Jun 07

Prince turns 50: Highs and lows

Multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Prince is celebrating his 50th birthday on Saturday.


The star cherry-picked the best of rock, funk and blues to redefine pop music in the 1980s – but he has had a turbulent time in the spotlight.Use our interactive timeline to find out more.

Full name: Prince Rogers Nelson

 Born: 7 June 1958, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Also known as: The Kid, The Purple Perv, The Minneapolis Midget, Alexander Nevermind, Christopher Tracy, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

 Biggest hits: Little Red Corvette, Purple Rain, Raspberry Beret, Kiss, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.

Quotes: “Sex on a stick” (Kylie Minogue). “A dwarf who’s been dipped in a bucket of pubic hair” (Boy George).

1958 – WHAT’S MY NAME?

According to legend, Prince is named after his father’s dog, perhaps triggering his identity crisis 40 years later.

His parents drift apart and separate when he is two years old, and the youngster chooses to live with his father. But he is thrown out of his family home aged 12 after allegedly being caught in bed with an older girl. He moves in with the family of his school friend, and future band member, Andre Anderson.


Prince records his solo debut album, For You, for Warner Brothers. Despite a popular single, Soft And Wet, it only makes the lower end of the Billboard 200 album chart.

1980-82 – DIRTY MIND

Dirty Mind
Dirty Mind included songs such as When You Were Mine and Uptown

Third album Dirty Mind, containing songs about oral sex and incest, is a critical success but a commercial flop.

Fans include The Rolling Stones, who ask Prince to open two shows in Los Angeles for them. But the crowd do not appreciate the moustachioed musician’s sexually ambiguous look and boo him off stage.

A year later, in 1982, he scores his first mainstream success with ambitious double album 1999. It sells three million copies in the US, and sets the template for the Minneapolis sound – buzzing synths and funky drum machines wed together in a lascivious funk groove.



Prince in concert
The Purple Rain album and tour were performed with Prince’s band, The Revolution

Purple Rain finally establishes Prince as a bona fide star, and sits at number one in the US for a staggering 24 weeks. The accompanying film – part-concert movie, part-autobiography – takes nearly $100m (£50.8m) at the box office.

Lyrically, the album is unusually restrained for the sex-obsessed singer. But the erotic fantasy of one song, Darling Nikki, enrages one mother, Tipper Gore, to such an extent that she forms the Parents Music Resource Center and gets explicit albums branded with “parental advisory” stickers.




The faux-psychedelia of seventh album Around The World In A Day disappoints, with the exception of pop classic Raspberry Beret. The 1986 follow-up, Parade, is more successful but the star’s new film, Under The Cherry Moon, bombs.

“For all those out there who can’t get enough of Prince, Under The Cherry Moon may be just the antidote,” says the New York Times.


Sign O The Times
Sign O’ The Times featured Prince singing in a sped-up voice with vocals credited to “Camille”

Compiled from the debris of three abandoned albums (Crystal Ball, Dream Factory and the untitled “Camille project”), Sign O The Times is hailed as Prince’s masterpiece.

Trailed by the sparse blues-funk of the title track, the album spans every genre in popular music including rock (I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man), funk (Housequake), soul (Slow Love) and pop (U Got The Look).

Rolling Stone says it is “the most complete example of his artistry’s breadth, and arguably the finest album of the 1980s”.



Prince on stage in 1988
The Lovesexy tour in 1988 was Prince’s most ambitious show to date

Prince scraps his next project, The Black Album, days before release, calling it “dark and immoral” (it’s also pretty bad). The star says he reached the decision following “a spiritual epiphany”, which some reports suggest was the result of an early experience with the drug ecstasy.

The Black Album’s replacement, Lovesexy, and follow-up Batman (recorded in just six weeks) keep Prince’s profile high, but receive mixed reviews.



Diamonds and Pearls
Diamonds and Pearls featured the hits Cream and Gett Off

Despite another dire film (Graffiti Bridge), Prince’s fortunes are on the rise, thanks in no small part to Sinead O’Connor’s cover of Nothing Compares 2 U.

Prince responds with two of his most commercial and accessible albums in years – Diamonds and Pearls and Symbol. The only downside is his attempt to embrace hip-hop by enlisting the services of Tony M – a rapper who can’t rap.


1993 – SLAVE

With his star back on the rise, Prince releases a greatest hits album, announces his retirement, and changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol.

It turns out that he is embroiled in a legal dispute with Warner Brothers over his music. His independently-released single, Most Beautiful Girl In The World, gives him his first UK number one.


Negotiations with Warner Brothers stall, and Prince takes to writing the word “slave” on his face in eyeliner. The public is not impressed.


1996 – SON DIES

Prince’s newborn son, Gregory, dies of Pfeiffer syndrome, a condition which causes the bones of the skull to fuse too early. The musician splits from his wife, Mayte Garcia, in 1999.

Unsurprisingly, his musical output during this period lacks its usual fire and inspiration. Critics are particularly harsh about his album, The Rainbow Children, which features the advocacy of Jehovah’s Witness dogma (Prince had been converted to the religion earlier that year).



Prince and Beyonce
Prince and Beyonce performed Purple Rain and Crazy In Love at the Grammys

Musicology, Prince’s 22nd studio album, is hailed as a return to form, and sees him back in the top five on both sides of the Atlantic. In the same year, he duets with Beyonce at the Grammys, is inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and puts on the most profitable US tour of the year.

Having embraced the internet as a way to release music as and when he wants, Prince wins a Webby Award in 2006. But, three weeks later, his site is shut down with no warning.


2007 – 21 NIGHTS

Prince at the Superbowl
Prince’s Super Bowl performance won rave reviews

After a dazzling performance at the Super Bowl (in which the rain actually turns purple) Prince shocks the music industry by announcing he will give away his latest album, Planet Earth, on the cover of a newspaper.

He also plays a wildly successful 21-night residency at London’s O2 arena, with guests including Amy Winehouse and Elton John.

written by Pinewood Design \\ tags: , ,

May 25

Russian singer Dima Bilan has won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Bilan is one of Russia’s biggest pop stars and his heartfelt ballad Believe, produced by US R&B star Timbaland, gave Russia its first ever Eurovision win.

YouTube Preview Image

 Abraham received six points from San Marino – who were taking part for the first time – and eight from Ireland.

Ukraine’s Ani Lorak came second with her energetic disco track Shady Lady, followed by Greece with upbeat pop song Secret Combination by Kalomira.

But British talent show runner-up Andy Abraham came last with his song Even If, gaining just 14 points.

Germany and Poland also received 14 points each, but they officially finished above the UK because their top scores in a single round were higher.

Dima Bilan won with a stage show that included Olympic figure skating champion Evgeni Plushenko performing on a small ice circle.

Bilan is a well-known performer throughout Russia and beyond, having been named best artist at the country’s MTV Awards for the past three years in a row.

He took part in Eurovision in 2006, finishing second behind Finnish rock monsters Lordi.

He has recorded an album in English with Timbaland, including a duet with Canadian singer Nelly Furtado, and hopes to use it to break into the international market later this year.

This year’s other entrants included Latvian pirates, a Finnish heavy rock group, a 75-year-old Croatian rapper and French dance musician Sebastian Tellier, who has worked with Daft Punk and Air.

Swedish singer Charlotte Perrelli, who won the event in 1999, was another hot tip and was picked as the winner in a Europe-wide BBC poll before the event.

But she failed to become the first female singer to win the contest twice.

The show was opened in front of 20,000 fans at the Belgrade Arena by last year’s winner Marija Serifovic.

The 20 countries that came through the semi-finals joined hosts Serbia plus the UK, France, Germany and Spain – the contest’s four biggest backers.


1. Russia: 272 points
2. Ukraine (above): 230
3. Greece: 218
4. Armenia: 199
5. Norway: 182

YouTube Preview Image

UK has a massive music background still it fails on eurovision. how come? I have to say this is slightly better than the shite we’ve had the past few years. But still shit. I don’t like Dima’s song too much, but Schooh last year and now this… we need someone like westlife to step up!

And, Sir Terry Wogan (who has been Eurovision commentator for more than 30 years) said he may quit as the BBC’s Eurovision commentator, what a sad news! He should shut up and disappear from TV at least 10 yrs ago! He said: “Andy Abraham gave, I think, the performance of his life with a song that certainly deserved far more points …”. Really? Maybe binman Andy just not talent enough to  deserve more points, he shouldnt been choosen at the first place. This 43-year-old ex-dustman could put the best of us to sleep. He is a joke, I really think my local council need him more than national TV. This “Even If” really embarrassing – like something from the early 80s, definitely your time, unfortunately, its overed.

Then, Sir Terry Wogan added: “Indeed, western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in because their prospects are poor.”  Come on, Sir, theres nothing about western European, those Eastern they love western European, they just dont like UK, UK only. I do  agreed it become neigbour selections, but look at us, we even cant get vote from our neigbour, because we r America’s bitch, because we have many arrogant, ignorant, stupid people here, like you Sir Terry Wogan.

Lets watch last 2 yrs entries again, Sir Terry Wogan, do you really think these shit deserved top 10?
UK’s trash entry for Eurovision 2007, Scooch – Flying The Flag:
YouTube Preview Image

UK’s trash entry for Eurovision 2006, Daz Sampson – Teenage Life:
YouTube Preview Image

Stop complian that its all about political, I dont buy it, If we still want play this game, it s time start taking Eurovision more ­seriously, but we need to go that extra distance like France, whose entry is by ­legitimate dance star ­Sebastien Tellier. Daft Punk have produced it, that’s how serious Le Frogs are. Maybe we could send a genuinely good artist with a decent song, instead of trying to second guess what we reckon the suckers in ­Europe will fall for.

And lets see Sir Terry Wogan announced wrong winner of Eurovision UK 2007, Wogan you bloated, talentless idiot!

YouTube Preview Image


More Eurovision:

Eurovision Song Contest 2008 Final Top 5 (videos)

Dima Bilan — The winner of THE 2008 EUROVISION SONG CONTEST (Photos)

Eurovision Song Contest Belgrade 2008 Final Tonight

written by Pinewood Design \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Clicky Web Analytics