11 Things We've Learned About Prince Since His Tragic Passing

Celebs September 4, 2017 By Vincent

It has been over a year since the world lost the iconic performer, renowned for his virtuoso guitar playing, genre-defying songs and visionary approach to media. Beloved the world over, the star was very private and did not reveal a lot about himself despite many quirks.

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Here we look at a few facts about the man, the myth and the legend that have emerged since his death.

1. He Kept A Swear Jar At His Recording Studio

Known for his songs on sexual themes,  like Erotic City and Sexy Dancer, Prince had two very different sides to him, and he was not a fan of swearing. He once requested Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, whom he wrote Nothing Compares 2 U for, not swear so much in her interviews to which she replied: "F***k off!"

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This was exacerbated though when he became a devoutly religious Jehovah's witness in 2003 and kept a "cuss bucket" in his recording studio so as to prevent artists from swearing whilst in there. This didn't always work though as one time a particularly sweary artist entered the studio and stuffed in a couple of $100 bills as a downpayment of what was to come.

2. A Very Rare Song of His Own Was Played At His Funeral

Not many have their own music played at their funeral, but when he passed, a very personal song of his own was played for Prince. Comeback, an acoustic lament the star originally recorded in 1996 for his son, Ahmir, who was born with a rare genetic disorder and died seven days later and it was played at Prince's funeral as well.

Released on the fan club-only album The Truth, the song's lyrics were equally apt for Prince's funeral when he was cremated on April 23rd, 2016 in a private ceremony.

"If you ever lose someone dear to you / Never say the words 'they're gone' / They'll come back."

3. Prince Wore A Wig For The Video Of Purple Rain

Purple Rain was an iconic film in which Prince was rocking an iconic bouffant hairstyle. Much loved and heavily associated with the star's image, it turns out that for many shots it was actually a wig as the star had shot parts of the video previously before needing a few reshoots.

However, he had already cut and dyed his hair by that point and had reacted so badly to the dye that his hair was breaking off. Instead of reshooting the video with this new style, they redid a few shots with a wig.

4. He Could Be Really Mean

Known for being a ruthless perfectionist, the diminutive star also had a vicious mean streak that Michael B Nelson, who played trombone for the New Power Generation, knew all too well.

During the 1993 Act I tour, Nelson missed a high B during his solo on a song called The Flow, saying of the incident:

"The next day, [Prince] came by and said, 'You're gonna play that solo right tonight? I said, 'I'll do my best.' And he says, 'Uh, you did your best last night.' And he walks away." During that night's performance, Prince walked up to Nelson during his solo and held up his legendary golden gun microphone to Nelson's head.

"I was like, 'Oh, my God.' And he kept doing it. And it was like a week of him doing this, and I'm freaking out. It wasn't showbiz at that point. It was, 'Don't you ever do that again'."

5. His Last Shopping Spree Was On CDs & Coffee

Just five days before his death, Prince was celebrating record store day and cycled to his local store to pick up some CDs before then heading off to a nearby to pick up a mocha (no whipped cream). The CDs In question?

  1. Stevie Wonder - Talking Book
  2. Chambers Brothers - The Time Has Come
  3. Joni Mitchell - Hejira
  4. Swan Silvertones - Inspirational Gospel Classics
  5. Missing Persons - The Best Of Missing Persons
  6. Santana - Santana IV

6. He Bought The House From Purple Rain Secretly

The house that featured as the star's childhood home in the film Purple Rain went up for sale in the summer of 2015 for the princely sum of $110,000, but Prince paid $117,000 in cash to secure the property and registered it in the name of NPG Music Publishing - one of Prince's companies.

After his death, Prince's estate put it up for sale, saying "the costs of repair and ongoing maintenance" were such that keeping hold of the house was "not in the Estate's best interest".

7. He Outsold Both Adele and Drake Last Year

Most would say his heyday was during the 80s but even in 2016 Prince had selling power as he managed to shift more than 2.2 million albums in the months after his death, partly because his music was unavailable on the major streaming platforms.

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He was the only artist to sell more than one million digital and physical albums in 2016; and sold a total of 5.4 million digital songs, putting him ahead of Drake and Adele. When his music was eventually put on streaming services, it was streamed 17 million times in one week with Purple Rain getting 1 million of those plays alone.

8. He Travelled Under A Pseudonym

Prince had may songwriting pseudonyms that included the likes of Alexander Nevermind, Joey Coco, and Jamie Starr, to name but a few but he also traveled under a different name to maintain privacy.

Traveling as Peter Bravestrong on his private jet, that name was on a luggage tag he used while traveling to Atlanta for what proved to be his final concert.

9. He Barely Ate But Often Cooked Eggs

Friends and fellow performers have all lined up to pay tribute to Prince in recent times, but as it transpires, they remember eating with him but never seeing him eat, despite many of them having stories of him cooking eggs.

Singer Jill Jones said: "Prince did the cooking. Scrambled eggs, he put curry and a little bit of cheddar cheese in them. It was really good, actually. You know, he barely ate. I was always starving around him. I was always freaking hungry."

Cat Glover said: "Prince was never an eater. He would usually smell his food. Literally. I never really seen Prince eat. I've seen him make pancakes - he made me pancakes, he made me eggs. But he's not the type of person that eats a lot."

"Yeah, he has made me scrambled eggs," said dancer Misty Copeland. "Breakfast was his forte. He liked to use a lot of seasoning. They were delicious."

10. There's Enough Prince Material In His Vault To Keep Releasing 'New' Music For The Rest of Our Lifetime

Famously Prince had a vault of all of his recordings, some which never saw the light of day whilst he was alive. "We used to do two songs a day, and he just put them away," said his friend and engineer David Z. In fact, there's so much music waiting to be released, "it probably won't be tapped out in our lifetime," said former Paisley Park employee Scott LeGere.

The first release came last year when the 1999-era track Moonbeam Levels was unearthed for the compilation Prince 4Ever and this June, an expanded version of Purple Rain is due, containing "two incredible albums of previously unreleased Prince music and two complete concert films," according to Warner Bros Records.

11. He Never Rehearsed His Famous Guitar Solo For 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'

One of the most widely-circulated links after Prince's death was a video of his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 in which he performs alongside Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others. He then steps out during the song and shows up all of these guitar legends by performing an incredible solo.

What's more, he never rehearsed the solo with Jeff Lynne's guitarist, Marc Mann, who taking the solo during the run-through but when it came to performing it live, Prince just went for it. Prince later claimed he had never even heard the song before it was sent to him to learn for the performance.

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