Sunday 25 September 2016

His career: A prince among music giants... Prince defied convention and courted controversy

Ryan Hooper

Published 21/04/2016 | 18:32

File photo dated 12/08/86 of Prince Rogers Nelson PA Wire
File photo dated 12/08/86 of Prince Rogers Nelson PA Wire

From the very beginning of his nearly four decades in the music industry, Prince defied convention and courted controversy in equal measure.

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The multi-instrumentalist fused traditional rock and roll guitar licks with a vocal range that mixed soul, funk and mainstream pop.

He could sing about sex and spirituality in the same verse, discuss both religion and science, and compose toe-tapping rhythms to accompany the darkest of subjects.

Famously flamboyant, he would stun dedicated audiences the world over with impromptu concerts, unlikely solo cover versions, and extravagant outfits.

It was often said that his incredible vocal range masked the fact that he was one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.

Prolific until his final days - he was working on yet another new album and planned to tour his much truncated Piano and a Microphone tour - the 57-year-old was said to have a cache of unreleased music in his sprawling Paisley Park mansion that would fill 100 records.

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