
Chuck Winfield - Former Trumpet player for Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
Rosalia Valdez - Former actress who left fame in Mexico to become a witness, daughter of famous Tin Tan Valdez.
Carmina Villarroel - Filipino actress
Patience Dlaminh - a weather forecast reporter in South Africa / Regional 'celebrity'
Red Shea - Guitarist for Gordon Lightfoot (passed away in 2008)
Tom Reynolds - He was one of the singers in the late 60's early 70's band 'Hamilton, Joe,Frank, & Reynolds.
Toun Oni - Nigerian actress (featured in the TV drama 'fuji house of commotion') She was an active witness before her death a few months ago. In fact, she died of heart problems during the Lekki assembly hall construction work.
Paul i.k Dairo (used to be one of Nigeria's top musicians); Last i heard of him, he is one of Jehovah witnesses.
Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig - a scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Germany
Hayden Covington - leading attorney for the Jehovah's Witnesses, Watchtower Society; won multiple U.S. Supreme Court cases; represented Muhammad Ali in court [not sure if he left eventually or not?]
Chappel Fisher - Country Music DJ in Florida, USA
Michael Worilds - NFL Player
Tony Garcia - Artist, DJ, Producer, Re-mixer, Arranger, Composer,Writer of Dance Music EDM, Funk Melody Freestyle Music Owner of High Power Records
Honorable B. Dwight Goains - US Federal Judge
Micaiah and Tabitha Bethune - Owners of the Fashion Industry "The Wild Life Reserve" out of New Orleans
Alex Rance - Soccer Star
Pavel Pavlov & Aleksandr Kryukov - Ukrainian YouTube Stars
Minh Hung Godenzi - Miss Hong Kong 1984
Danny Collision - NBA Player currently in California
Clarion Chukwurah - Nollywood Actress
Irina Bohr - Russian singer
Alisson Euler de Freitas Castro - Brazilian Footballer
Carlos Gonzaga - Brazilian Singer
Andriy Mykolayovych Nesmachniy (Ukrainian: Андрій Миколайович Несмачний)
PC-One - Star of Slam in Haiti
Jacy Brean - Author
Mina Godenzi - Actress, Model and Miss Hong Kong
Phillip Ingram - Musician
Ramón Gómez Valdés de Castillo aka "Don Ramón" - Famous Mexican Actor
Kenya Moore - not sure as to her current status though.
Anneliese Zelina - Model
Raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses
Dwight D. Eisenhower - WWII General and Former President of the USA
Childish Gambino Rapper, TV actor
Michael Sam - First Gay NFL football player
Nathan Day, frontman of grunge / Britpop group Darlia - "I grew up with a family whose parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses, so I felt very isolated."
Kia Kahlo- Witness to rap
Dwight David Eisenhower who became the 34th President of the United States (1953–1961)
Meg Myers - Musician / Singer
Nathan Haines - Saxophonist
Shushila Takao - Actress in New Zealand show "Filthy Rich"
Kim Holland - Dutch Porn Actress
Little Scream - Montreal musician
Kelsey Lu - Fashion model
Rebekah Vardy - I'm a Celeb star
Alex Avery - Comedian in Portland, OR
List of former Jehovah's Witnesses
Michelle Rodriguez - actress, raised by mother
Donald Glover - (aka Childish Gambino)
Gregg Alexander - The New Radicals' lead singer; raised by mother
Carol M. Swain - political scientist; professor at Vanderbilt University; author of Black Faces, Black Interests and The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration; left the Witnesses at the age of 20, in 1975 (Ms. Swain was born in 1954 into an extremely poor household in rural Virginia, not far from Roanoke. She grew up with 11 brothers and sisters, dropped out of school in the ninth grade and married at age 16 -- in part, she says, because she saw no need to plan for a lengthy future. She was a Jehovah's Witness, and she believed that Armageddon would begin in 1975)
Peter Andre - Singer raised in Australia, presently living in London with wife pin up model *Jordan
Naomi Campbell- Supermodel; Raised by mother
Geri Halliwell - Singer (Spice Girls); Raised as a Jehovah's Witness[verification needed]
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison - American writer of Visions of Glory: A History and a Memory of Jehovah's Witnesses(converted to Catholicism)
Nancy Garrido - the now infamous kidnapper of Jaycee Dugard
Michael Jackson - Michael became a Jehovah's Witness but disassociated himself shortly after his hit album, Thriller
Olin R. Moyle - Former Watchtower Chief Attorney
Dave Mustaine - Guitarist (ex-Metallica; Megadeth; ex- MD .45)
Miki Nakatani - JapaneseActress, Raised as a Jehovah's Witness
Gloria Naylor - novelist, author of The Women of Brewster Place (1982, American Book Award)
Patti Smith - Singer and poet
Jill Scott-Singer; raised as one of Jehovah's Witness
Hinano Yoshikawa - JapaneseFashion model and actress, Raised as a Jehovah's Witness
K-os - Canadian R&B artist ; Raised Jehovah's Witness
Rene Montes de Oca Martija - dissident human-rights activist in Cuba (son of JW)
Selena Quintanilla Perez - __Tejano__ singer ; raised Jehovah's Witnesses
Sherri Shepherd from The View. Her father is an elder in his congregation.
Jill Scott - a singer,poet & actress from USA, she played in the movie-'why did i get married'
Maureen Mwanawasa, wife of late Zambian president, though she disassociated herself, but she still attends meetings. the late president was also studying with JWs, his mother was a JW. his children also attend meetings, i think one is a publisher.
Thandiwe Banda our current Zambian first lady who was a JW until recently when she disassociated herself. Reportedly a former pioneer.
Mamontha Modise was a JW. travels all over the world to report current news 2 South Africans.
Ja Rule - Rapper - raised a jehovahs witness and is no longer one, in an interview he said his mother was disfellowshipped
Jaywon; currently a musician, was raised a witness, later decided to follow a way of life thats suits him.
Rick Haynes - Musician
Travis Scott - NFL football player for Rams (raised JW)
Scott Cheshire - Gotham City Writers
Eddie Griffin - Comedian
Leaders of the music band Shakespeare's Unit
Eddie Murphy - Not verified yet
Josh Groban - We don't know what to think yet.. ? Some have suspicions....
Omarion - I believe he is only "studying"
Jackie Chan - (I still don't believe the photo)
Some people have wondered if we have listed people who simply studied briefly with Jehovah's Witnesses. As far as we know, this is not the case. Anybody can sit down and meet with Jehovah's Witnesses to study their beliefs. In no way would we consider that grounds for identifying somebody as a Jehovah's Witness. All of the people listed on our page have actually been considered Jehovah's Witnesses or considered themselves adherents of the faith, either by way of having been raised in the faith or because they were an active convert to the faith.
Of course no insult is meant to Jehovah's Witnesses or anybody else by hosting this list. Personally, reading the biographies and faith statements of many famous Jehovah's Witnesses has helped tear down some stereotypes for me. It simply isn't true, for example, that this faith necessarily stifles creativity or achievement. Clearly, many adherents to the faith (including people raised in it as well as converts who chose to become Witnesses as adults) have been very famous creative people or have been very successful, as measured by worldly standards.
Regardless of the obvious tensions between the pressures of worldly fame, versus remaining active in a religious faith which expects all of its members to live according to the highest Biblical standards of ethics and morality, there are indeed many "famous" adherents who have strived to remain faithful. Even for those who have failed to balance fame and success with the demands of their faith, the teachings and values they were raised with or embraced at some point as an adult remain forever an influence in their lives. Were this not true, these individuals would not be listed here at all. This list is based on what famous people themselves have said to interviewers and to the public. We have no access to actual Jehovah's Witness membership or attendance records. If a celebrity or famous person doesn't talk publicly about their experiences as a Jehovah's Witness, we would have no way of knowing about this part of their lives.
The actions of a single individual should never be used to judge an entire group of people, and I believe most people realize this. Anybody who does try to condemn Jehovah's Witnesses by the behavior of their "worst" lapsed members or former members will stand instantly condemned themselves. This is because the cumulative behavior of the famous (and infamous) members of the group the accuser belongs to is far worse than anything they will be able to dig up relating to people who have been Jehovah's Witnesses. This is true of essentially any sufficiently large religious group. It is true also of anti-religious people, who are nearly always wise enough to avoid condemning entire groups by the actions of individuals, lest they be asked to answer for the hundreds of millions of murders perpetrated by Lenin, Pol Pot, Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Mao, Mussolini, Nicolae Ceausescu, Joseph Goebbels, Maximillien Robespierre, etc.
Jehovah's Witnesses > List of Celebrity JW's > Coco Rocha (older posts in jw-archive.org)
Previous posts of Coco Rocha
Aoife Ní ThuairisgÂ is anÂ Irish languageÂ presenter onÂ TG4, Ireland's Irish language television station. Aoife co-hosted TG4's 2015 Gradam Ceoil traditional Irish music awards show.
Aoife NÃ Thuairisg was born inÂ InverinÂ inÂ ConamaraÂ and has two brothers and one sister. Before working in television, she ran her own business. She started working as a presenter on TG4 in 1997, and now presents the weather and is also a continuity announcer. She has presented various programmes in the past, includingÂ GlÃ³r TÃre, the popular country music show, and theÂ FÃ©ilteseries, as well as live coverage of theÂ Wimbledon Championships. She has also produced several programmes herself.
She produced several episodes of the successful seriesÂ Paisean Faisean. However, she became involved in controversy when she refused to present a show featuringÂ gayÂ men, as she is aÂ Jehovah's Witness.
He called me from New York and said: "I'm probably staying here." The news is shocking. The last thing you could expect from a person who sang (and sings): "I was born and grew up on Lenin Street". It's hard to imagine music more Russian than the one that Zero played, and Chistyakov continues to play. A brilliant album "No fools" and a few very strong singles have just come out, he has traveled around the country with concerts, he is at the peak of his form, he is finally all right after twenty years of depression and setbacks. So from what to run (and this is the escape)?
Photo from the archive of Fedor Chistyakov ... The fact that Chistyakov is a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, an organization that has just been recognized as extremist, knew everything, but did not attach importance. It was believed that the rock star has such a fad. Prince was also a Witness. And Madonna is a Kabbalist. And Tom Cruise is a Scientologist ... However, Fedor, although he never spoke about his religion at concerts and very rarely in an interview, takes her seriously. This is not a fad, this is something for which he is ready to fight.
"Witnesses" appeared in his life in the 90's, during the most difficult period. He just served an assassination attempt, went through a psychiatric hospital and was in a terrible state, on the verge of suicide. Now he does not drink, does not smoke and does not sing his old songs, where drugs are mentioned. But at the same time he did not lose the rock-n-roll drive, at the concerts he ignites in a way that few people can now. You can treat the Witnesses differently, but they rescued him, Fedor Chistyakov.
Pressure on the "Witnesses" went for a long time. In 2004, the Moscow court dismissed the Moscow community. In 2011, several criminal cases were opened. And in 2009, the NTV channel showed the film: "Watch out: Jehovah's Witnesses". In addition to the attack on the Witnesses, there was a run-in and personally on Chistyakov. Televischiki represented him in the image of a zombified and seduced sectarian, which is not true by one percent. This can be confirmed by anyone who has been to Fedor's concerts and listened to his recent recordings. The zombies do not sing like that.
The conclusion from the program was clear: look, the murderer and the addict preach the Bible! They, probably, are all like that.
The act is sneaky, whatever one may say, but Chistyakov then restrained himself. He is generally patient, his life has been broken and continues to break, like few people, one must have a strong character in order to survive and not go insane in his circumstances. As the campaign around the Witnesses unfolded, he became gloomy, nervous, but he waited. There were weak chances that it would cost. Now there are no such chances. Since July, his co-religionists and he is outside the law.
"You can regard this interview as my official statement on leaving the country," Fyodor said. "I just had no choice."
- I was not going to emigrate. There are people who for years try to get a green card or somehow get to America. And I never had any thoughts of such, nor of the possibilities. I firmly settled in place, I am already fifty, where to go? Besides, right now everything is developing very well, as a musician I am on the rise: a good band, an established tour system, one after the other albums are out. And so we flew with a tour in the US. And on the eve of the trial, the result of which was the ban of the Witnesses. For me it was a shock. The likelihood that I will not return from the American tour started to increase strongly. And on July 17, when they rejected the appeal, I made the final decision.
- What does this prohibition mean to you personally?
- First and foremost: I can not openly profess my religion. This in itself is a trauma, even if you are not being put, but there are already plantings. In Orel, for example, they took and imprisoned a citizen of Denmark. Russians are not enough for them, they decided to wet it so that the ears rang. There are options for punishment: prison, forced labor, fine. If a person is fined 100,000, and he has a salary of 20, what should he do? After that, by the way, they can plant.
"Such a situation makes any creative activity meaningless. What's the point, if tomorrow can come for you? "
And musical activity is connected with long-term investments. I invest my personal funds in the project, my colleagues and investors are investing. I take on very serious obligations. Concerts are planned for six months, and I have no right to even get sick, I have to play live or dead. But how to work if you can be picked up at any moment? Then you have to change your profession, but I do not want to, I still have many plans.
Last year, my spies were visited by searches of special services. Laptops, computers, hard disks were taken to find evidence of extremism. I was very worried about my home studio. It is absolutely inconceivable that my achievements are carried to an unknown place. So my move is not connected with the fact that I allegedly do not like Russia and sold to the Americans. This is a forced measure aimed at preventing me from disappearing as a creative unit. There was no other way out.
"And so you left." What will happen to the band "Fedor Chistyakov Band"? Is the project closed?
- In no case. Only the place of my physical stay has changed, nothing changes anymore. At least, I hope so. Now we are reshaping the schedules of tours taking into account the fact that I'm flying to them from America. In the near future the bandback of the group "Zero" - November 18, Moscow, "Izvestia Hall." If there is no force majeure, everything will be done. And then the recording of the new album, the material is written, you have to work with it. In addition, an American project is planned, with which I will be speaking, a contract has already been signed.
- Do you plan on singing in English?
"I'm afraid I will not succeed." Russian language, Russian thinking, Russian mentality with the move does not disappear anywhere. This is not the clothes that he took off, put on another and everything is okay. I remain the same as I was, I am still worried about things that are happening in Russia. And of course, I'm focused on the Russian public. But there is still an emigrant audience, it is not very large, but it is. I live in the area of New York, where on the street constantly hear Russian speech. And it's not even Brighton.
- The song from your new single "Time to Live" begins with the words: "There is nothing to do, nothing to do, nothing to do, only to run ..." Just about running away. Coincidence or did you plan?
- Coincidence, I was surprised to him. This is an old song "Zero", it did not have time to finish it in 1992, I do not remember what I meant at the time. Probably, flight from a difficult life situation, but not emigration exactly. We recorded it now together with Nichols, with whom "Zero" started sometime, it is possible with good conscience to consider this record as the new work of "Zero".
She left it all behind —a normal college life, her teammates, a skyrocketing volleyball career that would have gave her a crack at the national. All to become one of the Jehovah’s witnesses.
Cebuana volleybelle Frances Karen Derder had everything going her way as she made it into the lineup of perennial UAAP champions Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles in 2014. But her stint with the Lady Eagles was cut short since, according to her, Ateneo coach Tai Bundit did not allow her to continue her religious service, a move which left some of the Lady Eagles faithfuls clueless to this day.
“I transferred to Ateneo but I went back to Cebu in the second semester because Coach Tai was strict. He did not allow me to attend our meeting or worship. They all say the reason I went home was because I was homesick, but it is not,” she said.
The 19-year-old Derder returned to Cebu and went on to help the Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras win the 2015 Cesafi title while being recognized as the league’s best server.
But little did anyone know that title-clinching game two years ago against the University of San Jose-Recoletos was going to be her last stint in the sport that she really loved.
Although there are days wherein she’d like to play volleyball, the Minglanilla, Cebu-native has learned in the past few years that she can’t serve two masters at a time, quoting the renowned scripture from the bible known as the Matthew 6:24 which reads: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else, he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”
“To tell you honestly, I was really sad when I stopped playing because volleyball was my passion since elementary but when I learned the truth, I sacrificed my own interest to have a good relationship with Jehovah.”
Regardless of the fact that her love for the sport is still in her heart, Derder said she has closed the doors on a return to volleyball, saying she has already found true happiness by preaching the word of God.
Derder may have lost her chance on volleyball fame and glory. But in exchange, she received even more, something that people spend their whole life finding: the meaning of true happiness.
There are over 8.2 million practicing evangelical Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide. Many famous athletes are Jehovah's Witnesses. Several famous boxers, NBA players, and baseball stars follow the teachings of the Jehovah's Witness faith. Some of these athletes were raised in the faith, while others converted later in life. Two of the best female tennis players of all time are Jehovah's Witnesses.
Who is the most famous athlete who is a Jehovah's Witness? Serena Williams tops our list. She and her sister Venus were raised as Jehovah's Witnesses and still practice today. Serena says, “I've been studying to be a Jehovah's Witness, so I go to Kingdom Hall. I grew up a Witness and it's what I know, and we teach things that come from the Bible." Danny Granger was raised in a Jehovah's Witness household. It is unclear if he still practices the faith today.
On Dave Pear's blog he states, "I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and an advocate for justice!" Chet Lemon is a Jehovah's Witness. He almost died from a blood disorder in 1991, when he decided against surgery because his religion prohibits him from receiving a blood transfusion. Kid Gavilán became a Jehovah's Witness in the late-1960s.
Do you think that being Jehovah's Witnesses helps these athletes to succeed in their professional careers? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Serena Williams was raised a Jehovah's Witness and still practices today.
Venus Williams was raised a Jehovah's Witness and still practices the religion.
Danny Granger was raised in a Jehovah's Witness household. It is unclear if he still practices the faith today.
Baseball player was an active Jehovah's Witness and put the religion above his MLB career.
Willie Wise was considering becoming a Jehovah's Witness minister before getting drafted to the NBA.
On Dave Pear's blog it states, "I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and an advocate for justice!"
Travis Scott was raised as a Jehovah's Witness.
Chet Lemon is a Jehovah's Witness. He almost died from a blood disorder in 1991, when he decided against surgery because his religion prohibits him from receiving a blood transfusion.
Dave Meyers is a Jehovah's Witness. He retired from basketball in 1980 to spend more time with his family and practice his faith
Kid Gavilán became a Jehovah's Witness in the late-1960s.
Mark McCumber is a devout Jehovah's Witness. He says, "It's a very misunderstood religion."
11 Athletes Who Are Jehovah's Witnesses
27 Famous Jehovah's Witnesses
By Guest Nicole
Part of a series of:
Prince Rogers Nelson (born June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016) (57 yrs, old), known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. He has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. He has written several hundred songs and produces and records his own music for his own music label. In addition, he has promoted the careers of Sheila E., Carmen Electra, the Time and Vanity 6, and his songs have been recorded by these artists and others, including Chaka Khan, The Bangles, Sinéad O'Connor, and Kim Basinger.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Prince developed an interest in music at an early age, writing his first song at age seven. After recording songs with his cousin's band 94 East, seventeen-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes before releasing his debut album, For You, in 1978. His 1979 album, Prince, went platinum due to the success of the singles "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover". His next three records, Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982) continued his success, showcasing Prince's trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporation of elements of funk, dance and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as the Revolution and released the album Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name.
After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded and Prince released the critically acclaimed double album Sign "O" the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting the New Power Generation band in 1991. After changing his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol (Prince logo.svg), also known as the "Love Symbol", in 1993, he began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations to Warner Bros; he released five records between 1994 and 1996 before signing to Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as "Prince" once again. He has released thirteen albums since then, including his latest, 20Ten, released in 2010.
Prince has a wide vocal range and is known for his flamboyant stage presence and costumes. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year he was eligible. Rolling Stone has ranked Prince No. 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Prince's music has been influenced by rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, blues, new wave, electronica, disco, psychedelia, folk, jazz, and pop. His artistic influences include Sly & the Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, the Isley Brothers, Todd Rundgren[citation not found] Duke Ellington, Curtis Mayfield, and Stevie Wonder. Prince pioneered the "Minneapolis sound", a hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, R&B and new wave that has influenced many other musicians.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to John L. Nelson and Mattie Shaw, though his roots are centered in Louisiana with all four of his grandparents hailing from the state. Prince's father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer. Prince was named after his father, whose stage name was Prince Rogers, and who performed with a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. In a 1991 interview with A Current Affair, Prince's father said, "I named my son Prince because I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do." Prince's childhood nickname was Skipper.
In a PBS interview Prince told Tavis Smiley that he was "born epileptic" and "used to have seizures" when he was young. During the interview Prince also said that "my mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, 'Mom, I'm not going to be sick anymore,' and she said 'Why?' and I said 'Because an angel told me so.' "
Prince's sister Tika Evene (usually called Tyka) was born in 1960. Both siblings developed a keen interest in music, and this was encouraged by their father. Prince wrote his first tune, "Funk Machine" on his father's piano when he was seven. Prince's parents separated when Prince was ten years old. Following their separation, Prince constantly switched homes: sometimes he lived with his father, and sometimes with his mother and stepfather. Finally he moved into the home of a neighbor, the Andersons, and befriended their son, Andre Anderson, who later became known as André Cymone.
Prince and Anderson joined Prince's cousin, Charles Smith, in a band called Grand Central while they were attending Minneapolis's Central High School. Smith was later replaced by Morris Day on the drums. Prince played piano and guitar for the band which performed at clubs and parties in the Minneapolis area. Grand Central later changed its name to Champagne and started playing original music influenced by Sly & the Family Stone, James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Miles Davis, Parliament-Funkadelic, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Todd Rundgren. Prince also played basketball in high school.
CareerBeginnings and breakthrough (1975–84)
In 1975, Pepe Willie, the husband of Prince's cousin, Shauntel, formed the band 94 East with Marcy Ingvoldstad and Kristie Lazenberry. Willie hired André Cymone and Prince to record tracks with 94 East. Those songs were written by Willie and Prince contributed guitar tracks. Prince also co-wrote, with Willie, the 94 East song, "Just Another Sucker". The band recorded tracks which later became the album Minneapolis Genius – The Historic 1977 Recordings. Prince also recorded, but never released, a song written by Willie, "If You See Me" (also known as, "Do Yourself a Favor"). In 1995, Willie released the album 94 East featuring Prince, Symbolic Beginning, which included original recordings by Prince and Cymone. In 1976, Prince created a demo tape with producer Chris Moon in Moon's Minneapolis studio. Unable to secure a recording contract, Moon brought the tape to Minneapolis businessman Owen Husney. Husney signed Prince, at the age of 17, to a management contract and helped Prince create a demo recording at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis using producer/engineer David Z. The demo recording, along with a press kit produced at Husney's ad agency, resulted in interest from several record companies including Warner Bros. Records, A&M Records, and Columbia Records. With the help of Husney, Prince signed a recording contract with Warner Bros.. Warner Bros. agreed to give Prince creative control for three albums and ownership of the publishing rights. Husney and Prince then left Minneapolis and moved to Sausalito, California where Prince's first album, For You, was recorded at Record Plant Studios. Subsequently, the album was mixed in Los Angeles and released in on April 7, 1978. According to the For You album notes, Prince produced, arranged, composed and played all 27 instruments on the recording. The album was written and performed by Prince, except for the song "Soft and Wet" which had lyrics co-written by Moon. The cost of recording the album was twice Prince's initial advance. Prince used the Prince's Music Co. to publish his songs. "Soft and Wet" reached No. 12 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and No. 92 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song "Just as Long as We're Together" reached No.91 on the Hot Soul Singles chart.
In 1979 Prince created a band which included André Cymone on bass, Dez Dickerson on guitar, Gayle Chapman and Doctor Fink on keyboards, and Bobby Z. on drums. Their first show was at the Capri Theater on January 5, 1979. Warner Bros. executives attended the show but decided that Prince and the band needed more time to develop his music. In October 1979, Prince released a self-titled album, Prince, which was No.4 on the Billboard Top R&B/Black Albums charts, and No.22 on the Billboard 200, going platinum. It contained two R&B hits: "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover". "I Wanna Be Your Lover" sold over a million copies, and reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No.1 for two weeks on the Hot Soul Singles chart. Prince performed both these songs on January 26, 1980 on American Bandstand. On this album, Prince used Ecnirp Music – BMI.
In 1980 Prince released the album, Dirty Mind, which he recorded in his own studio. The album was certified gold and the attendant single "Uptown" reached No. 5 on the Billboard Dance chart and No. 5 on the Hot Soul Singles charts. Prince was also the opening act for Rick James' 1980 Fire It Up tour. Dirty Mind contained sexually explicit material, including the title song, "Head", and the song "Sister". In February 1981, Prince made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live, performing "Partyup". In October 1981, Prince released the album, Controversy. He played several dates in support of it, at first as one of the opening acts for the Rolling Stones, who were then on tour in the U.S. He began 1982 with a small tour of college towns where he was the headlining act. The songs on Controversy were published by Controversy Music – ASCAP, a practice he continued until the Emancipation album in 1996. Controversy also marked the introduction of Prince's use of abbreviated spelling, such as spelling the words you as U, to as 2, and for as 4, as indicated by the inclusion of the track "Jack U Off". (His earlier song titles had used conventional spelling.) By 2002, MTV.com noted that "[n]ow all of his titles, liner notes and Web postings are written in his own shorthand spelling, as seen on 1999's Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, which featured 'Hot Wit U.'"
In 1981, Prince formed a side project band called the Time. The band released four albums between 1981 and 1990, with Prince writing and performing most of the instrumentation and backing vocals, with lead vocals by Morris Day. In late 1982, Prince released a double album, 1999, which sold over three million copies. The title track was a protest against nuclear proliferation and became his first top ten hit in countries outside the U.S. Prince's "Little Red Corvette" was one of the first two videos by a black artist played in heavy rotation on MTV, along with Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". The song "Delirious" also placed in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The Revolution, Purple Rain and subsequent releases (1984–87)
During this period Prince referred to his band as the Revolution. The band's name was also printed, in reverse, on the cover of 1999 inside the letter "I" of the word "Prince". The band consisted of Lisa Coleman and Doctor Fink on keyboards, Bobby Z. on drums, Brown Mark on bass, and Dez Dickerson on guitar. Jill Jones, a backing singer, was also part of The Revolution line up for the 1999 album and tour. Following the 1999 Tour, Dickerson left the group for religious reasons. In the 2003 book Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince, author Alex Hahn says that Dickerson was reluctant to sign a three-year contract and wanted to pursue other musical ventures. Dickerson was replaced by Wendy Melvoin, a childhood friend of Coleman. At first the band was used sparsely in the studio but this gradually changed during the mid-1980s.
Prince's 1984 album Purple Rain sold more than thirteen million copies in the U.S. and spent twenty-four consecutive weeks at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The film of the same name won an Academy Award and grossed more than $80 million in the U.S.
Songs from the film were hits on pop charts around the world, while "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" reached No.1 and the title track reached No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100. At one point in 1984, Prince simultaneously had the number one album, single, and film in the U.S.; it was the first time a singer had achieved this feat. Prince won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain, and the album is ranked 72nd Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album is included on the list of Time magazine's All-Time 100 Albums. After Tipper Gore heard her 12-year-old daughter Karenna listening to Prince's song "Darling Nikki", she founded the Parents Music Resource Center. The center advocates the mandatory use of a warning label ("Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics") on the covers of records that have been judged to contain language or lyrical content unsuitable for minors. The recording industry later voluntarily complied with this request. Of what is considered the Filthy Fifteen Prince's compositions appear no. 1 and no. 2, with the fourth position occupied by his protégée Vanity.
In 1985 Prince announced that he would discontinue live performances and music videos after the release of his next album. His subsequent recording Around the World in a Day held the No.1 spot on the Billboard 200 for three weeks. In 1986 his album Parade reached No.3 on the Billboard 200 and No.2 on the R&B charts. The first single, "Kiss", with the video choreographed by Louis Falco, reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was originally written for a side project called Mazarati. That same year the song "Manic Monday", which was written by Prince and recorded by The Bangles, reached No.2 on the Hot 100 chart. The album Parade served as the soundtrack for Prince's second film, Under the Cherry Moon. Prince directed and starred in the movie, which also featured Kristin Scott Thomas. He received the Golden Raspberry Award for his efforts in acting and directing. In 1986, Prince began a series of sporadic live performances called the Hit n Run – Parade Tour. The European tour went to Europe in the summer and ended that September in Japan. After the tour Prince abolished The Revolution, fired Wendy & Lisa and replaced Bobby Z. with Sheila E. Brown Mark quit the band while keyboardist Doctor Fink remained. Prince then recruited new band members Miko Weaver on guitar, Atlanta Bliss on trumpet, Eric Leeds on saxophone, Boni Boyer on keyboards, Levi Seacer, Jr. on bass and dancer Cat Glover.
Solo again, Sign "O" the Times and spiritual rebirth: 1987–91
Prior to the disbanding of The Revolution, Prince was working on two separate projects, The Revolution album Dream Factory and a solo effort, Camille. Unlike the three previous band albums, Dream Factory included significant input from the band members and even featured a number of songs with lead vocals by Wendy & Lisa, while the Camille project saw Prince create a new persona primarily singing in a sped up, female-sounding voice. With the dismissal of The Revolution, Prince consolidated material from both shelved albums, along with some new songs, into a three-LP album to be titled Crystal Ball. However, Warner Bros. forced Prince to trim the triple album to a double album and Sign "O" the Times was released on March 31, 1987.
The album peaked at No.6 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The first single, "Sign o' the Times", would chart at No.3 on the Hot 100. The follow-up single, "If I Was Your Girlfriend" charted poorly at No.67 on the Hot 100, but went to No.12 on R&B chart. The third single, a duet with Sheena Easton, "U Got the Look" charted at No.2 on the Hot 100, No.11 on the R&B chart, and the final single "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" finished at No.10 on Hot 100 and No.14 on the R&B chart.
Despite receiving the greatest critical acclaim of any album in Prince's career, including being named the top album of the year by the Pazz & Jop critics' poll, and eventually selling 3.2 million copies, album sales steadily declined. In Europe, however, it performed well and Prince promoted the album overseas with a lengthy tour. Putting together a new backing band from the remnants of The Revolution, Prince added bassist Levi Seacer, Jr., Boni Boyer on keyboards, and dancer/choreographer Cat Glover to go with new drummer Sheila E. and holdovers Miko Weaver, Doctor Fink, Eric Leeds, Atlanta Bliss, and the Bodyguards (Jerome, Wally Safford, and Greg Brooks) for the Sign o' the Times Tour.
The tour was a success overseas, with Warner Bros. and Prince's managers wanting to bring it to the U.S. to resuscitate sagging sales of Sign "O" the Times; however, Prince balked at a full U.S. tour, as he was ready to produce a new album. As a compromise the last two nights of the tour were filmed for release in movie theaters. The film quality was deemed subpar and reshoots were performed at his Paisley Park studios. The film Sign o' the Times was released on November 20, 1987. Much like the album, the film garnered more critical praise than the previous year's Under the Cherry Moon; however, its box office receipts were minimal, and it quickly left theaters.
The next album intended for release was to be The Black Album. More instrumental and funk and R&B themed than recent releases, The Black Album also saw Prince experiment with hip hop music on the songs "Bob George" and "Dead on It". Prince was set to release the album with a monochromatic black cover with only the catalog number printed, but after 500,000 copies had been pressed, Prince had a spiritual epiphany that the album was evil and had it recalled. It would later be released by Warner Bros. as a limited edition album in 1994. Prince went back in the studio for eight weeks and recorded Lovesexy.
Released on May 10, 1988, Lovesexy serves as a spiritual opposite to the dark The Black Album. Every song is a solo effort by Prince, with exception of "Eye No" which was recorded with his backing band at the time, dubbed the "Lovesexy Band" by fans. Lovesexy would reach No.11 on the Billboard 200 and No.5 on the R&B albums chart. The lead single, "Alphabet St.", peaked at No.8 on the Hot 100 and No.3 on the R&B chart, but finished with only selling 750,000 copies.
Prince again took his post-Revolution backing band (minus the Bodyguards) on a three leg, 84-show Lovesexy World Tour; although the shows were well received by huge crowds, they lost money due to the expensive sets and incorporated props.
In 1989, Prince appeared on Madonna's studio album Like a Prayer, co-writing and singing the duet "Love Song" and playing electric guitar (uncredited) on the songs "Like a Prayer", "Keep It Together", and "Act of Contrition". He also began work on a number of musical projects, including Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic and early drafts of his Graffiti Bridge film, but both were put on hold when he was asked by Batman director Tim Burton to record several songs for the upcoming live-action adaptation. Prince went into the studio and produced an entire nine-track album that Warner Bros. released on June 20, 1989. Batman peaked at No.1 on the Billboard 200, selling 4.3 million copies. The single "Batdance" topped the Billboard and R&B charts.
Additionally, the single "The Arms of Orion" with Sheena Easton charted at No. 36, and "Partyman" (also featuring the vocals of Prince's then-girlfriend, nicknamed Anna Fantastic) charted at No.18 on the Hot 100 and at No.5 on the R&B chart, while the love ballad "Scandalous!" went to No.5 on the R&B chart. However, he did have to sign away all publishing rights to the songs on the album to Warner Bros. as part of the deal to do the soundtrack.
In 1990, Prince went back on tour with a revamped band for his stripped down, back-to-basics Nude Tour. With the departures of Boni Boyer, Sheila E., the horns, and Cat, Prince brought in Rosie Gaines on keys, drummer Michael Bland, and dancing trio The Game Boyz (Tony M., Kirky J., and Damon Dickson). The European and Japanese tour was a financial success with its short, greatest hits setlist. As the year progressed, Prince finished production on his fourth film, Graffiti Bridge, and the album of the same name. Initially, Warner Bros. was reluctant to fund the film, but with Prince's assurances it would be a sequel to Purple Rain as well as the involvement of the original members of The Time, the studio greenlit the project. Released on August 20, 1990, the album reached No.6 on the Billboard 200 and R&B albums chart. The single "Thieves in the Temple" reaching No.6 on the Hot 100 and No.1 on the R&B chart. Also from that album, "Round and Round" placed at number 12 on the U.S. charts and Number 2 on the R&B charts. The song featured the teenage Tevin Campbell (who also had a role in the film) on lead vocals. The film, released on November 20, 1990, was a critical and box office flop, grossing just $4.2 million. After the release of the film and album, the last remaining members of The Revolution, Miko Weaver and Doctor Fink, left Prince's band.
The New Power Generation, Diamonds and Pearls and name change: 1991–94
1991 marked the debut of Prince's new band, the New Power Generation. With guitarist Miko Weaver and long-time keyboardist Doctor Fink gone, Prince added bass player Sonny T., Tommy Barbarella on keyboards, and a brass section known as the Hornheads to go along with Levi Seacer (taking over on guitar), Rosie Gaines, Michael Bland, and the Game Boyz. With significant input from his band members, Diamonds and Pearls was released on October 1, 1991. Reaching No.3 on the Billboard 200 album chart, Diamonds and Pearls saw 4 hit singles released in the United States. "Gett Off" peaked at No.21 on the Hot 100 and No.6 on the R&B charts, followed by "Cream" which gave Prince his fifth U.S. number one single. The title track "Diamonds and Pearls" became the album's third single, reaching No.3 on the Hot 100 and the top spot on the R&B charts. "Money Don't Matter 2 Night" peaked at No.23 and No.14 on the Hot 100 and R&B charts respectively.
1992 saw Prince and The New Power Generation release his twelfth album, 'Love Symbol Album', bearing only an unpronounceable symbol on the cover (later copyrighted as Love Symbol #2). The album, generally referred to as the Love Symbol Album, would peak at No.5 on the Billboard 200. While the label wanted "7" to be the first single, Prince fought to have "My Name Is Prince" as he "felt that the song's more hip-hoppery would appeal to the same audience" that had purchased the previous album. Prince got his way but "My Name Is Prince" only managed to reach No.36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.23 on the R&B chart. The follow-up single "Sexy MF" fared worse, charting at No.66 on the Hot 100 and No.76 on the R&B chart. The label's preferred lead single choice "7" would be the album's lone top ten hit, reaching #7. 'Love Symbol Album' would go on to sell 2.8 million copies worldwide.
After two failed attempts in 1990 and 1991, Warner Bros. finally released a greatest hits compilation with the three-disc The Hits/The B-Sides in 1993. The first two discs were also sold separately as The Hits 1 and The Hits 2. In addition to featuring the majority of Prince's hit singles (with the exception of "Batdance" and other songs that appeared on the Batman soundtrack), The Hits includes an array of previously hard-to-find recordings, notably B-sides spanning the majority of Prince's career, as well as a handful of previously unreleased tracks such as the Revolution-recorded "Power Fantastic" and a live recording of "Nothing Compares 2 U" with Rosie Gaines. Two new songs, "Pink Cashmere" and "Peach", were chosen as promotional singles to accompany the compilation album.
1993 also marked the year in which Prince changed his stage name to the Love Symbol (see left), which was explained as a combination of the symbols for male (♂) and female (♀). In order to use the symbol in print media, Warner Bros. had to organize a mass mailing of floppy disks with a custom font. Because the symbol had no stated pronunciation, he was often referred to as "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince", TAFKAP, and "The Artist".
We Would Have Stayed Together If Our Son Hadn’t Died, Prince’s Ex-Wife Says
Increased output and The Gold Experience: 1994–2000
In 1994, Prince's attitude towards his artistic output underwent a notable shift. He began to view releasing albums in quick succession as a means of ejecting himself from his contractual obligations to Warner Bros. The label, he believed, was intent on limiting his artistic freedom by insisting that he release albums more sporadically. He also blamed Warner Bros. for the poor commercial performance of the Love Symbol Album, claiming that it was insufficiently marketed by Warner. It was out of these developments that the aborted The Black Album was officially released, approximately seven years after its initial recording and near-release. The "new" release, which was already in wide circulation as a bootleg, sold relatively poorly.
Following that disappointing venture, Warner Bros. succumbed to Prince's wishes to release an album of new material, to be entitled Come. When Come was eventually released, it confirmed all of Warner's fears. It became Prince's poorest-selling album to date, struggling to even shift 500,000 copies. Even more frustrating was the fact that Prince insisted on crediting the album to "Prince 1958–1993".
Prince pushed to have his next album The Gold Experience released simultaneously with Love Symbol-era material. Warner Bros. allowed the single "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" to be released via a small, independent distributor, Bellmark Records, in February 1994. The release was successful, reaching No.3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No.1 in many other countries, but it would not prove to be a model for subsequent releases. Warner Bros. still resisted releasing The Gold Experience, fearing poor sales and citing "market saturation" as a defense. When eventually released in September 1995, The Gold Experience failed to sell well, although it reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200 initially, and many reviewed it as Prince's best effort since Sign "O" the Times. The album is now out-of-print. Chaos and Disorder, released in 1996, was Prince's final album of new material for Warner Bros., as well as one of his least commercially successful releases. Prince attempted a major comeback later that year when, free of any further contractual obligations to Warner Bros., he released Emancipation, a 36-song, 3-CD set (each disc was exactly 60 minutes long). The album was released via his own NPG Records with distribution through EMI. To publish his songs on Emancipation, Prince did not use Controversy Music – ASCAP, which he had used for all his records since 1981, but rather used Emancipated Music Inc. – ASCAP.
Certified Platinum by the RIAA, Emancipation is the first record featuring covers by Prince of songs of other artists: Joan Osborne's top ten hit song of 1995 "One of Us"; "Betcha by Golly Wow!" (written by Thomas Randolf Bell and Linda Creed); "I Can't Make You Love Me" (written by James Allen Shamblin II and Michael Barry Reid); and "La-La (Means I Love You)" (written by Thomas Randolf Bell and William Hart).
Prince released Crystal Ball, a 5-CD collection of unreleased material, in 1998. The distribution of this album was disorderly, with some fans pre-ordering the album on his website up to a year before it was eventually shipped to them; these pre-orders were eventually delivered months after the record had gone on sale in retail stores. The retail edition has only four discs, as it is missing the Kamasutra disc. There are also two different packaging editions for retail, one being in a 4-disc sized jewel case with a simple white cover and the Love Symbol in a colored circle; the other is all four discs in a round translucent snap jewel case. The discs are the same, as is the CD jacket. The Newpower Soul album released three months later failed to make much of an impression on the charts. His collaboration on Chaka Khan's Come 2 My House, and Larry Graham's GCS2000, both released on the NPG Records label around the same time as Newpower Soul met with the same fate, despite heavy promotion and live appearances on Vibe with Sinbad, and the NBC Today show's Summer Concert Series.
In 1999, Prince once again signed with a major label, Arista Records, to release a new record, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic. In an attempt to make his new album a success, Prince easily gave more interviews than at any other point in his career, appearing on MTV's Total Request Live (with his album cover on the front of the Virgin Megastore, in the background on TRL throughout the whole show), Larry King Live (with Larry Graham) and other media outlets. Nevertheless, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic failed to perform well commercially. A few months earlier, Warner Bros. had also released The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale, a collection of unreleased material recorded by Prince throughout his career, and his final recording commitment on his contract with Warner Bros. The greatest success he had during the year was with the EP 1999: The New Master, released in time for Prince to collect a small portion of the sales dollars Warner Bros. had been seeing for the album and singles of the original 1999.
The pay-per-view concert, Rave Un2 the Year 2000, was broadcast on December 31, 1999 and consisted of footage from the December 17 and 18 concerts of his 1999 tour. The concert featured appearances by many guest musicians including Lenny Kravitz, George Clinton, Jimmy Russell, and The Time. It was released to home video the following year. A remix album, Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic (as opposed to "Un2") was released exclusively through Prince's NPG Music Club in April 2000.
Turnaround, Musicology, Label change and 3121 (2000–06)
On May 16, 2000, Prince ceased using the Love Symbol moniker and returned to using "Prince" again, after his publishing contract with Warner/Chappell expired. In a press conference, he stated that, after being freed from undesirable relationships associated with the name "Prince", he would formally revert to using his real name. Prince still frequently uses the symbol as a logo and on album artwork and continues to play a Love Symbol-shaped guitar. For several years following the release of Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, Prince primarily released new music through his Internet subscription service, NPGOnlineLtd.com (later NPGMusicClub.com). Two albums that show substantive jazz influence were available commercially at record stores: 2001's The Rainbow Children, and the 2003 instrumental record N.E.W.S which was nominated for a Best Pop Instrumental Album Grammy Award. Another album of largely jazz-influenced music, Xpectation, was released via download in 2003 to members of the NPGMusicClub. Xpectation is jazz themed along with new age and atmospheric themes.
In 2002, Prince released his first live album, One Nite Alone... Live!, which features performances from the One Nite Alone...Tour. The 3-CD box set, which also includes a disc of "aftershow" music entitled It Ain't Over!, failed to chart. During this time, Prince sought to engage more effectively with his fan base via the NPG Music Club, pre-concert sound checks, and at yearly "celebrations" at Paisley Park, his music studios. Fans were invited into the studio for tours, interviews, discussions and music-listening sessions. Some of these fan discussions were filmed for an unreleased documentary, directed by Kevin Smith. Smith discusses what happened during those days at length in his An Evening with Kevin Smith DVD. Performances were also arranged to showcase Prince's talents, as well as to collaborate with popular and well-established artists and guests including Alicia Keys, the Time, Erykah Badu, Nikka Costa, George Clinton, and Norah Jones. On February 8, 2004, Prince appeared at the Grammy Awards with Beyoncé Knowles. In a performance that opened the show, Prince and Knowles performed a medley of "Purple Rain", "Let's Go Crazy", "Baby I'm a Star", and Knowles' "Crazy in Love" to positive reviews. The following month, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The award was presented to him by Alicia Keys along with Big Boi and André 3000 of OutKast. As well as performing a trio of his own hits during the ceremony, Prince also participated in a tribute to fellow inductee George Harrison in a rendering of Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", playing a long guitar solo that ended the song. In addition he performed "Red House" on the album Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix. On February 19, The Tavis Smiley Show broadcast included a performance of "Reflection" from Prince's Musicology album. Prince was accompanied by Wendy Melvoin, formerly of The Revolution.
In April 2004, Prince released Musicology through a one-album agreement with Columbia Records. The album rose as high as the top five on a number of international charts (including the U.S, UK, Germany and Australia). The U.S. chart success was assisted by the CD being included as part of the concert ticket purchase, and each CD thereby qualifying (as chart rules then stood) towards U.S. chart placement. Musicology is R&B and soul themed along with funk, pop, quiet storm, and rock. Three months later, Spin named him the greatest frontman of all time. That same year, Rolling Stone magazine named Prince as the highest-earning musician in the world, with an annual income of $56.5 million, largely due to his Musicology Tour, which Pollstar named as the top concert draw among musicians in U.S. The artist played an impressive run of 96 concerts; the average ticket price for a show was U.S.$61. Further highlighting the success of the album, Prince's Musicology went on to receive two Grammy wins, for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Call My Name" and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for the title track. Musicology was also nominated for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Album, while "Cinnamon Girl" was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The album became the artist's most commercially successful since Diamonds and Pearls, partly due to a radical scheme devised which included in Billboard's sales figures those that were distributed to each customer during ticket sales for the Musicology tour, with concert figures accounting for 25% of the total album sales. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked Prince No.27 on their list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In April 2005, Prince played guitar (along with En Vogue singing backing vocals) on Stevie Wonder's single "So What the Fuss", Wonder's first since 1999. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city of New Orleans on August 29, 2005, Prince offered a personal response by recording two new songs, "S.S.T." and the instrumental "Brand New Orleans", at Paisley Park in the early hours of September 2. Prince again performed all instrumental and vocal parts. These recordings were quickly dispersed to the public via Prince's NPG Music Club, and "S.S.T." was later picked up by iTunes, where it reached No.1 on the store's R&B chart. On October 25, Sony Records released a version of the single on CD.
In late 2005 Prince signed with Universal Records to release his album, 3121, on March 21, 2006 (3/21). The first single was the Latin-tinged "Te Amo Corazón", the video for which was directed by actress Salma Hayek and filmed in Marrakech, Morocco, featuring Argentine actress and singer Mía Maestro. The video for the second single, "Black Sweat", was nominated at the MTV VMAs for Best Cinematography. The immediate success of 3121 gave Prince his first No.1 debut on the Billboard 200 with the album. To promote the new album, Prince was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on February 4, 2006, seventeen years after his last SNL appearance on the 15th anniversary special and nearly 25 years since his first appearance on a regular episode in 1981, making Prince the only SNL musical guest to have that long of a gap between appearances. He performed two songs from the album, "Fury" and "Beautiful, Loved & Blessed", with Támar. Prince also held a contest to win a trip to see a 'Purple Ticket Concert' at his private residence in Hollywood, California. Seven winning tickets were placed inside 3121 CD packages in the U.S., and other tickets were given away in various contests on the Internet and around the world. On May 6, 2006, twenty-four prize winners (with a guest each) attended a star-studded private party and performance at Prince's home. On June 12, 2006, Prince received a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his "visionary" use of the Internet; Prince was the first major artist to release an entire album, 1997's Crystal Ball, exclusively on the Internet (although he did take phone orders for it as well...1-800-NEW-FUNK).
Only weeks after winning a Webby Award, Prince abruptly shut down his then-official NPG Music Club website at 12:00 am on July 4, 2006 after over five years of operation. The NPG Music Club sent out an email, claiming that "in its current 4m there is a feeling that the NPGMC gone as far as it can go. In a world without limitations and infinite possibilities, has the time come 2 once again make a leap of faith and begin anew? These r ?s we in the NPG need 2 answer. In doing so, we have decided 2 put the club on hiatus until further notice." On the day of the music club's shutdown, a lawsuit was filed against Prince by the British company HM Publishing (owners of the Nature Publishing Group, also NPG). Despite these events occurring on the same day, Prince's attorney has called it pure coincidence and stated that the site did not close due to the trademark dispute. Prince appeared at multiple award ceremonies in 2006. On February 15, 2006, Prince performed at the BRIT Awards along with Wendy & Lisa and Sheila E. He played "Te Amo Corazón" and "Fury" from 3121 and "Purple Rain" and "Let's Go Crazy" from Purple Rain. On June 27, 2006, Prince appeared at the BET Awards, where he was awarded Best Male R&B Artist. In addition to receiving his award, Prince performed a medley of Chaka Khan songs for Khan's BET Lifetime Award. Prince had previously written and performed several songs with the singer. In November 2006, Prince was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, appearing to collect his award but not performing. Also in November 2006, Prince opened a nightclub named 3121 in Las Vegas at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino. He performed weekly on Friday and Saturday nights until April 2007, when his contract with the Rio ended. On August 22, 2006, Prince released Ultimate Prince. The double disc set contains one CD of previous hits, and another of extended versions and mixes of material that had largely only previously been available on vinyl record B-sides. Prince wrote and performed a song for the hit 2006 animated film Happy Feet. The song, entitled "The Song of the Heart", appears on the film's soundtrack, which also features a cover of Prince's earlier hit "Kiss", sung by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. In January 2007, "The Song of the Heart" won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Prince arrived late, apparently due to traffic problems, and thus was unable to make an acceptance speech, but actor Hugh Grant prompted him later in the ceremony to take a bow.
Super Bowl XLI, Planet Earth and LOtUSFLOW3R (2007–10)
On February 2, 2007, Prince played at the Super Bowl XLI press conference. He and the band played a set comprising Chuck Berry's hit, "Johnny B. Goode", "Anotherloverholenyohead" from Parade and "Get On the Boat" from 3121. Prince performed at the Super Bowl XLI halftime show in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007. The performance consisted of three Purple Rain tracks ("Let's Go Crazy", "Baby I'm a Star" and the title track), along with cover versions of "We Will Rock You" by Queen, "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan, the Foo Fighters song "Best of You" and "Proud Mary" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Coincidentally, Miami had rain on the day of the Super Bowl, which was lit purple during the performance of "Purple Rain". He played on a large stage shaped as his symbol. The event was carried to 140 million television viewers, the largest audience of his life. On February 4, 2010, Billboard.com ranked the performance as the greatest Super Bowl performance ever. Prince played 21 concerts in London during the summer of 2007. The Earth Tour included 21 nights at the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena, with Maceo Parker in his band. Tickets for the O2 Arena were priced at £31.21 (including a free copy of Prince's latest album), in order to make the concerts "affordable for everybody". The residency at the O2 Arena was increased to 15 nights after all 140,000 tickets for the original seven sold out in just 20 minutes. It was then further extended to 21 nights. On May 10, 2007, Prince performed a 'secret' gig at London's KOKO in front of a small crowd of fans and celebrities. Tickets went on sale that morning on a first-come-first-served basis (again at £31.21). A prelude to the forthcoming summer gigs in London, Prince played a relaxed set of classic hits ("Kiss", changing the lyric from "You don't have to watch Dynasty" to Desperate Housewives, "Girls & Boys", and "Nothing Compares 2 U") alongside more recent tracks, plus a well-received cover version of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".
Prince made an appearance at the 2007 ALMA Awards, performing with Sheila E. in June 2007. On June 28, 2007, the UK national newspaper the Mail on Sunday revealed that it had made a deal to give Prince's new album, Planet Earth, away for free with an "imminent" edition of the paper, making it the first place in the world to get the album. This move sparked controversy among music distributors and also led the UK arm of Prince's distributor, Sony BMG, to withdraw from distributing the album in UK stores. The UK's largest high street music retailer, HMV, decided to stock the paper on release day due to the giveaway. Planet Earth is rock-oriented along with disco, and other various music styles. On July 7, 2007 Prince returned to his hometown of Minneapolis to perform three shows in what was unofficially declared Prince Day in Minnesota. He performed concerts at the Macy's Auditorium (to promote his new perfume "3121") on Nicollet Mall, the Target Center arena, and First Avenue. It was the first time he had played at First Avenue (the club appeared in the film Purple Rain) since 1987.
On April 25, 2008, Prince performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he debuted a new song, "Turn Me Loose". Days after, he headlined the Coachella Festival 2008. Prince was paid more than $5 million for his performance at Coachella, according to Reuters. Prince cancelled a concert, planned at Dublin's Croke Park on June 16, 2008, at just 10 days' notice. In October 2009 promoters MCD Productions went to court to sue Prince for €1.6 million, after paying him $1.5 million, half his agreed fee of $3 million for the concert. MCD claim they had to refund 55,126 tickets purchased and its total losses exceeded $1.66 million. Prince's lawyers argued the MCD claim was "greatly inflated". Prince settled the case out of court in February 2010 for $2.95 million. During the trial, it was revealed that Prince had been offered $22 million for seven concerts as part of a proposed 2008 European tour. In October 2008, Prince released a live album entitled Indigo Nights, as well as 21 Nights, an accompanying book of poems, lyrics and photos. The book chronicled his record-breaking tenure at London's O2 Arena in 2007, while the album is a collection of songs performed live at aftershows in the IndigO2.
On December 18, 2008, Prince premiered four songs from his new album on LA's Indie rock radio station Indie 103.1. The radio station's programmers Max Tolkoff and Mark Sovel had been invited to Prince's home to hear the new rock oriented music. Prince then surprised the two by giving them a CD with 4 songs to premiere on their radio station. The music debuted the next day on Jonesy's Jukebox, hosted by Sex Pistol Steve Jones. The music comprised a cover of "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells, together with "Colonized Mind", "Wall of Berlin" and "4ever". The same day, another new Prince composition entitled "(There'll Never B) Another Like Me" premiered on the now obsolete and defunct website, mplsound.com — replacing a shorter, instrumental version of the song which streamed several days previously.
On January 3, 2009, a new website LotusFlow3r.com was launched, streaming some of the recently aired material ("Crimson and Clover", "(There'll Never B) Another Like Me" and "Here Eye Come") and promising opportunities to listen to and buy music by Prince and guests, watch videos and buy concert tickets for future events. On January 31, Prince released two more songs on LotusFlow3r.com: "Disco Jellyfish", and "Another Boy". "Chocolate Box", "Colonized Mind", and "All This Love" have since been released on the website. Prince released a triple album set containing LOtUSFLOW3R, MPLSoUND, and an album credited to his new protégé, Bria Valente, called Elixer, on March 24, 2009, followed by a physical release on March 29. The release was preceded by performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was released in other countries digitally, with official physical release dates yet to be announced. The album peaked at No.2 on the Billboard 200, and critics' opinions were mixed to positive.
On July 18, 2009, Prince performed two shows at the Montreux Jazz Festival, being backed by the New Power Generation including Rhonda Smith, Renato Neto and John Blackwell. There he played "A Large Room with No Light" which had been in Prince's "vault" for some time. On October 11, 2009, Prince gave two surprise concerts at the glass-and-iron Grand Palais exhibition hall after visiting the landmark Paris building on the banks of the Seine. On October 12, he gave another surprise gig at La Cigale. On October 24, Prince played a concert at his own Paisley Park complex in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
20Ten, The Welcome 2 Tours: 2010–2012In January 2010, Prince wrote a new song, "Purple and Gold", inspired by his visit to a Minnesota Vikings football game against the Dallas Cowboys. The song is a simple, drumline-driven track. The following month, Prince let Minneapolis-area public radio station 89.3 The Current premiere his new song "Cause and Effect" as a gesture in support of independent radio.
In a poll by BBC Radio 6 Music listeners in April 2010, Prince was ranked the eighth-best guitarist of the previous 30 years. Prince was also listed in TIME magazine's 2010 annual ranking of the "100 Most Influential People in the World".
Prince released a new single on Minneapolis radio station 89.3 The Current called "Hot Summer" on June 7, his 52nd birthday. Also in June, Prince appeared on the cover of the July 2010 issue of Ebony, and he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 BET Awards.
Prince released his album 20Ten in July 2010 as a free covermount with publications in the UK, Belgium, Germany, and France. Prince has refused access to the album to digital download services. He also closed his official website, LotusFlow3r.com. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Prince said, "The Internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it... 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."
On July 4, 2010 Prince began his 20Ten Tour, a concert tour in two legs with shows in Europe. The second leg began on October 15 and ended with a concert following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 14. The second half of the tour has a new band, John Blackwell, Ida Kristine Nielsen, and Sheila E. Prince let Europe 1 debut the snippet of his new song "Rich Friends" from the "new" album 20Ten Deluxe on October 8, 2010. Prince started the Welcome 2 Tour on December 15, 2010.
Prince was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame on December 7, 2010.
On February 12, 2011, Prince presented Barbra Streisand with an award and donated $1.5 million to charities. On the same day, it was reported that he was unimpressed about Glee covering his hit "Kiss", and that he had not authorised its use.
On the May 18, 2011, it was announced that Prince would be headlining Hop Farm Festival on July 3, 2011, marking his first UK show since 2007 and his first ever UK festival appearance.
Despite having previously rejected the Internet for music distribution, on November 24, 2011 Prince re-released a reworked version of the previously unreleased song "Extraloveable" through both iTunes and Spotify. Purple Music, a Switzerland based record label released a CD single "Dance 4 Me" on Dec 12, 2011 as part of a club remixes package including Bria Valente CD single "2 Nite" released on February 23, 2012. The CD features club remixes by Jamie Lewis and David Alexander, produced by Prince.
3rdeyegirl and return to Warner Bros.: 2013–presentIn January 2013, Prince released a lyric video for a new song called "Screwdriver". A couple of months later in April 2013, Prince announced a short West Coast tour with 3rdeyegirl as his backing band. The final two dates of the tour were in Minneapolis where former Revolution drummer Bobby Z. sat in as guest drummer on both shows. In May, Prince announced a deal with Kobalt Music to market and distribute his music.
On 14 August 2013, Prince officially sent his first tweet through the 3RDEYEGIRL Twitter account. The same day, he released a new solo single for exclusive download through the 3RDEYEGIRL.com website. The single "Breakfast Can Wait" received attention for its cover art, featuring comedian Dave Chappelle's notable impersonation of the singer in a sketch on the 2000s Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show.
In February 2014, Prince performed concerts with 3rdeyegirl in London. Beginning with intimate shows, the first was held at the London home of singer Lianne La Havas, followed by 2 performances of what Prince described as a "sound check" at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, and another at Shepherds Bush Empire.
On 18 April 2014, Prince released a new single entitled, "The Breakdown". Along with the surprise release, news came that a new album was in the works, an expanded edition of Purple Rain would be released for the 30th anniversary, and he has re-signed with his former label, Warner Bros. Records after an 18-year split. He also gained the rights to his master recordings from the 80's which was a point of contention for his initial split with the major label.
Personal lifePrince resides near Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the years Prince has been romantically linked with many celebrities, including Kim Basinger, Madonna, Vanity, Sheila E., Carmen Electra, Susanna Hoffs, Anna Fantastic, Sherilyn Fenn, and Susan Moonsie of Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6. Prince was engaged to Susannah Melvoin in 1985. He married his backup singer and dancer, Mayte Garcia, on Valentine's Day, 1996. They had a son, Boy Gregory (born October 16, 1996), who was born with Pfeiffer syndrome and died a week after birth. Prince and Mayte divorced in 1999. In 2001, Prince married Manuela Testolini in a private ceremony. Testolini filed for divorce in May 2006. He also had a short-term relationship with protégée Bria Valente in 2007.
Prince became a member of Jehovah's Witnesses in 2001 following a two-year-long debate with friend and fellow Jehovah's Witness, musician Larry Graham. Prince said he didn't consider it a conversion, but a "realization"; "It's like Morpheus and Neo in The Matrix," he explained. He attends meetings at a local Kingdom Hall and occasionally knocks on people's doors to discuss his faith. Prince has reportedly needed double-hip-replacement surgery since 2005 but won't undergo the operation unless it is a bloodless surgery because Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions. The condition is rumored to be aggravated by repeated onstage dancing in high-heeled boots. However, when Prince was interviewed in 2010, journalist Peter Willis said he believed the rumors of Prince needing double hip surgery to be unfounded and untrue as Prince appeared to be agile.
Prince is a vegetarian. In 2006 he was voted the "world's sexiest vegetarian" in PETA's annual online poll. The liner notes for his album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic featured a message about the cruelty involved in wool production.
Since 2008, Prince has been managed by UK based Kiran Sharma.
Stage namesIn 1993, during negotiations regarding the release of Prince's album The Gold Experience, a legal battle ensued between Warner Bros. and Prince over the artistic and financial control of Prince's output. During the lawsuit, Prince appeared in public with the word "slave" written on his cheek. Prince explained his name change as follows:
The first step I have taken toward the ultimate goal of emancipation from the chains that bind me to Warner Bros. was to change my name from Prince to the Love Symbol. Prince is the name that my mother gave me at birth. Warner Bros. took the name, trademarked it, and used it as the main marketing tool to promote all of the music that I wrote. The company owns the name Prince and all related music marketed under Prince. I became merely a pawn used to produce more money for Warner Bros...
I was born Prince and did not want to adopt another conventional name. The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was the Love Symbol, a symbol with no pronunciation, that is a representation of me and what my music is about. This symbol is present in my work over the years; it is a concept that has evolved from my frustration; it is who I am. It is my name.
Prince is a trademark owned by Paisley Park Enterprises Inc. It was initially filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2005 in the categories of printed materials, clothing, electronic commerce, and entertainment services based on first commercial in 1978. Various searches to the USPTO did not find any registrations or transfers of "Prince" or related names by Warner Bros. In 1991, PRN Music Corporation assigned the trademarks Prince, The Time, Paisley Park, New Power Generation, and Prince and the Revolution to Paisley Park Enterprises.
Prince has used pseudonyms to separate himself from the music (either his own or that of others) for which he has had input; "I was just getting tired of seeing my name," he said, "If you give away an idea, you still own that idea. In fact, giving it away strengthens it. Why do people feel they have to take credit for everything they do? Ego, that's the only reason." These pseudonyms include: Jamie Starr and The Starr Company (for the songs he wrote for the Time and many other artists from 1981–1984), Joey Coco (for many unreleased Prince songs in the late 1980s, as well as songs written for Sheena Easton & Kenny Rogers), Paisley Park (occasionally used in the early 1990s for his production credits on songs, including those written for Martika and Kid Creole), Alexander Nevermind (for writing the 1984 song "Sugar Walls" by Sheena Easton), and Christopher (used for his song writing credit of "Manic Monday" for the Bangles).
Copyright issuesOn September 14, 2007, Prince announced that he was going to sue YouTube and eBay because they "are clearly able [to] filter porn and pedophile material but appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorized music and film content which is core to their business success." Web Sheriff, the international Internet policing company he hired, told Reuters: "The problem is that one can reduce it to zero and then the next day there will be 100 or 500 or whatever. This carries on ad nauseam at Prince's expense."
In October 2007, Stephanie Lenz filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Publishing Group, claiming they were abusing copyright law, after the music publisher had YouTube take down Lenz's home movie in which the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy" played faintly in the background.
On November 5, 2007, several fan sites of Prince formed "Prince Fans United" to fight back against legal requests they claim Prince made to cease and desist all use of photographs, images, lyrics, album covers and anything linked to Prince's likeness. While Prince's lawyers claimed that the use of such representations constituted copyright infringement, the Prince Fans United claimed that the legal actions were "attempts to stifle all critical commentary about Prince." A few days later, Prince released a statement denying the fansites' claims, stating "The action taken earlier this week was not to shut down fansites, or control comment in any way. The issue was simply to do with in regards to copyright and trademark of images and only images, and no lawsuits have been filed." The statement from AEG, Prince's promoter, asserted that the only "offending items" on the three fansites were live shots from Prince's 21 nights in London at the O2 Arena earlier in the year.
On November 8, 2007, Prince Fans United received a song named "PFUnk", providing a kind of "unofficial answer" to their movement. The song, originally debuted on the PFU main site, was retitled "F.U.N.K." and is available on iTunes.
On November 14, 2007, it was reported that the satirical website b3ta.com had pulled their "image challenge of the week" devoted to Prince after legal threats from the star under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. B3ta co-founder Rob Manuel wrote on the site: "Under threat of legal action from Prince's legal team of 'potential closure of your web site' – We have removed the Prince image challenge and B3ta apologizes unreservedly to AEG / NPG and Prince for any offence caused. We also ask our members to avoid photoshopping Prince and posting them on our boards."
At the 2008 Coachella Music Festival, Prince performed a cover of Radiohead's "Creep", but immediately after he forced YouTube and other sites to remove footage that fans had taken of the performance, despite Radiohead's demand for it to remain on the website. Days later, YouTube reinstated the videos, while Radiohead claimed "it's our song, let people hear it." In 2009, Prince put the video of that Coachella performance on his then-official website LotusFlow3r.com.
In 2013, the Electronic Frontier Foundation granted to Prince the inaugural "Raspberry Beret Lifetime Aggrievement Award", a reference to resentment of parties who allege unfair treatment and misuse of copyright claims by the artist and his lawyers.
In January 2014, Prince filed a lawsuit titled Prince v. Chodera against 22 online users for direct copyright infringement, unauthorized fixation, and contributory copyright infringement and bootlegging. Several of the users were fans who had shared links to bootlegged versions of several Prince concerts through social media websites like Facebook.
Earning 33 nominations, Prince has won seven Grammys. He also has had two albums − 1999 and Purple Rain − awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
MTV Video Music Awards
The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) is an award show by cable network MTV to honor the top music videos of the year. It was first held in September 1984 and was originally meant as an alternative to the Grammy Awards in the video category. Prince has won four awards from twelve nominations throughout his career.
Prince releases Cover Single called "What If" - WorldNewsMedia Mar 15, 2015
Howard Stern Rips into Prince and Jehovah's Witnesses
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"Prince postpones concert in Helsinki". Star Tribune. Sever, Brooke (September 28, 2010). "Kanye West and Prince join F1 line-up". digitalproductionme. "Official PRINCE Tour Announcement". Drfunkenberry.com. September 30, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2010. "New Prince Song Snippet!~ "Rich Friends" Listen Now". Drfunkenberry.com. October 8, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2011. "Prince Rocks Opening Night Of His "Welcome 2 America" Tour at the Izod". Drfunkenberry.com. December 16, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2011. "PRINCE & The Revolution's "Purple Rain" Get Grammy Induction + My Thoughts". Drfunkenberry.com. December 7, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2011. "Prince Presents Barbra Streisand With Award; Gives Away 1.5 million To Charities". Drfunkenberry.com. February 12, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. "Exclusive! Prince Not Happy With "Glee" Over Use Of "Kiss"". Drfunkenberry.com. February 12, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. Lee, Ann. (March 30, 2012) Prince to join Morrissey and Brandon Flowers at Hop Farm Festival 2011. Metro. Retrieved on 2012-04-16. "Prince released new song "extraloveable"". Drfunkenberry.com. November 23, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011. "Extraloveable on iTunes". Apple. November 24, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011. "Extraloveable on Spotify". Apple. November 24, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011. [dead link] "Bria Valente". Purplemusic.ch. February 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-10. "Video: Prince Posts Clip for New Song 'Screwdriver'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-01-24. "3rdeyegirl tour dates". Drfunkenberry.com. Retrieved 2013-08-31. "Bobby Z. Will Play "Purple Rain" With PRINCE At The Myth!". Drfunkenberry.com. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-08-31. "PRINCE & Kobalt Make Marketing & Distribution Deal Official". Drfunkenberry.com. 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-08-31. "Testing 1 2 PRINCE Starts Tweeting! Uh Seriously!". Drfunkenberry.com. Retrieved 2013-08-31. http://3rdeyegirl.com/#music "Dave Chappelle and Prince, together at last! (Sort of)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-08-21. "Prince to charge $10 for live shows". BBC News (BBC). February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014. "Prince's band release live footage of Shepherds Bush Empire gig", NME. ["http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2014/04/18/304572413/prince-fans-prepare-for-the-deluge "Prince Fans Prepare for the Deluge"]. NPR (BBC). April 19, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014. Bryan, Victoria (October 14, 2010). "Prince considering move to Europe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2011. Daly, Steven (December 1990). "Sherilyn Fenn – Is she the sexiest woman on television?". The Face. Elan, Priya (September 20, 2008). "Purple Reign". The Guardian (London). Kennedy, Dana; Sinclair, Tom (December 20, 1996). "Prince's Saddest Song". Entertainment Weekly. Levy, Daniel S. (July 27, 2006). "Prince's Wife, Manuela (Partner of five years), Filed for Divorce". People. Hoffman, Claire (November 24, 2008). "Soup With Prince". The New Yorker (New York). Freedom du Lac, J. (June 11, 2009). "Prince Hips the World to His Jehovah's Witness". The Washington Post. Forder, Rachel (October 19, 2005). "When Hip Gives Way to Hip Replacement". The Telegraph (London). Faber, Judy (May 22, 2006). "Prince Is Voted 'Sexiest Vegetarian'". CBS News. Jet. June 12, 2006. p. 35. "Prince's Manager Shortlisted For Asian Woman Of Achievement Award". Heatley, Michael (2008). Where Were You... When the Music Played? 120 Unforgettable Moments in Music History. Penguin Books. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-7621-0988-3. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Serial Number: 78561384; Registration Number: 3128896 US Patent and Trade Office. Reel/Frame: 0805/0848 and 0805/0880. Coryat, Karl (November 1999). "His Highness Gets Down!". Bass Player. "Songs credited to Jamie Starr". Discogs. "Songs credited to The Starr Company". "Songs credited to Joey Coco". Discogs. "Songs credited to Paisley Park". Discogs. "Songs credited to Alexander Nevermind". Discogs. "Songs credited to Christopher". Discogs. "Prince To Sue YouTube, eBay Over Unauthorized Content". Billboard. 2007. Hamilton, Fiona (September 13, 2007). "Prince takes on YouTube over clips". The Times (London). Francescani, Chris (October 26, 2007). "The Home Video Prince Doesn't Want You to See". ABC News. Gibson, Owen (November 7, 2007). "Prince threatens to sue his fans over online images". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved July 18, 2009. "Prince 'not suing fans': Singer hits back at fansite claims". NME. November 9, 2007. Kreps, Daniel (November 9, 2007). "Prince Releases Diss Track As Battle With Fans Gets Funky". Rolling Stone. Kiss, Jemima (November 15, 2007). "B3ta bates Prince". The Guardian (UK). "Radiohead to Prince: Unblock 'Creep' cover videos". Yahoo!. May 30, 2008. Retrieved July 18, 2009. "The Raspberry Beret Lifetime Aggrievement Award | Electronic Frontier Foundation". Eff.org. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-08-31. "Prince Inducted Into Takedown Hall of Shame With New Lifetime Aggrievement Award | Electronic Frontier Foundation". Eff.org. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-08-31. Prince v. Chodera - Scribd Prince Files Lawsuit Against Facebook Fans Over Bootlegged Concerts | Time.com Prince sues internet users for total of $22m over alleged bootleg recordings | Music | theguardian.com Further reading
Draper, Jason (2008). Prince: Life & Times. Jawbone Press. ISBN 978-1-906002-18-3.
Hahn, Alex (2004). Possessed: The Rise And Fall Of Prince. Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-7749-7.
Jones, Liz (1998). Purple Reign: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince. Birch Lane Press. ISBN 978-1-55972-448-7.
Uptown (2004). The Vault – The Definitive Guide to the Musical World of Prince. Nilsen Publishing. ISBN 91-631-5482-X.
Prince's surprise visit to a Larry Graham show (also a JW)
Prince on Michael Jackson
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See also posts tagged Coco Rocha on jw-archive.org
Destination Luxury had the esteemed pleasure of working with Americana Cinema to document the wedding of Supermodel Coco Rocha and artist James Conran. Shot at Chateau Challain in France, it was one of the most magical weddings captured on film.
Directed by Gilbert Le, Americana Cinema
By The Librarian
-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Katherine Jackson (Image Source: Screenshot)
The 86-year-old Katherine Jackson has lived through a lot in her years. And while she put up with much of it, including her husband's infidelity, it appears that she may have finally reached her limit.
She has been granted a temporary restraining order against her nephew, Trent Lamar Jackson.
It's alleged in court documents that Trent, who is also a longtime driver for Katherine, has been accessing her bank accounts without her knowledge, using her credit cards for his personal use without her approval and also emotionally abusing her.
The claims of abuse state that "Trent has manipulated Mrs. Jackson so much and preyed on her known kindness, that whenever the police arrive or efforts to press elder abuse charges have been undertaken, she ultimately recants or changes her mind."
It wouldn't be the first time she changed her mind when looking for a better life for herself. She twice filed for divorce from the family patriarch Joe Jackson. She was tired of his affairs and filed in 1973, but her Jehovah's Witnesses church persuaded her to drop the divorce. She then tried to divorce him again in 1979 but was again urged to drop it. He went on to have a long-term affair with another woman and had another child with her. While Katherine and Joe remain married, they live in different states.
The current paperwork also stated, "Mrs. Jackson does not want to hurt anyone and has always erred on the side of enduring abuse to save everyone else."
Her lawyers speaking on her behalf say that she "will have moments of strength and tell her kids that Trent is abusing her, and by the time they get Adult Protections Services to the house, he has convinced her by crying or begging not to report him, and the cycle starts all over."
Trent has not spoken publicly about the restraining order or the claims in the court documents.
It's not known why Trent was given such previous power in his aunt's life. She has plenty of adult children and grandchildren to take care of her needs. She and 66-year-old daughter Rebbie went to go visit youngest sibling Janet recently to see her newborn son Eissa for the first time in London.
"It seems like her family is staying close to help and support Janet," said a source, but it seems like maybe they need to stay close and help and support the family matriarch as well.
February 1, 2017
On Saturday, January 27, there was no maddening rush at the White House to reach Serena Williams, like in 1999, when she won the first of her 23 Grand Slam titles in Flushing Meadows. Or as it was when she won her third Wimbledon, a few months into Barack Obama’s first term. The din of Serena’s feat, now officially the most decorated player in the Open era, died out in the bustle of America’s latest, and loudest, president’s “extreme vetting” immigration diktat.
Yet, the symbolism of Serena’s triumph couldn’t be more relevant. At a time when “America First” rings louder than ever, the greatest of its sporting icons, across genders, is an African-American woman, a Jehovah’s Witness from the wrong side of Los Angeles, where she had lost her eldest sister in a gang shootout, and the daughter of a father who was shooed off a tennis court by affluent whites. Even after she broke into the circuit, Williams has had to confront racism and racist stereotypes — from officials, commentators and even her adversaries.
While it’s overreaching to imagine that her storied success would trigger a revolution in race relations in the US, it’s fair to assume that America’s greatest sporting specimen of the 21st century is an antithesis to its president’s vision for his country. She may not allay the sudden cynicism or the morbid fear of the discriminated and marginalised in the US — sport as a cure to societal dysfunction is grossly hyperbolic — but she stands as an indelible symbol of hope, or an escape. In a metaphorical way, with the mighty swings of her racquet, she’s penning as scathing a verse as Maya Angelou. It won’t seem out of place, if Serena were to recite Angelou’s Still I Rise (in fact, there’s Serena’s rendition of the poem on YouTube).
Concurrently, any interpretation of Serena’s greatness shouldn’t be constricted to her context. These are mere embellishments in her grand narrative. Serena, as a player in isolation, is a worthy premise for weaving enough eulogies. Maybe she is not celebrated as much outside her country because her feats have come to a stage where her winning spree is taken for granted.
Such has been the nature of her hegemony that often the rare opponent who beats her ends up being more glorified, ranging from one-season wonders like Samantha Stosur, to more recent peers like Angelique Kerber. There hasn’t been much of a rivalry to speak of, expect the brief but fiery rancour with Maria Sharapova or the more passionless exchanges with her sister Venus.
Or, as some would say, there were no two equally gifted players playing at the same time. Earlier, it was a case of several similarly endowed players, outstripped by a force superior in craft, more athletic in build, more ruthless in execution of plans. Think of Sharapova, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Kim Clijsters, Dinara Safina or Amelie Mauresmo — the draw was far more competitive. And Serena, despite hitting the wrong side of her 30s, isn’t showing signs of fatigue or adieu.
Or as some would nitpick, her game is graceless (sometimes with racist undertones). But there is a brutal beauty to her game — those booming serves and guillotine groundstrokes are a vindication — like in boxing. There’s a powerful symmetry to her movements. Then there is the spontaneous thrill of her athleticism.
To put it simply, there has been no better player than Serena in the 21st century, or arguably ever in the history of tennis. That she happens to be the greatest American sporting icon in the Trump era is a mere coincidence, or perhaps, a bit of satire by the fates.
By Jack Ryan
Nicolas King frequently sings with the Watchtower Chorus and had a supporting role in the DVD released at the 2014 convention. (He's on the bottom row, second from the right.)
But he also is a jazz singer, traveling constantly performing at concerts, casinos, charity events, even a brief appearance on The Tonight Show. (Not much time left for service and meetings, now is there?) Besides that, he's hobnobbing with loads of worldly people, showing off on his Facebook page.
So why is Sergei from the convention video not allowed to play his violin, but Nicolas can pursue his worldly career and get rewarded for it by the organization?
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