Prince Rogers Nelson, best known as just Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. He is highly revered as one of the greatest musicians of his time. The artist was notable for his eclectic work across different genres of music, as well as his vocal range and flamboyant persona.
During his lifetime, Prince was well-known for his prolific output, as he released a total of 39 albums, and had several unfinished projects left in a vault at his home after his death. His albums sold more than 130 million copies worldwide, thus making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Although his legacy has continued to live on, a part of his life that has been a thing of mystery to his fans is that of his sexuality.
Here’s What We Know About Prince’s Sexuality
The raunchy, steamy Prince was a conservative Christian, raised as a Seventh-day Adventist but later became a Jehovah’s Witness, a faith community that forbids homosexuality, as well as sexual immorality. Popular for his sexual expression, Prince, who was widely speculated to be gay, tried to prove that an individual’s fashion taste or sexual behavior should not determine his gender or sexual identity.
In 2008, Prince made an open renunciation of same-sex marriage. Speaking on the issue of homosexuality and God, he tapped his Bible and told the New Yorker: “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough’.”
Prince, however, acknowledged female pleasure in unprecedented ways in his work and was focused on expanding the bounds of human love and acceptance. He preached love for one another, and his message was centered on the need for humans to find deeper, purer ways to love each other and themselves.
His Bandmate Claimed Prince told Her to Renounce Her Lesbian Identity
Among Prince’s crew were Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin, two lesbians who were part of his revolution band in the early ’80s. At the dawn of the millennium, the group planned a reunion tour but were disappointed by their frontman, Prince. According to Wendy, the frontman canceled the tour because of her homosexuality and half-Jewish identity.
Reports have it that Prince asked her to hold a press conference, where she would reject her queerness and announce her conversion to the Jehova witness faith. However, six years down the line, they were next to Prince as he performed Purple Rain at a show in London.
The Music Star’s Sexuality Was Never Understood
The music icon kept the truth about his sexual identity hidden for a long while and made sure not to answer questions regarding that. He, however, released a song, Controversy (1981), where he asked, “Am I Black or White / Am I Straight or Gay?” Nonetheless, he didn’t offer any answers, which left his fans to speculate curiously.
In his 1984 album, Purple Rain, the singer also made a clear reference to gender fluidity with some of his lyrics, “I’m not a woman, I’m not a man / I am something that you all never understand,” and this fueled the speculations even more. What is known, however, is that throughout his lifetime, Prince was regarded as a queer icon, as well as an ally to the LGBTQ community, even though his religious belief considers same-sex relations as a sin.
After he died in 2016, Frank Ocean, an American singer/songwriter paid tribute to his idol saying, “he was a straight black man who played his first televised set in bikini bottoms and knee-high boots, epic.” Although Prince had his flaws and is long gone, it’s impossible to say what his true feelings were. Considering his legacy, it is, however, undeniable that he had a positive impact on the LGBT+ community and helped change their culture for the better.
He Started Making Music At An Early Age
Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to musician parents who greatly influenced his passion for music at a very early age. He wrote his first song at the age of 7.
Prince recorded several songs with his cousin’s band 94 East before releasing his debut album “For You” (1978) at the age of 20. His sophomore self-titled album “Prince” released in 1979 shot him to fame thanks to the incredible successes of two hit singles “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” The album was certified platinum.
His subsequent albums in the ’80s were all successful with songs in almost all the music genres. There are rock, funk, pop, RnB, dance, and new wave. Among these albums were “Dirty Mind,” “Controversy,” and “Purple Rain.” Purple Rain, which sold 13 million copies, had a title track that was used as the soundtrack of a movie of the same name, which was also Prince’s debut film role. The song won him an Academy Award for the best original song.
A talented multi-instrumentalist, he produced most of his songs. Thanks to his energized stage performances, his concerts raked north of $3 million. Prince was most times perceived as a controversial artist due to his signature sexual lyrics. In the early ’90s, following a heated controversy between him and Warner Bros, which he was signed to at the time, Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and released four records between 1994 and 1998. He later signed with Arista Records, changing his name back to Prince.
Prince’s Career Earnings And Accomplishments
A prolific songwriter, Prince released almost 40 albums throughout his career. According to reports, there are a plethora of works done by the artists that have never been officially released. His albums sold over 100 million copies worldwide qualifying him as one of the best-selling artists of all time. 14 of his singles made it to the Billboard Top 10 charts with 5 of them peaking at #1 on the Billboard 100.
Prince won a total of 7 Grammys, 1 Golden Globe, and Academy Awards. His last album before his death was “HITnRUN Phase Two”. It was originally released in December 2015 via Jay Z-owned Tidal streaming service. At the time of his death on 21st April 2016, his net worth was estimated between $200 and $300 million.
His Awards and Recognition At A Glance
- 1985: Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group for Purple Rain
- 1985: Grammy Awards for Best Scor Soundtrack for Visual Media for Purple Rain
- 1985: Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song for his I Feel For You
- 1987: Grammy Awards Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for Kiss
- 2005: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance by for Call My Name
- 2005: Best Traditional R&B Performance Musicology
- 2008: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for Future Baby Mama
- 2008: His song “1999” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame
- 2011: Purple Rain was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame
- 2017: Sign o’ the Times was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame
American Music Awards
- 1984: Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist – Prince
- 1985: Favorite Soul/R&B Single – When Doves Cry
- 1985: Favorite Pop/Rock Album – Purple Rain
- 1985: Favorite Soul/R&B Album – Purple Rain
- 2016 – Favorite Soundtrack – Purple Rain
- 1985: Soundtrack/Cast Recording for Purple Rain
- 1985: Best International Artist – Prince
- 1990: Soundtrack/Cast Recording for Batman
- 1992: International Solo Artist – Prince
- 1993: International Solo Artist – Prince
- 1995: International Male Solo Artist – Prince
- 1996: International Male Solo Artist – Prince
- 1985: Academy Awards for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain
- 1987: Edison Awards for Best Pop International for his album Parade
- 1989: Edison Awards for Best Pop International for his album Lovesexy
- 1990: American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers awards for Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures – Partyman
- 1991: American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers awards for Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures – Thieves in the Temple
- 2004: ASCAP Pop Music Award for Most Performed Song “’03 Bonnie & Clyde.”
- 2004: Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- 2006: BET Awards for Best Male R&B Artist – Prince
- 2007: Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for “The Song of the Heart.”
- 2013: Billboard Music’s Icon Award – Prince
Cause of Death and Autopsy Report
Prince was scheduled to hold his final concert in his resident Paisley Park before his unexpected and shocking death. He was found dead on April 21, 2016, in an elevator in his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota said to be worth $10 million. It was reported that the artist was ill two weeks before his death.
An autopsy report tagged his death as an ‘accident’ from the self-administration of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller. However, there are still unanswered questions surrounding the death of the legendary music icon.
Who Will Inherit His Fortune?
Prince left behind no children, and according to his sister Tyka, no will as well, which begs the question of who will inherit his millions. According to Minnesota state laws, in the absence of a will, the deceased’s fortune would be inherited first by the spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and finally, other distant relatives.
As earlier stated, Prince left behind no children. His only son, Boy Gregory, died a week after birth. Prince was also unmarried at the time of death. Both his parents are late, and this leaves his siblings the next in line to inherit his fortune.
A few years after his demise, the sharing of Prince’s estate is still unsettled. It is known that Prince has six siblings with the closest in bloodline being Tyka Nelson as all others are half-siblings. However, the state law makes no exception for the half-siblings, which means Prince’s fortune might be shared equally among his six siblings. Well, the final verdict will be decided after a court hearing. They could also stand the chance to benefit from the iconic artist’s future royalties. RIP PRINCE (57).