On April 21, 2016, the talented and legendary musician known as Prince passed away. He was as talented as he was mysterious, quirky, and slightly off his rocker (no pun intended). So to pay some respect I thought we could look back in retrospect and find out some interesting facts about this even more interesting American singer-songwriter…
10. Hey there, Skipper
Prince Rogers Nelson was the given birth name, named after his father, a jazz musician who played under the stage name of Prince Rogers (of the group The Prince Rogers Trio). He also wrote under many fake names/pseudonyms including, Alexander Nevermind, Jamie Starr, Joey Coco, and Christopher.
Nicknames he has had along the way are His Royal Badness, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, the Purple One (before Barney stole it from him), the High Priest of Pop, the Prince of Funk, and my own personal favourite, Skipper!
9. He’s a Renter
Not only did he rent a 10-bedroom mansion from former NBA basketball player Carlos Boozer in West Hollywood, California for allegedly $70,000 per month, but apparently Prince wasn’t such a good tenant. Boozer sued Prince for alterations done to the place, which included the Prince sign on the front gate and hair salon in the master bedroom. It was settled out of court and everything was restored to how it was before.
8. Prince Impersonators
The artist formerly known as Prince was said to have enjoyed the impersonations of himself that were done by Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live and also Dave Chappelle on Chappelle’s Show. As much as I did like Mr Crystal’s impersonation (right image), nothing beats what Dave Chappelle did in the Prince basketball sketch (if you haven’t seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it!). “Game… Blouses.”
7. Willy Wonka and the Golden Ticket
In 2006, Prince took inspiration from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by having his own “golden ticket” promotion. He hid 14 purple (of course) tickets inside his 3121 album. Seven were hidden in cd’s sold in America and seven were sold internationally. Those fortunate enough to find a purple ticket were invited to a private concert held at Prince’s LA home.
6. December 8, 1980
This date will always be known as the day John Lennon was shot and killed while returning to his place in the Dakota Apartments in NYC. At the time that Lennon was gunned down, Prince was staying at a hotel room that was only one block away. I wonder what his initial reaction was when he first heard the news and then first realized just how close he was?
5. Spaghetti and Orange Juice
This was allegedly a favourite meal of the pop superstar. The man was known to do things considered ‘out of the ordinary’ for the rest of us (his first wife couldn’t call him on the phone. She had to wait for him to call her. Only Prince could get away with that one).
4. Prince Using ESP on Bubbles
Granted this is from the National Enquirer, and it may very well not be true. But come on now, admit it, we ALL can see this article being true. The King of Pop blamed The High Priest of Pop of using his magical powers of ESP to cause Bubbles, the chimp, to get all wild and crazy and go on a “reign of terror”. While this does make for an absurd story, Prince’s eyes did have that ability to lock down on you and put you in some sort of trance.
3. The Dude
During the time in which Prince was known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, the hired help at his Paisley Park Minnesota home did not know what to call him or how to refer to him. Somehow the agreed upon name to refer to the Purple One was, “the dude”. With all the nicknames associated with Prince, you would think they could’ve come up with something better than “the dude”.
2. Who’s Bad
Michael Jackson’s song “Bad” was intended to be a duet between Michael and Prince. Why didn’t it happen? I’ll let Prince answer this one. At the time, Prince said, “Well, that Wesley Snipes character (from the music video), that would’ve been me. You run that video in your mind. The first line of that song is ‘Your butt is mine’. Now I said ‘Who gonna sing that to who? Cause you sure ain’t singin’ it to me. And I sure ain’t singin’ it to you’. So right there we got, y’know, right there we got a problem.”
1. Epic Ping-Pong Showdown
This one is my favourite. Prince and Michael, one on one, in a game of ping-pong! According to someone that was present at this impromptu match up, Prince asked MJ, “You want me to slam it?”
He then went on to say, “Michael drops his paddle and holds his hands up in front of his face so the ball won’t hit him. Michael walks out with his bodyguard, and Prince starts strutting around like a rooster. ‘Did you see that? He [Jackson] played like Helen Keller.’”
Do you enjoy music from The Artist (Formerly Known as Prince)? Do you know any other facts about him? Do let me know in the comments below!