The world was shocked and saddened to learn on April 21, 2016 that Prince, a true legend and icon of the music and entertainment industries, had passed away at the age of 57 years old. Prince was far more than just a talented artist who had some hits and who created memorable music. Prince was a symbol – both figuratively and, of course, literally for a time – of what it meant to be an original star in a business where it was easy and also worth quite a bit of money to merely copy those who had found fame and fortune in the past. Prince was a once-in-a-generation talent, and there will never be another one like him.
Even casual fans who did not own every Prince album will be familiar with his hits. They would probably be able to hum tunes such as “Little Red Corvette,” “I Would Die 4 U,” “1999” and “When Doves Cry” without even thinking about it. As incredible a musician and entertainer as Prince was, he was also a fascinating individual who could have written numerous autobiographies about his life and times. Those of us who were lucky enough to see Prince perform live at a venue are better off for it, and the world as a whole is better off because of the gifts that Prince gave us over the decades. Thank you for everything, Prince.
15 He Wrote His First Song At Age 7
14 He Had Early Touches With Greatness
13 He Played On Madonna's "Like a Prayer"
12 He Grew Up In Poverty
Prince was worth literally millions upon millions of dollars at the time of his passing. That was not always the case. While speaking with Rolling Stone back in 1985, Prince gave a glimpse of what his life was like during his younger days:
"We used to go to that McDonald's there," he says. "I didn't have any money, so I'd just stand outside there and smell stuff. Poverty makes people angry, brings out their worst side. I was very bitter when I was young. I was insecure and I'd attack anybody. I couldn't keep a girlfriend for two weeks. We'd argue about anything."
11 His Tie to John Lennon
10 He Was A Great Athlete
9 He Played All the Instruments
8 Spaghetti and Orange Juice
7 Prince Hated Piracy
6 Prince and Apollonia
5 Prince Was Sued by His Half-Sister
4 The Prince and Michael Jackson Connection
3 Prince was Loyal 1.0
2 Prince was Loyal 2.0
1 Prince and Boozer
You'll need the read the entire ESPN.com story to fully appreciate this. NBA star Carlos Boozer once rented his house to Prince, and Prince took it upon himself to redecorate Boozer's place. This included Prince beautifying the front gate with his personal symbol, walls inside of the house being knocked down, and molding on top of the ceiling being changed. Boozer, per the ESPN.com piece, was unhappy upon seeing what Prince had done.
“Booz was like, 'I was getting ready to go over there and beat this little man down.' And dude was just like 'Here, Boozer, here is a little check for about a million, it'll take care of everything, get it back the way you want it.' And Booz was like , 'This little man is cool as hell.'”
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