Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. With a career spanning five decades, Prince was known for his genre-crossing work and flamboyant stage appearances.He was also a multi-instrumentalist, widely regarded as a guitar virtuoso, and for his extensive vocal range, in particular his far-reaching falsetto and high-pitched screams.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Prince developed an interest in music as a young child and wrote his first song, "Funk Machine", at the age of seven. He signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records at the age of 17, and released his debut album For You in 1978. His 1979 album Prince went platinum. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released Purple Rain, the soundtrack album to his successful film debut of the same name. It quickly became his most critically and commercially successful release, spending 24 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200 and selling 25 million copies worldwide. The film itself grossed more than $68 million at the box office in the United States and over $80 million worldwide, thus making a large profit on its $7.2 million budget.The film also won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score, the last to receive the award. After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded, and Prince released the double album Sign o' the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting The New Power Generation band in 1991.