Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer, and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist, and pianist. His father’s stage name was “Prince Rogers”. His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth, which caused him to move back and forth. Prince had a troubled relationship with his step-father which eventually caused him to run away from home.
He was adopted by the Anderson family and soon after became best friends with their son, Andre Anderson (Cymone).
Together along with Charles Smith, they joined a band called Grand Central. The band later renamed themselves Champagne and were a fairly successful live band, however soon diminished.
His early music career saw the release of Prince, Dirty Mind and Controversy, which drew attention for their fusion of religious and sexual themes. He then released the popular albums 1999 and Purple Rain, cementing his superstar status with No. 1 hits like “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” A seven-time Grammy winner, Prince had a prodigious output that included later albums like Diamonds and Pearls, The Gold Experience and Musicology. He died on April 21, 2016, from an accidental drug overdose.
On April 21, 2016, Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. The week prior, his plane made an emergency landing and the singer was hospitalized for what was purportedly a severe case of the flu, though reports later stated that the musician was actually given a life-saving “safe shot” for a Percocet overdose. The Carver County sheriff’s department and Midwest Medical Examiner’s office launched an investigation into the cause of death. After the autopsy was performed, his remains were cremated and his close family and friends gathered for a small, private funeral on April 23.
Almost two weeks after the musician’s death, a lawyer revealed that Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a California-based physician who specializes in treatment for those dependent upon and addicted to pain medication, had been called upon by Prince’s team to aid the musician. (The performer had undergone hip surgery some years earlier and was believed to have endured recurring discomfort while giving concerts.) Kornfeld’s son had reportedly flown to Prince’s compound to initiate the recovery process and was among those who found him dead. While Prince’s state of health at the time of his death is unknown, attorney William Mauzy said the artist “was dealing with a grave medical emergency” when Kornfeld was called, as reported by The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Prince will always be remembered as a musical genius and artist who inspired millions through his music and set an inspirational platform which others still abide by.
He was loved by so many, his death mourned by millions and his legacy will live on forever!