Prince was seemingly born to be a star. His father was a pianist/songwriter, his mother a jazz singer and Prince was playing guitar, piano and drums in different bands from his early teens, amazing audiences with his versatility and virtuosity. He was 17 when Warner Brothers signed him, releasing his first album For You in 1978. Despite controversy surrounding his sexually explicit lyrics and provocative stage shows, he achieved a major breakthrough in 1982 with the double album 1999, full of irresistible dance tracks, which went on to sell 3m and included the hit Little Red Corvette. With a dramatic sense of theatre and extrovert dress sense, he was one of the first black acts featured on MTV and had even greater success with his music for the semi-biographical Purple Rain movie. Subsequent hits include When Doves Cry, Kiss and Sign o' the Times and, despite a lull when he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, he remains deeply respected.
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