Prince's greatest love affairs: a look back
Prince was known for his fondness for the ladies, and in light of his passing, ET is looking back at the special women who captured his heart.
The late Grammy winner was romantically linked to many celebrities, including Kim Basinger, Madonna, Sheila E. and Carmen Electra, but he was only married twice.
When he was 37, he wed his 22-year-old backup singer and dancer Mayte Garcia on Valentine's Day in 1996. According to VH1, the former couple met six years earlier when Mayte was a 16-year-old dancing prodigy attending one of his concerts.
After their nuptials, Garcia became pregnant with their first child, and Prince shared with ET the joy he felt during the experience.
"The most profound thing that has happened to me is the way I view women now," Prince told ET in 1997. "Going through my wife's pregnancy had a really powerful effect on me. It just gave me the utmost respect for all of women."
Sadly their baby boy died just seven days after he was born due to Pfeiffer syndrome, which is a rare skull defect that causes pressure on the brain. The estranged couple would announce their breakup in 1998 when their union was annulled.
It wasn't long before Prince fell in love again. This time he said "I do" to Manuela Testolini during a private ceremony in 2001.
The two reportedly met when she was 24 working for Prince's charity, Love4OneAnother, and he was 43. The marriage lasted five years before they split amicably in 2006.
"Deciding to end the marriage was a very difficult decision for Ms. Nelson," Testolini's attorney, Edward Winer said at the time. "She is seeking a cooperative resolution of this case and hopes the proceeding will be resolved quickly and respectfully. Ms. Nelson continues to be focused on her charitable work and her business, which remain her top priority."
Before getting married the first time, Prince reportedly had several notable flings.
Denise Matthews, better known as Vanity, met Prince at the American Music Awards in 1980 and the two soon hit it off. Prince renamed Matthews Vanity, seeing her as the female form of himself.
Prince later placed Vanity as the lead singer of the girl group Vanity 6, but Vanity disbanded the group after their debut release in 1982.
Vanity died in February also at 57 from kidney failure. Her ailments were reportedly the result of years of crack cocaine abuse before she became a Christian evangelist in the '90s.
Madonna reportedly dated the icon briefly in 1985. Prince later helped produce her 1989 album Like a Prayer.
In 1989, Prince released a single called "The Scandalous Sex Suite," which featured moans that were attributed to Basinger. The actress' vocal contributions were rumored to have been taken from recordings of the two having sex.
Sheila E. wrote in her memoir The Beat of My Own Drum that she dated her mentor in the '80s, and even claimed that they were engaged.
Electra, another of Prince's proteges, reportedly dated the singer after meeting in 1991. She credits Prince with reinventing her and changing her name to Carmen. Electra's real name is Tara Leigh Patrick.
While Prince would re-invent himself many times throughout his life in the limelight, during ET's time with the legendary musician we learned he was a deeply spiritual man.
"I study all the time to keep myself grounded," Prince told ET in 1999. "I study the Bible and study life and love. If you spend your days doing that, you're pretty protected from the nonsense."
for more features.