Prince was one of most iconic musicians and performers of all time. He possessed the uniqueness required to almost transcend into other worldliness... and the talent to sustain a lifelong career. The guy even had enough star power to make Kim Kardashian freeze on stage once, and we all know how comfortable Kim is in the public eye. Unfortunately we lost the superstar last week at the young age of 57, but luckily we have a ton of memories and songs to remember him by so that he will never be gone from the world completely. Here are some cool facts about Prince that you might not have heard before.
13 He Owned Real Doves
Prince famously sang "When Doves Cry" and it turns out he actually owned some. As reporter Gail Mitchell once wrote, "I spy a large, nearly floor-to-ceiling white cage across the hall. At first it appears empty so I’m wondering just what kind of animal it had contained. Approaching closer, I can see white doves, at least four or five of them, chilling inside. Their coos echo ethereally through the building as I descend the stairs."
12 He Really Loved Ping Pong
Prince was a huge ping pong fan. Once, he tried to get Michael Jackson to play with him and ended up hitting him in the crotch with a ball. Ouch. Recently, he played a game of ping pong with Zooey Deschanel when he guest starred as himself on her show New Girl. (An encore of the episode will be aired in his memory, by the way.) He had the idea and brought it to the producers ahead of time.
11 Prince Was Actually His Real Name
In the land of celebrity (and especially in the music business), a lot of people go by stage names. Prince was actually born Prince Rogers Nelson, after his musician father's jazz combo. Prince gave up his name to be known by a symbol and was often called as "The Artist" or "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," but the symbol actually had a name: "Love Symbol #2." When his Warner Brother's contract expired on New Year's Eve 1999, he went back to his given name. He also had an alter ego named Camille.
10 We Rate Music Thanks To Him
The song "Darling Nikki" references sexual acts, which Tipper Gore didn't exactly realize when she bought the Purple Rain soundtrack for her then 11-year-old daughter. She was so pissed that she formed the Parents Music Resource Center to put pressure on the music industry to add warnings to music labels. They ultimately did, and instead of being insulted, Prince was actually the first artist to release clean versions of otherwise "dirty" songs as well.
9 He Has A Musician Sister
Prince had a sister named Tyka Nelson who is also a musician. She last released a gospel album in 2008 called Brand New Me. He also had a half-sister named Lorna Nelson who once sued him, claiming she wrote the lyrics to the song "U Got the Look" which was from Sign '☮' the Times. In 1989, the courts sided with Prince so that hiccup didn't get too far. Some reports are saying that Tyka might inherit Prince's fortune.
8 He Wrote Joni Mitchell Fan Mail
Joni Mitchell told New York Magazine that Prince used to attend her concerts and send her fan mail. She saw him in the front row of a show in Minneapolis and said he wrote with a lot of "U's" and hearts.
7 He Moved On Easily
Prince made it a habit not to look back on his old music or play it for fun. He once said, “I make a statement, then move on to the next." He also used to throw big parties but only stick around for the first 15 minutes before sneaking off.
6 He Was A Jehovah's Witness
Prince was baptized as a Jehovah's witness in 2001, and actually went door to door. In 2003, one women said he came to the door with former Sly and the Family Stone member Larry Graham. She said when she told him she was not into it, he asked if he could finish talking.
5 He Hit Crazy Records
The week of July 27, 1984, Prince managed to grab the number one spot for album, single, and film... all at the same time. When Purple Rain hit the box office, it became a number one hit. Later in the week, the soundtrack became the top selling album, and "When Doves Cry" nabbed the number one single spot. The tour itself sold 1,700,000 tickets.
4 His Purple Rain Dad Was Not Based On His Dad
A lot of people thought that Prince based his on-screen father on his real-life father, but it isn't true. In a 1988 Rolling Stone interview, he said, "That stuff about my dad was part of [director-cowriter] Al Magnoli's story. We used parts of my past and present to make the story pop more, but it was a story. My dad wouldn't have nothing to do with guns. He never swore, still doesn't, and never drinks."
3 He Hated The Internet
In 2010, Prince said, “The internet is over. Like MTV, at one time, MTV was hip, and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computer and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers, and that can’t be good for you.” Once he even sued 22 fans for “massive infringement and bootlegging” after they uploaded videos from his concert on to YouTube.
2 He Wanted Stevie Nicks To Write "Purple Rain"
Prince often collaborated with other artists and even played guitar on Madonna's "Like A Prayer"... although she cut a lot of what he recorded. He even reached out to Stevie Nicks to write the lyrics for his famous song... and she turned him down. She told him it was too "overwhelming." The original version of the song was actually 11 minutes and had a ton of lyrics that didn't make it into the final version, including: "Honey I don't want your money, no, no. I don't even think I want your love. If I wanted either one I would take your money and, I want the heavy stuff."
1 He Wrote For Other Artists
Prince wasn't too busy working on his own music to contribute to the music community at large. He actually wrote songs for a bunch of different artists. Some of those songs included "Manic Monday" for the Bangles, "I Feel For You" for Chaka Khan, "Nothing Compares 2 U" for Sinéad O'Connor, and "Stand Back" for Stevie Nicks. He actually wrote over 600 songs. It's amazing that he had the time, but he once boasted that he could stay awake for long amounts of time and could spend 20 hours in the studio. He once said, "I swear to God it's not out of boldness when I say this, but there's not a person around who can stay awake as long as I can. Music is what keeps me awake."