"Prince" (born "Prince Rogers Nelson"; June 7, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. He has been known under the unpronounceable symbol , which he used between 1993 and 2000. This name change invoked controversy and many referred to him as ""The Artist Formerly Known as Prince"", often abbreviated to ""TAFKAP"", or simply ""The Artist"" during that period.
According to Robert Larsen in his book, "History of Me and I", Prince is "one of the most talented and commercially successful pop musicians of the last thirty years", producing ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label, writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of the instruments on his recordings. In addition, Prince has been a "talent promoter" for the careers of Sheila E, Carmen Electra, The Time and Vanity 6, and has written songs for these artists and others (including Chaka Khan, The Bangles, and Sinéad O'Connor), many of which have become hits, making him one of the most successful artists in recent music history.
Prince is reported to have written hundreds of songs, some of which have been released by Prince under pseudonyms or recorded and released by other artists.Prince also has hundreds of unreleased songs in his "vault". 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.
In that same year "Rolling Stone" ranked Prince #28 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Prince's music has been influenced by Rock, R&B, soul, funk, blues, New Wave, electronica, disco, psychedelia, folk, jazz, and hip hop. His artistic influences include Ike Turner, Sly & the Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, 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.
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