Prince Rogers Nelson, known simply as Prince, passed away on Thursday, April 21, at his Paisley Park recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, at age 57. The iconic musician who burst onto the scene in the late ’70s lived a notoriously private but a fascinating life. Here are 10 things you may not have known about the late singer.
1. The seven-time Grammy winner was married twice. He tied the knot with his backup dancer Mayte Garcia in 1996, but they split after just a few years. In 2000, he married Canadian businesswoman Manuela Testolini, but she filed for divorce in 2006.
2. Prince suffered the loss of a child. He had a son, Boy Gregory, who died just a week after he was born due to a skeletal abnormality known as Pfeiffer Syndrome.
3. He was a self-taught musician and learned piano at age 7, guitar at 13 and drums at 14.
4. He briefly dated Madonna in 1985. They even collaborated on her track “Love Song” from her 1989 album Like a Prayer.
5. In 1984, the pop icon simultaneously topped the album and singles charts for the Purple Rain soundtrack and “When Doves Cry” and held the No. 1 spot at the movie box office for the film Purple Rain, which earned nearly $70 million.
6. His song “Purple Rain” was originally a whopping 13 minutes long, but he edited it down to just eight.
7. Although his real name is actually Prince, he changed it to “Love Symbol No. 2,” in 1993 as a renegotiation strategy for his recording contract and changed it back to Prince in 2000 when his contract expired.
8. The Purple One despised the Internet and declared it was “over” in 2010. He also banned photography and recording at all his concerts, even going as far as suing 22 fans who uploaded footage of his sets to YouTube in 2014.
9. Prince was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and even went door-to-door for them. After he was baptized in 2001.
10. In addition to his catalogue of hundreds of songs, he wrote many hits for other artists, including “Manic Monday” by The Bangles.