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PRINCE

1970

Prince (b. Prince Rogers Nelson, June 7, 1958, Minneapolis, MN), named after the Prince Rogers Trio, led by his jazz-pianist father John Nelson and occasionally featuring his mother Mattie as a vocalist, began teaching himself the piano and performed in school talent shows, and was taken by his step-father, Hayward Baker, to see James Brown in concert in 1968, a seminal musical experience which will permeate into Princeís own recordings and live performances as an adult artist. Now at age 12, Prince, experiencing problems with his step-father, runs away from home and drifts, sometimes staying with his father (who buys him a guitar which he teaches himself to play). He is eventually adopted by the Anderson family, whose son André (later André Cymone) becomes a close friend and future musical collaborator. Prince begins writing songs and starts to play saxophone, drums and bass guitar, eventually mastering over two dozen instruments.

1972

Drummer Charles Smith, a cousin, invites Prince to play guitar, with Cymone on bass, in his junior high school-based band, Grand Central, which also has Cymoneís sister Linda on keyboards. Their repertoire is mainly current hit covers, which Prince arranges.

1973

Prince attends Minneapolis Central High School, where fellow students include Mark Brown (later bassist Brown Mark) and Terry Lewis (later of Time). Grand Central becomes Champagne, Morris Day replaces Smith on drums, and Prince becomes the bandís leader, although most of his own songs fall flat with audiences. His writing influences include, alongside several major R&B names, folk-singer Joni Mitchell.

1974

Even before he leaves school at 16, Prince and his cohorts have developed their own Minneapolis musical scene and sound, known to its young adherents as "Uptown", around Princeís outfit Flyte Tyme, which includes drummer Jellybean Johnson, bassist Terry Lewis and singer Alexander OíNeal. (The influential "Minneapolis Sound" of the í80s is rooted here.)

1976

Prince is invited to play guitar on sessions at Sound 80 studios in Minneapolis by Brooklyn artist Pepe Willie, produced by Motownís Hank Cosby, and also featuring Colonel Abrams. (This is the source of the instrumental out-takes album, The Minneapolis Genius : 94 East, released in 1986 by Willie on the Hot Pink label.) Meanwhile, a demo tape is produced by sound engineer Chris Moon, who recognizes Princeís talent and teaches him studio technique in return for half the proceeds from items on which they collaborate, mainly lengthy funk workouts on sexual themes.

June While Prince heads for New York to seek a recording deal, Moonís demo attracts the attention of Minneapolis businessman Owen Husney.

Sept Prince returns to Minneapolis, and Husney forms the management company American Artists with attorney Gary Levinson. Convincing Prince to mould his songs into a more accessible form, he puts up money for the recording of high-quality demos.

1977

Mar Record company negotiations start from the premise that Prince will produce himself. After a studio audition, Warner Bros. Records offers a long-term contract.

1978

Nov His debut album, For You, which has taken five months to produce (and used double the money advanced by Warner for three albums), is almost entirely written, sung and played by Prince, with synthesizers heavily featured, and peaks at US #163.

[25] The extracted Soft & Wet (a title many radio stations are wary of), reaches US #92 and US R&B #12, selling almost 350,000 copies, mainly in the R&B market. (Its follow-up, Just As Long As Weíre Together, also from the album, fails to chart.)

1979

Jan At Minneapolisí Capri Theatre (and chiefly to assembled Warner executives), Prince debuts the band he has formed after completing the first album (with Cymone on bass, keyboard player Gayle Chapman and drummer Bobby Z, plus rock guitarist Dez Dickerson and keyboardist Matt Fink, the result fusing rock and funk styles).

Feb Prince leaves Husney and American Artists, turning variously and unsatisfactorily for management to Hollywood-based Perry Jones and Bob Marleyís ex-manager, Don Taylor, before his Warner-appointed agent, Steve Fargnoli, introduces him to Cavallo & Ruffalo (managers of Earth, Wind & Fire and Ray Parker Jr.).

June Recording begins for a new album which this time will be completed in six weeks.

Dec [1] The extracted I Wanna Be Your Lover tops the R&B chart for the first of two weeks.

1980

Jan [19] Prince peaks at US #22, initially selling half a million copies. From it comes another R&B (but not crossover) hit (#13), Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?, and also contains I Feel For You (which Chaka Khan will revive for a UK #1 and US #3 hit in 1984).

[26] I Wanna Be Your Lover reaches US #11 and is his UK chart debut at #41, as he guests on "American Bandstand".

Feb Chapman leaves and is replaced by Lisa Coleman (daughter of Los Angeles session veteran Gary Coleman), who has auditioned via a demo (and will stay with Prince for six years).

[9] Prince performs a showcase in Minneapolis, but the venue is far from full and reactions to his overtly sexual stage antics are mixed.

[21] Prince is certified platinum by the RIAA.

[28] Prince embarks on a US tour with Motown funk artist Rick James in Chicago, IL.

Mar Always a prolific songwriter, often creating tracks on his Fender Telecaster guitar, Prince begins recording another album, a rough-edged, mostly solo affair cut on his own 16-track equipment, which emerges as Dirty Mind.

[18] I Wanna Be Your Lover is certified gold by the RIAA.

Apr [27] The US tour comes to a close in Nashville, TN.

Dec [4] The "Dirty Mind" tour begins in Buffalo, NY.

[6] After being remixed in Los Angeles, Dirty Mind makes US #45. It breaks Prince to a wider audience but is criticized by some as being too sexual, particularly on cuts like Head and Sister. From it, Uptown hits US R&B #5, but fails to cross over.

1981

Feb [21] Prince guests on NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live".

June [2] Having played his first European date in Amsterdam, Holland on the 29th, Prince makes his British debut at Londonís Lyceum Ballroom. The attendance is poor and the rest of the tour is cancelled. (He will not play in the UK again for five years.)

On returning to the US, Cymone quits the band for solo projects. (He will sign with American Artists and will release two albums, before concentrating on production.)

July Warner Bros. release an eponymous album by Minneapolis group Time, with all songs credited to Jamie Starr, an early Prince pseudonym. The album had originated when Prince invited Morris Day to sing over six tracks he had already completed. The band has been formed only after the album was completed and includes former Flyte Tyme members Lewis and Johnson, plus keyboardists Jimmy Jam and Monte Moir. (The members will later pay tribute to Princeís role as motivator in shaping the group.)

Nov [20] Prince's latest US tour opens in Pittsburgh, PA.

[21] Controversy peaks at US #70, as the parent album Controversy reaches US #21. (Another cut, Letís Work hits R&B #9, but fails to cross over.) Time backs Prince on his US tour.

1982

Mar He buys a mansion in suburban Minneapolis, where he will permanently reside.

[14] The 39-date "Controversy" tour comes to end in Cincinnati, OH.

Nov [11] A five-month tour begins in support of 1999 opens in Chattanooga, TN. It is a Minneapolis revue, with Prince & the Revolution following Time and Princeís new all-girl group, Vanity 6 (blonde Bostonian Brenda Bennett, Canadian Dee Dee Winters aka Vanity, and 16-year-old Minneapolis native, Susan Moonsie).

Dec [11] The title track, 1999, makes US #44. The double album begins a slow US chart rise (but will be a major seller during 1983). Although Prince has played and produced most of its tracks, the album is credited to Prince & the Revolution for the first time.

1983

Jan Prince is added to the white act-dominated MTV playlist with his video for Little Red Corvette, from 1999. Always uneasy with interviews, he begins almost blanket press silence, which he will always maintain.

Feb [12] 1999 makes UK #25. However, the tour does not go well. Time, despite a successful second album, What Time Is It? (which has reached US #26), is relegated to backing Vanity 6 from behind a curtain, while Jam and Lewis are fired by Prince after missing a show (through being stranded by snow in Atlanta, GA, where they were producing the S.O.S. Band).

Apr [10] The "1999 Triple Threat" tour finishes in Chicago, IL, as Prince begins work on a film with Hollywood scriptwriter William Blinn, while UCLA film graduate, Albert Magnoli, is brought to Minneapolis to discuss directing the project. Dickerson leaves the Revolution, and is replaced by Wendy Melvoin (daughter of session keyboardist Mike Melvoin), who will also appear in the film. Prince cancels already-scheduled sellout dates at Londonís Dominion Theatre.

May [16] Prince performs at the Minnesota Music Awards in Bloomington, MN.

[21] Little Red Corvette hits US #6.

[28] 1999 finally hits US #9, and will stay on the chart for more than two years, as Little Red Corvette makes UK #54.

July [23] Title song, 1999, re-charts at US #12.

Aug [3] Prince premieres some of his forthcoming project, Purple Rain, at a benefit concert at the First Avenue club in Minneapolis.

Oct [22] Delirious, the third single from the album, hits US #8.

Nov Filming of "Purple Rain" begins (and will take seven weeks, at a cost of $7 million). Wendy and Lisa begin contributing as a songwriting team as part of the project. Purple Rain, Baby Iím A Star and I Would Die 4 U are recorded live at the First Avenue club, where the movieís performance scenes are filmed.

[26] Reissued Little Red Corvette peaks at #66.

1984

Jan [28] Double A-side, Letís Pretend Weíre Married/Irresistible Bitch, climbs to US #52.

June [20] Dirty Mind is certified gold by the RIAA.

July [7] Recorded at Sunset Sound Studio, Los Angeles, the self-penned, self-produced When Doves Cry, taken from the forthcoming movie and album Purple Rain, gives Prince his first chart-topper, hitting US #1 for the first of five weeks (it will be the biggest-selling single of 1984).

[27] Semi-autobiographical "Purple Rain" opens nationwide in the US (and in Britain four days later), its plot taking romantic liberties with Princeís past, his relationship with his parents and his rise through the Minneapolis scene. It is well received despite its cast of non-actors, and takes $60 million in two months at the US box office.

[28] When Doves Cry becomes his biggest UK success to date, hitting #4.

Aug [4] Soundtrack album, Purple Rain, produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince & the Revolution, begins a 24-week run atop the US chart (eventually selling over ten million domestic copies).

[21] When Doves Cry is certified gold by the RIAA.

Sept [29] Letís Go Crazy, also from Purple Rain, tops the US chart for the first of two weeks (but is not issued in Britain at this time).

Oct [6] Title song, the anthemic ballad Purple Rain hits UK #8.

Nov [4] A 97-date North American tour gets underway in Detroit, MI. (By the time it ends in April 1985 over 1,692,000 tickets will have been sold while throughout the schedule Prince plays unpublicized free concerts for handicapped children.) The two-hour show features his latest protegée, percussionist/singer Sheila E. (daughter of Santana percussionist Pete Escovedo, and introduced to Prince by Carlos Santana), with whom he has already recorded The Glamorous Life in June 1984.

[7] Letís Go Crazy is certified gold by the RIAA.

[17] Purple Rain hits US #2.

1985

Jan [5] I Would Die 4 U makes UK #58.

[11] His 1981 album Controversy is confirmed platinum by the RIAA.

[26] Double A-side, 1999/Little Red Corvette, becomes Princeís most successful UK single to date, hitting #2 (behind Elaine Paige and Barbara Dicksonís I Know Him So Well).

[28] Prince wins the Favorite Single, Soul/R&B, Favorite Album, Soul/R&B, and Favorite Album, Pop/Rock categories at the 12th annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. Although expected to join the all-star session for USA For Africaís We Are The World, recorded after the Awards ceremony, he declines on the grounds that he does not record with other acts - but offers to donate an exclusive track (4 The Tears In Your Eyes) to the follow-up benefit album, We Are The World.

Feb [2] I Would Die 4 U, also from the movie, hits US #8 (and continues the artistís preference for using numbers and single letters in place of words in both song titles and reprinted sleeve lyrics).

[11] Prince is named Best International Solo Artist, and Purple Rain wins the Best Film Soundtrack category at the fourth annual BRIT Awards, held at Londonís Grosvenor House Hotel.

[16] 1999 makes UK #30.

Mar [2] Prince wins the Best Group Rock Vocal Performance category for Purple Rain and R&B Song Of The Year for I Feel For You at the 27th annual Grammy Awards.

[9] Take Me With You, issued as a double A-side with Letís Go Crazy, hits UK #7.

[16] Purple Rain hits UK #7, and will become one of the decadeís best-selling albums.

[23] Take Me With You, duetted with another female protegée, Apollonia (who replaces Vanity, to lead Apollonia 6) reaches US #25, and is the only single from Purple Rain not to hit the US Top 10. It is bettered by Scottish singer Sheena Eastonís Sugar Walls, which Prince has written for her under the pseudonym Alexander Nevermind, hitting US #9.

[25] Prince wins the Best Original Score Oscar for "Purple Rain" at the Academy Awards.

Apr [7] The "Purple Rain" tour comes to a close in Miami, FL.

May [4] Around The World In A Day debuts at its UK #5 peak. The album has evolved from rehearsals for Princeís next tour, and has been recorded at the newly-built Paisley Park studios at his HQ, the Warehouse, in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen. In contrast to its predecessor, it is released with minimal promotion, and Prince reportedly has to be persuaded by Warner Bros. into releasing singles from it. Tracks include the spiritual The Ladder (co-written with his father) and Temptation, which purportedly features a conversation with God. Prince instructs Fargnoli to announce that he is retiring from live performance. Paisley Park, his studio complex and also now the name of his label, will become the center of Prince-orchestrated projects and acts, including the Family (featuring his regular sax player, Eric Leeds and Susannah Melvoin) and Madhouse (a jazzy project, also featuring Leeds), in addition to independent protegées including Sheila E. and Jill Jones.

June [1] Around The World In A Day tops the US chart for the first of three weeks.

Prince visits Paris, France, to plan and write songs for a new movie, after which he and Fargnoli travel to the South of France to schedule shooting for his next film, "Under The Cherry Moon". When work starts, Prince relegates director Mary Lambert to an advisory role, and takes full control.

[7] Having declared his intention to retire from live performing, Prince makes a one-off appearance at the St. Paul Prom Center in St. Paul, MN.

[29] Paisley Park reaches UK #18.

July [2] The RIAA certifies two million sales of Around The World In A Day.

[20] The first US extract from Around The World In A Day, Raspberry Beret, hits US #2 (behind Duran Duranís A View To A Kill), and is the first single released on his own Paisley Park imprint.

[22] 1999 is confirmed multi-platinum by the RIAA for sales of three million.

Aug [17] Raspberry Beret makes UK #25.

Sept [21] Pop Life, from Around The World In A Day, hits US #7. Prince breaks his press silence to talk to Neal Karlen for Rolling Stone, though the interview, vetted by Prince and his management, is largely unrevealing.

Oct [26] Pop Life peaks at UK #60.

Nov [2] America, a further single from the album, stops at US #46.

1986

Mar [22] Kiss hits UK #6.

Apr [5] Kiss tops the US R&B survey.

[12] Parade - Music From Under The Cherry Moon bows at its UK #4 peak.

[19] Kiss, its video directed by Rebecca Blake, taken from the forthcoming movie and soundtrack album, Parade, heads the US chart for the first of two weeks. Behind it at #2 is Manic Monday by the Bangles, written by Prince under the pseudonym Christopher Tracy.

May [3] Parade - Music From Under The Cherry Moon hits US #3. Prince decides to return to live work and the "Parade" tour is launched, with a big band, and dazzling choreography replacing technoflash, and a greater R&B emphasis. Reviews are ecstatic.

[5] Kiss is certified gold by the RIAA.

[14] Prince makes a guest appearance with the Bangles in San Francisco, CA.

June Lisa Barber, a Sheridan, WY motel chambermaid, is the 10,000th caller to an MTV contest number. She wins a date with Prince to attend the premiere of "Under The Cherry Moon" in her hometown.

[3] Parade is confirmed platinum by the RIAA.

[7] Princeís birthday show in Detroit is filmed.

[14] Mountains, written by Wendy and Lisa and taken from Parade, makes UK #45.

July [1] "Under The Cherry Moon" film premieres in Sheridan. Barber tells Prince she enjoys the movie. After the showing, at the party at the Holiday Inn, Prince plays an impromptu 45-minute set.

[2] "Under The Cherry Moon" opens nationwide at 941 US theatres.

[5] Mountains reaches US #23.

Aug Prince submits a song to one of his long-time favorite artists, Joni Mitchell, but she finds it unsuitable and declines to record it.

[9] Anotherloverholenyohead, from Parade, peaks at US #63.

[12-14] Prince plays three sellout nights at Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, his first UK dates in five years, at the start of his first European tour.

[23] UK-only issued Girls And Boys reaches #11.

Sept [5] After his 15-date European trip, Prince makes his Japanese debut in Osaka.

[15] "Raspberry Beret" wins the Best Choreography category at the third annual MTV Video Music Awards broadcast simultaneously from the Universal Amphitheatre, Universal City, CA, and The Palladium, New York.

Oct [17] A statement is issued announcing the disbanding of the Revolution.

Nov [8] Anotherloverholenyohead makes UK #36.

1987

Mar [21] Prince reveals his new stage show, recruiting musicians and dancers, with a surprise performance at the First Avenue. He retains Fink, Leeds, Greg Brooks and Wally Safford from the Revolution, recalls Sheila E. and adds guitarist Mico Weaver, keyboardist Boni Boyer, bassist Seacer and dancer/singer Cat Glover.

[28] Sign Oí The Times UK #10.

Apr [11] Stark, urban-themed Sign Oí The Times tops the US R&B chart, as Sign Oí The Times hits UK #4 in its week of entry.

[25] Sign Oí The Times hits US #3, as rehearsals for a European tour take place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands.

May [8] Followed by a couple of unannounced club performances, the "Sign O' The Times" European tour gets underway in Stockholm, Sweden.

[9] Double album, Sign Oí The Times, as ever produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince, hits US #6.

June [20] If I Was Your Girlfriend, on which Princeís alter-ego "Camille" is credited with lead vocal, makes US #67.

July Princeís two Wembley Stadium dates are cancelled. The official reason given is poor weather (and hoped-for alternative dates at the indoor Earlís Court arena cannot be arranged in time), but rumors cite inter-promoter politics as a factor. No attempt is made to stage the "Sign Oí The Times" tour in the US (because, it is assumed, of the large costs involved), but a movie of the same title, largely consisting of the tour show as filmed in Rotterdam, Holland, serves as a substitute for both US and UK audiences. (It will also be issued as a home video.)

[2] Sign Oí The Times is certified platinum by the RIAA.

[4] If I Was Your Girlfriend reaches UK #20.

Sept [5] U Got The Look, a duet from Sign Oí The Times with Sheena Easton, and aided by a steamy performance video clip (rumors of a romantic liaison between them persist), hits US #2.

[11] He performs at the fourth annual MTV Video Music Awards held at the Universal Amphitheatre.

Oct [17] U Got The Look reaches UK #11.

Dec [5] I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man, another track from Sign Oí The Times, reaches UK #29. Meanwhile, the music press runs stories concerning a mysterious Prince album, featuring back-to-his-roots raw sex and funk tracks, which he is apparently asking Warner to rush out on their carefully-planned Christmas release schedules. Label staff admit to knowing less about the project than the press, but rumors persist that Prince wants the album released in plain black sleeves with no recording credits.

1988

Jan [1] Prince performs an after-midnight concert to benefit the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless at the Paisley Park Studios, joined on stage by Miles Davis. Wendy and Lisaís Sideshow is released by Virgin Records. The Black Album, as it will become known, fails to officially materialize. Several thousand are pressed in Europe and, when the recall notice comes, 100 copies slip out of WEA Recordsí German pressing plant. These (directly or via a German radio broadcast) and advance promo cassettes, are the sources for a flood of Black Album bootlegs. The album is a series of hardcore erotic funk out-takes; track listing is: Le Grind, Cindy C, Dead On It, When 2 R In Love, Bob George, Supercalifragisexi, 2 Nigs United 4 West Compton and Hard Rock In A Funky Place.

Feb [6] I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man hits US #10.

[20] Its B-side, Hot Thing, peaks at US #63.

May [14] Alphabet St., from the album (which is announced as definitely not being the Black Album), hits UK #9.

[21] Lovesexy, an unlikely blend of sexy R&B and spiritual concerns, becomes his first UK chart-topper. It also concerns itself with the "battle" between Camille (the good or positive side of Princeís personality) and Spooky Electric (the bad). A Prince-penned Warner press release suggests that the Black Album was Spooky Electricís idea, but that Camille won over and stopped the "evil" record. (Some critics suggest that the whole business of the mystery album was merely an elaborate pre-release scam for Lovesexy.) Meanwhile, Princeís sister, Tyka Nelson, signs to Chrysalis Records, and releases an album, to little interest.

June [11] Lovesexy reaches US #11.

[25] Alphabet St. hits US #8.

July [8] The "Lovesexy" tour begins in Paris, France, and includes seven nights at Wembley Arena. In a return to a flashier stage style, Prince enters the circular stage on an out-size pink Cadillac. His latest female cohort, Cat, disrobes him on a neon bed and then ties him to a chair. (After some of the gigs, Prince adjourns to small clubs, where he performs an additional late-night three-hour set for invited guests.)

[23] Glam Slam, from Lovesexy, reaches UK #29.

Aug [9] His "Prince And The Revolution" video reaches the the RIAA-certified 100,000 sales plateau.

Sept [7] Nominated in four categories, "U Got The Look" wins the Best Male Video and Best Stage Performance categories at the fifth annual MTV Video Music Awards, held again at the Universal Amphitheatre.

[14] After 33 European dates, the North American leg of his tour - a 39-date trek and Princeís first in four years, starts at the Met Center in Bloomington, MN, set to end in Dallas, TX on November 29. (Prince will play a benefit concert in Boston, MA, to establish a scholarship in the name of 17-year-old Frederick Weber, who was killed when hit by an automobile while waiting in line for Prince concert tickets outside Bostonís Tower Records store.)

Nov [19] I Wish U Heaven, from Lovesexy, reaches UK #24. Prince ends the year collaborating with other artists, working with Sheena Easton, duetting with Madonna on her forthcoming album and signing George Clinton to Paisley Park (having helped pay off the latterís tax bill).

Dec [5] Lovesexy is certified gold by the RIAA.

1989

Jan [10] "Sign Oí The Times" video is confirmed platinum by the RIAA.

[23] Dave Hillís biography, Prince : A Pop Life, is published in Britain.

Feb [1] An eight-date Japanese leg of the "Lovesexy" tour opens in Sendai.

Apr Princeís half-sister, Lorna Nelson, loses a court battle insisting that he stole her lyrics for use in U Got The Look.

July [1] Batdance, a stuttered and sampled house/dance cut, including dialog snippets from the forthcoming film "Batman" by its stars Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, hits UK #2, behind Soul II Soulís Back To Life.

Aug [5] Batdance, the first cut from the Prince-composed and produced soundtrack which forms part of the massive multi-entertainment Warner Bros. project, based around the summerís hot movie, hits US #1, and is the third Prince US #1 as a performer. Its parent album, Batman, is also in its third of six weeks at US #1, having already hit UK #1 on July 1st.

[11] Batdance is certified platinum by the RIAA.

[29] The RIAA confirms two million sales of Batman.

Sept [16] Follow-up, Partyman, reaches UK #14.

[24] Prince opens the 15th anniversary NBC-TV "Saturday Night Live" special.

Oct [7] Partyman reaches US #18.

Nov [8] Partyman is certified gold by the RIAA.

[15] Prince joins Patti LaBelle onstage in Minneapolis.

Dec [16] Further Batman extract, The Arms Of Orion, a duet with Easton, makes US #36, having already made UK #27 on the 2nd. (By yearís end, Prince will have begun work on his next film project, "Graffiti Bridge", written and produced an album, released on Paisley Park, for Mavis Staples, and completed further production work for Morris Day, Jerome Benton and even rumored-to-be short-term belle, "Batman" actress Kim Basinger.)

1990

Jan [22] Prince is honored with the Special Award of Achievement at the 17th annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium.

Feb [3] Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead OíConnorís cover of a Prince-penned track which was featured on a 1985 album by Paisley Park act the Family, tops the UK chart (and will hit US #1 on April 21st before winning a batch of awards).

[7] Prince gives his first concert in a year, at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis.

[18] Batman is named Best Soundtrack at the ninth annual BRIT Awards held at Londonís Dominion Theatre.

Apr [30] He previews his forthcoming "Nude Tour" at the 650-ticket Rupertís Nightclub in Golden Valley, Minneapolis, with the $100-a-head proceeds going to the family of his former bodyguard, Charles "Big Chick" Huntsberry, who died on April 2nd of heart failure at age 49.

June [19] Following 12 dates in Holland, Denmark, West Germany and France, the 17-date UK leg of his "Nude" tour opens with 16 sellout shows, before crowds totalling 184,000, at Wembley Arena, set to end on July 13th.

Aug Prince files a civil lawsuit against promoter Francesco Sanavio of Avantguarde for breach of contract concerning alleged non-payment for his shows in Italy.

[11] Thieves In The Temple hits UK #7.

[30] Following a further 22 European dates, the Japanese leg of his world tour begins in Tokyo, set to end on September 10th om Yokohama.

Sept [1] Graffiti Bridge tops the UK chart.

[22] Thieves In The Temple and Graffiti Bridge both hit US #6.

Oct [2] Thieves In The Temple is certified gold by the RIAA.

[6] Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser declares "Prince Day", though the star is reported to be in Los Angeles.

Nov [1] Graffiti Bridge is certified gold by the RIAA, as the movie premieres in New York.

[17] New Power Generation peaks at US #64 and UK #26.

1991

Jan [6] Prince premieres his latest backing band, the New Power Generation at the Glam Slam club in Minneapolis. The band comprises Tony M (rapper), Rosie Gaines (six octave range singer), Michael Bland (drums), Levi Seacer Jr. (guitar), Kirk Johnson (guitar), Damon Dickson (dancer), Sonny T (bass) and Tommy Barbarella (keyboards).

[18] Prince performs at the opening night of the "Rock In Rio II" festival at the Maracana soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before an estimated crowd of 60,000.

Feb [1] Having been fired in 1988, Princeís ex-managers Joseph Ruffalo, Robert Cavallo and Steve Fargnoli, bring a lawsuit against their former boss in Los Angeles Superior Court, suing for severance pay and punitive damages, claiming he owes them $600,000.

Mar [7] Prince is named Best Songwriter in the annual Rolling Stone Readersí Picks music awards.

[23] Elisa Fiorilloís Oooh This I Need, written and produced by Prince, peaks at US #90.

Apr [13] From "Graffiti Bridge", teen-star Tevin Campbell reaches US #12 with the Prince-penned and produced Round And Round.

Aug [15] ABC-TV airs "The International Special Olympics All-Star Gala" special, at which Prince sings Diamonds And Pearls and Baby Iím A Star, taped in Minneapolis in July.

[31] Gett Off import reaches UK #33.

Sept [5] Prince performs Gett Off at the eighth annual MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Universal Amphitheatre.

[7] Gett Off, the accompanying video directed by Randee St. Nicholas, hits UK #4.

[28] Cream reaches UK #15.

Oct [12] Diamonds And Pearls, recorded with the New Power Generation, debuts at its UK #2 peak behind Simply Redís Stars. Gett Off reaches US #21.

[23] Gett Off is certified gold by the RIAA.

Nov DC Comics publish the first Prince comic.

[9] Smooth sex-filled R&B swinger Cream becomes his fifth US chart-topper, as Diamonds And Pearls hits US #3.

[13] "Gett Off" video is certified gold by the RIAA.

Dec [6] Steve Fargnoli files a $5 million suit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging the track Jughead is about him.

[7] Diamonds And Pearls bows at its UK #25 peak.

[13] BBC1-TV airs the documentary "Omnibus - The Prince of Paisley Park".

1992

Jan [10] Prince plays a surprise two-hour gig at the Glam Slam Club previewing his upcoming tour.

[11] Insatiable peaks at US #77.

[16] Cream is certified gold by the RIAA.

[30] The RIAA also confirms two million sales of Diamonds And Pearls.

Feb [12] Prince is again named Best International Artist at the 11th annual BRIT Awards, held at Londonís Hammersmith Odeon.

[15] Diamonds And Pearls hits US #3.

Apr [3] His "Diamonds And Pearls" world tour, with the New Power Generation, kicks off at the Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan.

[4] Money Donít Matter 2 Night, its video directed by Spike Lee, reaches UK #19.

[24] Prince plays the first of six sellout concerts at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, before 66,222 people.

May [16] Money Donít Matter 2 Night reaches US #23, its profits being donated to the United Negro College Fund.

[22] "Thunder", an 18-minute ballet by the Joffrey Ballet, based on Thunder from Diamonds And Pearls premieres in Los Angeles.

June [15-17, 19-21, 23-24] Prince performs at Londonís Earls Court during the UK leg of his current tour.

[27] Thunder debuts at its UK #28 peak.

July [12] Prince's 51-date tour comes to an end in Paris.

[25] Sexy MF stops at US #66. Sexy MF/Strolliní, banned by all radio stations in the UK, hits UK #4.

Sept [9] "Cream" wins the Best Dance Video category at the ninth annual MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, at which he also performs the song.

Oct [17] enters the UK chart at #1 and will earn a platinum disc for 300,000 sales. The self-proclaiming My Name Is Prince hits UK #7.

[24] My Name Is Prince makes US #36.

[31] debuts at its US #5 pinnacle.

Nov [14] My Name Is Prince (Remixes) charts for a week at UK #51.

Dec [12] 7 reaches UK #27.

[17] is certified platinum by the RIAA.

1993

Jan [27] The Joffrey Balletís "Billboards" opens at the University of Iowaís Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, IA. (There will be four sold out shows at Chicagoís Civic Opera House on March 16th-21st.)

Feb [16] He wins the Best International Solo Artist category at the 12th annual BRIT Awards, held at the Alexandra Palace, London.

[25] Prince is jostled onstage at a taping of "The Arsenio Hall Show", after he invites audience members to join him after singing The Max.

[27] 7 hits US #7.

Mar [8-9] Having played a two-hour warm-up show at his new Glam Slam club in Los Angeles earlier in the week, Prince kicks off his first North American tour in five years at the Sunrise Musical Theatre, Sunrise, FL, a ten-city trek backed by the NPG, before two sellout crowds of 7,589 paying $267,068.

[10] 7 is certified gold by the RIAA.

[13] The Morning Papers debuts at its UK #52 peak.

[24-26] Prince performs for a sellout crowd of 17,188 at New Yorkís Radio City Music Hall.

[27] He performs for the first time at the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York, before a specially invited audience of under-privileged childrenís groups from the local community.

Apr [27] Reach Media Relations Inc., his PR firm, issues a statement that Prince is retiring from studio recordings to concentrate on theatre, film and other ventures.

May [15] The Morning Papers makes US #44.

June [7] On his 35th birthday, Prince announces he is changing his name to , leaving the media to subsequently refer to him as the Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

July [26] The UK leg of his European summer tour opens at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, W. Midlands.

Sept [5] The 26-date European tour comes to an end with a performance at the "Rock Over Germany" Festival in Mainz, Germany.

[25] Career compilations The Hits/The B Sides and The Hits 1 debut at their respective UK #4 and #5 peaks.

Oct [2] Pink Cashmere makes US #50, as The Hits/The B Sides and The Hits 1 debut at their US #19 and #46 peaks.

[9] The Hits 2 hits UK #5 and US #54.

[23] Peach reaches UK #14.

Nov [24, 27] He performs two Thanksgiving dates at Paisley Park Studios - a venue which becomes a particular favorite with him.

Dec [1] The Hits/The B Sides is certified platinum by the RIAA.

[11] Controversy debuts at its UK #5 peak, as several US publications, including Entertainment Weekly and The Village Voice, print ads, placed by , featuring his shadowed face with the plea: "Eligible bachelor seeks the most beautiful girl in the world to spend holidays with".

1994

Feb [1] Warner Bros. and Paisley Park Enterprises release a statement announcing the end of their joint venture.

[11] ís new single, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, receives its premiere on CBS-TVís "Miss USA Pageant".

[13] A 600-strong crowd gather at Paisley Park Studios for a 70-minute set, described as "The Beautiful Experience", to celebrate the release of the new single.

Apr [23] The Most Beautiful Girl In The World tops the UK chart.

[30] The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, distributed through the indie Bellmark Records following the break with Warners, hits US #3, as the NPG store opens in London.

May [4] is awarded the Outstanding Contribution to the Music Industry and sings The Most Beautiful Girl In The World at the sixth annual World Music Awards at the Sporting Club, Monte Carlo, Monaco.

[26] The Most Beautiful Girl In The World is certified gold by the RIAA.

June [4] The Beautiful Experience debuts at its UK #18 peak.

[18] The Beautiful Experience EP makes US #92 on the Album chart.

[26] Stevie Wonder joins onstage for Maybe Your Baby at the Glam Slam. (During the month, Comptons NewMedia launches Interactive, ís first CD-ROM, set to become one of the formatís most successful titles.)

July [12] duets with Nona Gaye on Love Sign, as they guest on NBC-TVís "The Tonight Show" in New York, as he prepares for concerts at the Palladium and Harlem Dance Theatre.

Aug [27] Collecting archive material under his old name, Come enters the UK album chart at the summit.

Sept [3] Come debuts at its US #15 peak.

[10] The extracted Letitgo bows at its UK #30 high.

[24] Letitgo reaches US #31.

Oct [7] flicks the switch at Londonís Roundhouse to launch VH1 in the UK. The first video to air is "Dolphin".

[18] Come is certified gold by the RIAA.

[25] reportedly signs an agreement letting Warners release The Black Album.

Nov [24] performs Peach at MTVís inaugural European Music Awards, against the backdrop of the Brandenburg Gate at the Pariser Platz in Berlin, Germany.

Dec [3] The infamous The Black Album reaches UK #36 in its week of entry.

[10] The Black Album bows at its US #47 peak.

[13] sings a track from The Gold Experience on CBS-TVís "Late Show With David Letterman".

1995

Jan [30] In typically flamboyant style, performs a hits medley and sucks a lollipop throughout the event finalé rendition of We Are The World at the 22nd annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium.

Feb [27] again wins the Best International Male Artist trophy at the 14th annual BRIT Awards held at Londonís Alexandra Palace.

Mar [3] embarks on the month-long "The Ultimate Live Experience" European tour at Wembley Arena, set to end on the 30th at The Point, Dublin, Eire.

[18] Purple Medley bows at its UK #33 peak.

Apr [1] Purple Medley peaks at US #84.

June [17] He performs at an open-house evening with a $5 cover admission at his Paisley Park Studios, an event including use of a recreation center with late-night dancing and music videos.

Aug [10] The RIAA certifies platinum sales of The Hits I and The Hits II.

Sept [23] Eye Hate U debuts at its UK #20 peak.

Oct [7] Eye Hate U reaches US #12, as The Gold Experience hits UK #4 in its week of entry.

[14] The Gold Experience debuts at its US #6 peak.

Dec [9] The extracted pop/R&B meld Gold bows at its UK #10 peak.

[23] Gold peaks at US #88.

1996

Jan [8] "The Gold Experience" Japanese tour opens in Tokyo.

Feb [14] On Valentineís Day, longtime bachelor marries his fiancée, dancer Mayte Garcia at a Minneapolis church (not in Paris as originally planed).

[19] is once again named Best International Male Artist at the 15th annual BRIT Awards held at Londonís Earlís Court Exhibition Centre.

Apr [17] The soundtrack album to Spike Leeís latest film, "Girl 6", comprising material by Prince & the New Power Generation, is released in the US.

May [16] The RIAA certifies 13 million sales of Purple Rain.

July [3] Now referred to simply as The Artist, he performs an outdoor concert appearance at the window of NBCís Manhattan studio on 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza as part of NBC-TVís "Today" concert summer series.

[8] He guests on CBS-TVís "Late Show With David Letterman".

[20] His 20th album, and rumored to be his last for Warner Bros., Chaos And Disorder reaches UK #14 in its week of entry.

[27] Chaos And Disorder bows at its US #26 peak.

Aug [3] Dinner With Delores reaches UK #36 during a two-week chart stay.

Nov [12] In a USA Today interview, The Artist says of his recently born child, which according to media reports was born on October 16th at Childrenís Health Care Hospital in Minneapolis with allegedly severe birth defects, which led to his death a week later - "Mayte and I decided itís cool to talk about ourselves but not about our children. There is a rumor out that my baby died. My skin is so thick now. I care much more about my child than about what anyone writes or says." He also previews his forthcoming album, Emancipation, with a live midnight concert from Paisley Park, beamed around the world via satellite.

[13] The Artist celebrates "Freedom Day" at Paisley Park, Minneapolis, to celebrate his release from Warner Brothers Records.

[21] He gives a rare interview on US syndicated TVís "Oprah".

[30] Having finally severed all links with Warner Bros. - an acrimonious split which led him to be seen in public with "Slave" written on his face - his new alliance (via his own NPG label) with EMI-Capitol Music Group begins with the release of the 36-song, three-CD Emancipation, which charts for a week at UK #18.

Dec [7] Emancipation bows at its US #11 peak.

[14] Reviving the Stylisticsí 1972 UK #13, Betcha By Golly Wow! reaches UK #11 in its week of entry.

1997

Jan [7] His "The Love 4 One Another Charities Tour 1997" opens at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. All proceeds will benefit his Love 4 One Another Charity.

Feb [7] Emancipation is certified double platinum by the RIAA.

[24] He performs Emancipation at the 16th annual BRIT Awards at Londonís Earlís Court.

Mar [8] The melodic The Holy River reaches UK #19 in its week of entry.

Apr [10] The Artist sings Holy River at the VH1 Honors awards held at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, CA, also closing the event with Raspberry Beret and Take Me With You medley.

June [13] Minneapolis county medical examinerís office confirms that The Artistís son, Gregory, died of natural causes (skeletal abnormality) on October 23rd, at the age of 7 days. The Artist and his wifeís names were never on the birth certificate.

[24] He attends a press conference announcing an October benefit to promote international harmony and tolerance, with Muhammad Ali also in attendance.

July [5] The Good Life, credited to & the New Power Generation, reaches UK #15 in its week of entry.

[21] The "Jam Of The Year" world tour opens at the Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI.

Sept [13] The Artist is the featured guest on the season opener of "The Muppets Tonight" airing on US Disney cable channel.

1998

Jan [2] The Artist continues his "Jam Of The Year" tour at the Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena, University of New Orleans in New Orleans, LA.

Feb [26] He attends the Rhythm & Blues Foundation ceremonies at the Sheraton New York Ballroom.

Mar [21] Crystal Ball - a four-CD set of jams and previously unreleased tracks and an entire disc of acoustic cuts, released by NPG Records and distributed in the US by Best Buy, Blockbuster and Musicland and by phone for $50 (mail-ordered sets include the bonus CD, the symphonic Kamasutra) makes US #62. The increasingly independent artist is currently without a manager or major label deal.

Apr [10] The Artist is honored at the 11th annual Essence Awards, at New York's Irving Plaza, also performing with the NPG, Chaka Khan and Larry Graham.

July [11] With fans possibly overwhelmed by his prodigious output, Newpower Soul, recorded again with the New Power Generation, reaches UK #38 during a two-week chart stay.

[18] Newpower Soul reaches US #22 in its week of entry.

Aug [8] He begins a three-week European tour at the Plaza de Toros in Marbella, Spain, set to end on the 28th at Londonís Brixton Academy.

Sept [23] The Artist resumes his US dates before a sellout crowd at the MCI Center in Washington, DC, with Chaka Khan and Larry Graham.

[26] The Artist sprains his ankle onstage during a Trump Marina, Atlantic City, NJ show, causing the cancellation of several dates.

Oct [24] He plays the last of his latest US gigs at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI.

Nov [21] Come On charts for a week at UK #65.

Dec [15] The Artist begins a nine-date European tour at the Pavilhao Multiusos in Lisbon, Portugal, set to end on the 28th at the Flanders Expo in Ghent, Belgium.

1999

Jan [9] Topically re-released 1999 hits UK #10 in its week of entry.

[16] 1999 re-charts for a week at US #40.

Feb [14] After annulling his marriage, he remarries Mayte.

[20] 1999 The New Masters (EP) peaks at #150 in the US album chart.

[25] An announcement is made at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards at Sony Pictures, Culver City that The Artist has made a sizeable donation, rumored to be $100,000, to help the Foundation do its work.

Mar [16] Purple Rain is honored at the inaugural Diamond Awards, for sales in excess of 10 million, at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, NY.

[24] The RIAA certifies four million sales of 1999.

Apr [16] The Artist plays the first of several dates during the year at Paisley Park Studios.

Sept [4] The Vault ... Old Friends 4 Sale, The Artist's final album due to Warner Bros., makes UK #47 in its week of entry.

[6] He performs with Larry Graham at the Mill City Festival in Minneapolis.

[11] The Vault ... Old Friends 4 Sale peaks at US #85.

Oct [9] The Artist closes the Billboard/Airplay Monitor & Seminar Awards ceremony with a 90-minute set.

Nov [13] The Greatest Romance Ever Sold makes US #63.

[15] His European promotional tour opens with a showcase at London's Mermaid Theatre, with audience members Beck and Beverley Knight joining the singer onstage in an encore.

[27] Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, a major label release on Arista, makes US #42.

© The Popular Music Database


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