Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, he was named after the Prince Roger Trio, a jazz band in which his father played. Prince signed with Warner Bros. Records as a teenager.
His debut album, "For You," came in 1978, followed by "Prince" in 1979, "Dirty Mind" in 1980 and "Controversy" in 1981. All were controversial for their religious and sexual themes. Real success came with his next album, the eminently danceable "1999" in 1982, which went platinum and included singles "Little Red Corvette as well as "Delirious" in addition to the title track.
The film "Purple Rain" was a seemingly autobiographical tale of a rebellious young musician in the Minneapolis club scene.
Here, Prince gets a wild look in his eyes as he performs in concert at Riverfront Coliseum during his Purple Rain Tour in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 22, 1985.
Watch: 1993 Prince "Purple Rain" performance