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Born: June 7, 1958 Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota Best known as: The funky star who recorded 1999 and changed his name to a symbol Name at birth: Prince Rogers Nelson
Taking an early interest in music, Prince began playing the piano at age seven and mastered the guitar and drums by the time he joined his first band at age 14. With very few African-American residents, his hometown, Minneapolis, was an unlikely site for the development of a major black star, but Prince even managed to lead other local musicians, most notably Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, to major success.
The Artist, and influential singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, dancer, and performer on keyboards, drums, and bass who was among the most talented American musicians of his generation. Like Stevie Wonder, he was a rare composer who could perform at a professional level on virtually all the instruments he required, and a considerable number of his recordings feature him in all the performing roles. Prince's recording career began with funk and soul marketed to a black audience; his early music also reflected the contemporary musical impact of disco. Later records incorporated a vast array of influences, including jazz, punk, heavy metal, the Beatles, and hip-hop, usually within an overall approach most informed by funky up-tempo styles and soulful ballads; the latter often featured his exquisite falsetto singing.
Prince's lyrics often address sexuality with frankness and imagination, and his music constructs correspondingly intense experiences of desire. Much of his work, in its lyrics and imagery, struggles with the constriction of social conventions and categories. As one of his biographers put it.
The whole thrust of Prince's art can be understood in terms of a desire to escape the social identities thrust upon him by simple virtue of his being small, black, and male.
Prince explored typographical oddities in his song titles and lyrics as another way of evading convention. In 1993 he announced that he had changed his name to a combination of the male and female gender signs--. There is also a strong religious impulse in some of his music, sometimes fused into a kind of sacred erotic experience that has roots in African-American churches.
The teen years
In the studio
Prince Rock Musician / Funk Musician
An influential star of the 1980s, Prince wrote and produced funky pop songs that had cross-genre appeal, including the top-sellers 1999, When Doves Cry and Kiss. He became known as something of an eccentric genius: he dressed in high heels and outrageous finery and was so multitalented that on many songs he played all the instruments himself. His reputation for independent thinking was reinforced in the 1990s, when he changed his name to The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (or TAFKAP), then to an unpronounceable symbol (reproduced on the Web as O(+>), and finally (in 2000) back to Prince. He has continued to write and perform, operating out of his Minneapolis home base, called Paisley Park Studios. His 2004 album, Musicology, was hailed as a "comeback," and included the song "Call My Name," which earned him a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Prince's albums include 1999 (1983), Purple Rain (1984), Lovesexy (1988), Newpower Soul (1998) and 3121 (2006). He also starred in the 1984 feature film Purple Rain. Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Extra credit: Prince was married to dancer Mayte Garcia from 1996-99. He married Manuela Testolini in 2001; she filed for divorce in 2006... Despite the persistent rumor, Prince did not appear in the 1996 movie Fargo... Prince was a mentor to singer/actress Carmen Electra... He played at halftime of the 2007 Super Bowl.
FEEL DA FUNK
Prince presents '21 Nights' book with a concert at home
Source: USA Today
Prince's first book, 21 Nights, is coming out this fall. And for one remarkable night, the rock star celebrated by giving a private concert for booksellers and personal friends — literally in his own backyard in the hills above L.A.
The Friday night party at Prince's home was the hottest ticket at BookExpo America, the annual gathering of the publishing industry.
Rumor had it that the very private star would play, but few could have predicted the hour-and-15 minute set, with a band and backup singers, free to those with invitations. He played mostly covers of other artists, from Sly and the Family Stone to the Beatles to Tommy James and the Shondells (yes, Crimson and Clover).
Prince didn't take the low-rising stone stage behind his swimming pool until 1:45 a.m. Saturday, but nobody complained — except Prince himself, who had to warm his guitar-playing fingers under a heat lamp in the chilly night air.
"Absolutely amazing," said Leslie Rossman, a book publicist who had seen Prince perform before, but never in such an intimate setting. The show ended shortly after 3, with Purple Rain and 1999, and Prince saying he'd kept the neighbors awake long enough.
Celebrities including Olivia Newton-John, P. Diddy, Dr. Phil and Sylvester Stallone were also on hand.
21 Nights is an offshoot of the singer's sold-out 21 concerts in 21 nights in London last year.
Described by Atria publisher Judith Curr as a multi-media "pictorial story" of those nights, the oversized volume features onstage and backstage photos of Prince by photographer Randee St. Nicholas, who even had access to the rocker's "sleeping quarters."
Prince dedicated his opening song to St. Nicholas.
The book will also feature poetry and lyrics by Prince and a CD called Indigo Nights, of after-show jam sessions.
Why did the star decide to open his house to the bookselling community?
"It's a way of demonstrating how much this project is his and Randee's," said Curr, who said working with the rock star has been "effortless."
The publisher hopes the $50 book, due out in September, will be a holiday hit. Curr says she hopes to sell "a half million copies before Christmas."
Also info on Dr. Funkenberry
What A Night. What an amazing night. I was in Prince’s house. The only thing not making it perfect was that it could have been about 10 degrees warmer. Oh well, I was looking good in my dress, goose bumps and all. Let me tell you, usual BookExpo America parties are not this much fun. Then again, most book parties are not thrown by the genius of music, Prince, for his book coming out in September, 21 Nights.
I arrived shortly before midnight and made my way around the place. The open bar was packed (obviously) and after a midori sour, I took a look around. The place is quite big and magnificent looking. Good taste in scented candles and incense. He had a large black custom made piano with a gold symbol on top of it. Down below were casings of two motorcycles, one from “Purple Rain”, and one from another movie. Going back up to the living room, there was a picture of Prince drawn in blue hanging above the fireplace. Quite cool.
I went outside and they had large photos from the book that were blown up poster-sized. 18 pics to be exact. Some of Prince close up, a couple shots of him performing live and some black & white shots that looked like they could have been taken from “Under The Cherry Moon”. As much as I loved what I saw, I had to think this man just does not age. Whatever he does or uses, I wish that he would pack it in a bottle and sell it to us. Back to the photos. They were really quite breathtaking. There were even a few of London’s nightlife. I had the fortunate stroke of luck to talk with someone named Lisa who worked on the book. She talked with great length about working with Randee St. Nicholas & Prince and what would be on the CD that will be included with the 21 Nights book. She was extremely nice and had a lot of knowledge of the book and seemed to be very pleased with this project.
Lisa was nice enough to introduce me to the publisher of the book for Atria, Judith Carr. I picked her brain for a moment and she said it has been a wonderful experience. Being the snoop I am, I asked about the promotion of the book, and what will be done marketing wise and promotion wise and she told me about a few things that will be happening in September (Editor’s note: Which we will keep under wraps til closer to that time.-Dr.FB) and it sounds very promising. She also told me there would be poetry and lyrics within the book and the CD will be called “Indigo Nights” and will ONLY be sold with the 21 Nights book.
After exchanging accessory tips, (loved the earrings she had on) I went to the bar for another midori sour. They had an ice sculpture of the symbol which was made by Grey Goose. The pool was rather large but had to make sure with all the people there to watch my step, as I was just breaking in these heels and did not want to fall in. The stage was set up by the end of the pool by the back yard where a female DJ spun. As it came close to the time our host was to perform, a Joni Mitchell album was played.
Shortly after 1:40 A.M. Prince made his way towards the stage and started with a guitar solo that sounded familiar but not one of his songs. Prince thanked us for coming out as the crowd inside made their way outside. He wanted to dedicate the first song to Randee St. Nicholas as this night was inspired by her and without her, this would not be happening. Someone tried to take a photo of him and he said no pictures please, I look terrible. Um, Prince did you see yourself in the mirror? you looked great!
Prince went thru a bevvy of songs & covers that included Joe Cocker’s “Have A Little Help From My Friends”, “Crimson & Clover”, “Wild Thing”, and then went into “The One You Wanna See”, which right before playing, he went over to the heater to warm his hands and asked for some extra hands as his were cold. He then continued with “Cream”, “You Got The Look”, “Shh”, “Be Happy”, “Everyday People”, “Thank You (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Again)”, “With Love”, “Honkeytonk Woman”, “7″, “Come Together”, (On this one, Prince walked thru the crowd, around the pool, all while playing guitar and then back on stage) He finished the night playing “Purple Rain” & “1999″.
I know I am missing a song or two, but that is all I could remember. I guess the cold air was getting to my brain a little bit. He said sometime during the show that he knew someone was swimming and wanted them to sing too. For the record, no one was in the pool, but it was funny and everyone’s head turned to see if someone was indeed swimming.
It was a little bit after 3 A.M. now and it was a great night. He seemed to be in a rocking mood, switching guitars a few times and working those pedals with those heels. He looked great but I knew with his chest and arms exposed, he had to feel the cold air too, but only showed it early on. His band consisted of Shelby J., Marva King, Cora Dunham, Josh Dunham, and Morris Hayes.
I stopped to look at the photos once more of the 21 Nights as I would have to wait until September to see these photos again. This night was a lot of fun and I am sure those 21 Nights in London were even better. I warmed myself up with coffee before departing. Celebs I spotted were Sylvester Stallone, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, sports commentator Steven A. Smith, & Babyface.
The food was great. The staff was great. It was another perfect night in L.A. and I cannot wait to see those photos again in September.-Nurse Hy Nee
21 Nights (Hardcover) by Prince (Author) This title will be released on September 9, 2008.
[OTHER BOOKS ABOUT THE PURPLE ONE]
Prince: A Thief in the Temple (Hardcover) by Brian Morton (Author)
Slave to the Rhythm (Paperback) by Liz Jones (Author)
Meet the Artist Formerly Known as Prince's Ex-wife
Mayte Garcia was muse and wife to Prince until tragedy pushed them apart. Now an actress and fashion ambassador, she reveals the details of their strange life together – including the fact that she was never allowed to phone the pop star - even when they were married. When Mayte Garcia married Prince in 1996, the singer bought his young wife a rambling hacienda in Marbella, overlooking the sea.
Built in the style of a fairytale palace, it was painted white and bordered with peach, festooned with mirrors and even boasted its own hair salon. ‘Oh, I never used the salon,’ says Mayte hastily, as if to imply otherwise - even a decade on - would be a tremendous breach of trust. ‘I always went out if I needed my hair done.The salon wasn't for me, it was for my husband. Prince needed his space.’
There's no trace of irony in her voice at such a peculiar arrangement, but then her rather claustrophobic relationship with rock's most eccentric showman was pretty much characterised by its peculiarities. ‘I wasn't allowed to call him, ever. Even when we were married; I had to wait for him to call me. I've no idea why, he never actually said,’ she says, an expression of retrospective puzzlement briefly clouding her flawless features. ‘Hey, maybe I should try it now, and see what happens?’
She then bursts into peals of musical laughter at such an outlandish idea, and I think it's fair to assume she never will make that call. Even six years after their divorce, which was precipitated by the tragic loss of their newborn baby, she still abides by the unwritten rules of Prince's parallel universe.
Now aged 32, Mayte (pronounced My-teh) is a head-turning beauty, with a full, sensuous mouth, skin the shade of dark honey and a mass of lustrous hair. Born in America to middle-class Puerto Rican parents, at 5'4'' she's two inches taller than her former husband, and possesses the toned, sinuous curves of a dancer. Although she once harboured ambitions to be a singer, she is now enjoying a burgeoning career as an actress.
Today, she has just flown in from Morocco, where she's filming a movie with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and despite a hectic schedule, looks effortlessly elegant in a taupe jersey lace top, wide-legged flannel trousers and precipitous wedge heels. Her clothes are by Pinko, a hip Italian brand that has noticed Mayte’s star is in the ascendant, and accordingly made her its fashion ambassador.
It’s a testament to Mayte’s luminosity that she’s in elite company; supermodels Naomi Campbell and Elle Macpherson have also featured in advertising campaigns as the face of Pinko.
‘For a while after my marriage ended I wondered about changing my name, because I didn’t want to be forever known as Prince’s ex-wife, but I decided not to,’ she says. ‘I think I’m finally starting to be recognised as someone who’s creative in my own right, which is wonderful.’
It’s little wonder that the artist formerly known as her husband casts long shadows over her life. He was twice her age when they met; aged just 16, she became his schoolgirl muse, then two years later, his lover, for whom he penned the exquisitely melancholy love song The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.
As a bellydancer in his band, on stage their chemistry was electrifying. Off stage, his svengali influence extended to dictating the clothes she dressed in and how she wore her hair.
And while he actively encouraged her creative input into his work, she was never permitted to contact him, to be late, to be anything other than enthusiastic about the gruelling work schedule that encroached into every area of their life, including their honeymoon.
‘It was a strange relationship, but great. Yes, he was a bit controlling, but I was young, I'd never had a boyfriend so I had no idea how it was supposed to be,’ says Mayte, who, despite radiating intelligence, neverthless talks about her ex-spouse with a Stepford Wife (or rather, Stepford divorcee) air of bright casualness, as though it were perfectly normal to have your husband pick out your shoes for the day. Back then, as a teenager, she was mesmerised.
‘Prince is an incredible perfomer on stage, but when you meet him he's not at all aloof; he's funny and charming and very aware. Now I know other men, I can see how in tune he is with women, it's the way he notices every detail about you. ‘He'll comment on your hair, or acknowledge a new pair of earrings and when he looks at you he makes you feel like you're the centre of his universe - that's very beguiling.’
The story of how Prince fell for Mayte is suitably bizarre. Mayte's father was a pilot in the US military and her mother was an academic and linguist, with a passion for dance, which she passed on to her daughter.
As a result, Mayte was trained in both ballet and bellydance, performing professionally from the age of eight.
The family followed her father's postings abroad, and it was in Germany that they all went to a Prince concert. ‘My dad showed him a video of me dancing and Prince asked to meet me.’ They were invited backstage by the roadies, and it was there that Mayte came face to face with her future husband.
‘My first thought was “Wow, he's really - small!” It came as a surprise, because he's got such a huge presence on stage,’ she says, smiling at the memory. ‘When I mentioned I could flip coins on my belly, he called everyone into the room to watch.’ Prince, then 32, was so taken with Mayte, he asked permission to contact her. This he did, for almost two years. He would send her his new songs, and in return, receive feedback and videotapes of Mayte dancing to them. He would also call her every other day. ‘Looking back, it was a bit surreal,’ she says, with masterful understatement. ‘I didn't tell many of my friends because they wouldn't have believed me. It was all quite innocent, but quite intense.’
Then, when she was 17, Prince invited her to visit him at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota to record a song. She never went home again.
‘Prince was very protective of me and my father was happy to place me in his care. I was given my own apartment and within weeks I was off on tour to Australia and the Far East as a dancer in his band,’ she says. ‘He would tear pictures out of magazines and put together a whole look for me on stage; Vivienne Westwood, then Versace. 'He was very precise about what he wanted, in private too, because it was all work. Being with him was like being at the centre of a 24-hour creative machine; if we weren't on stage, we were rehearsing, if we weren't rehearsing we were in the studio. I've heard people say he's demanding, but I never gave him reason to be demanding, I was always on point. I loved it and that has shaped my own work ethic now.’
Just over a year later, their professional relationship evolved into something more intimate. Yet for all her youthful malleability, Mayte is adamant there was more to it on her side than mere hero-worship. ‘I loved him,’ she says, simply.
‘Now, I'm a completely different person, but back then I lived his life and was happy to do so. I didn't really express myself as a person as much as I could have, but I think that comes with age. What was important to me was that he saw me as an equal musically and artistically. I could say “I don't like that song” and he would listen to me.’
Their relentless 24/7 work ethic notwithstanding, there were quieter, domestic moments too. Mayte and Prince would go to the movies, or bowling together. She would cook vegetarian food grown in the greenhouse they built together, he would wear a sweater.
A sweater? There's something truly ludicrous about the idea of strutting, spangled, purple-suited Prince, dressed in something as crushingly mundane as a jumper. ‘It would be a Versace sweater, but never jeans,’ she says, springing to his sartorial defence, with an indulgent smile. ‘There is a downtime side to Prince, but despite these reality TV-obsessed days, he just chooses not to show it, which I respect him for.’
On stage, Prince has always played up his sexual magnetism and virility. But at the suggestion there might have been outre antics in her husband's legendary mirrored-ceiling bedroom, Mayte's eyes widen with a mixture of open-mouthed horror and amusement.
‘I think I'll play amnesia on that one,’ she giggles. ‘Yeah, we had sex, sure, but that mirrored bedroom wasn't used too much. The kinkiest stuff we ever did was on stage - that's where I had the handcuffs.’
The couple were delighted when Mayte became pregnant in early 1996. They married in the summer, live on the internet, and Prince marked the occasion by composing the song Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife.
But when their son was born, a month prematurely, he was diagnosed with Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare disease which causes the baby's skull to harden earlier that it should, compressing the brain.
He died a week later. Yet the couple went on Oprah Winfrey a week later and spoke of their son being alive. ‘We believed he was going to come back, that souls come back. We didn't want to acknowledge he was gone, it was our way of grieving,’ says Mayte. ‘Losing a baby is a terrible thing. Some couples are brought closer together after the loss of a child, others are driven apart; in our case the latter happened.’ Mayte and Prince drifted apart, separating two years later and finally divorcing in 2000. There was, she says, no great falling out, no rows. Prince’s response to bereavment was to throw himself into his work, leaving Mayte to deal with her emotions alone.
There’s a sadness, but also a resignation when she talks of the split. The marriage was over, and I knew it. But I hate the fact I’m divorced. I never wanted to be a divorcee, although I’ve accepted that’s the situation.’
There’s no animosity between Mayte and Prince, and although they’re not in touch - unless he calls her, obviously - she intends to see him in concert soon, and go backstage and catch up. ‘I’m now very wary of ever getting married again, because I believe marriage should be for life. Prince did remarry, he’s getting a divorce now.’ Bruised by the failure of her marriage, Mayte ricocheted into a textbook rebound romance; she dated - in fact became engaged to - notorious hellraising rocker Tommy Lee, ex-husband of Pamela Anderson.
‘He was the complete opposite of what I'd experienced, Tommy was wild, a walking adult-kid, which was fun. He asked me to marry him, and I said yes, but we were so never going to get married,’ she laughs. ‘It was a cool time, a year of madness. He had my lips tattooed on his neck, I even got a tattoo on my foot, the Chinese symbol for dance.
'But I changed him, because I wouldn't allow craziness at our house and I made him stay home - I'm a party pooper, so he lost a lot of friends because of that. I knew all along he was still in love with Pamela, and when we broke up, after a year and a half, I actually told him they needed to get back together. But we still love each other and we're very dear friends.’
Currently single and living in Los Angeles, Mayte admits to feeling broody - ‘I've got four dogs, what does that tell you?’ - and hopes to settle down and have children over the next five or six years. But in the meantime, her Hollywood career is taking off. After appearances on television shows including Nip/Tuck, she landed a role as a female firefighter in a family film, Firehouse Dog, which is released early next year. Now she's working on Charlie Wilson's War, the real-life story of a US congressman who fought to fund the Afghan rebels' battle against the Russians.
Mayte plays the part of a big-haired 80s bellydancer who becomes involved with Tom Hanks. Bearing in mind that this is a woman who has hung out with Madonna, Elton John and virtually every other music luminary of our times, she nonetheless fizzes with an ingenue’s excitement when she talks about the movie business in general and her co-stars in particular.
‘I’ve been working with amazing actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Tom Hanks - he’s so friendly and warm, introducing himself and putting everyone at their ease,’ she says. ‘Before we began filming, I did a table read-through with the whole cast and I couldn’t believe how beautiful Julia Roberts is. She wasn’t wearing any make up and she looked so fabulous.’
Other forthcoming projects include Mayte’s appearance in the US network spoof cop series, Psyche and an independent film, Ego, a psychological drama in which she plays the wife of the lead character.
'As far as her acting is concerned, artistic expression is the spur, not fame. ‘I love playing a character and acting out emotions,’ she says. ‘I get to say stuff I would never say to anybody in real life, do things I'd never do, and then walk away from it afterwards, having created something amazing.’
Source: Fiya Mag -- February 7, 2008
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I have so many it's hard to choose. What comes to mind at the moment is "Dirty mind"I was very young and i went with my older sister Mona(the one who turned me on to Prince in the first place) to…Continue