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Page 3 Profile: Prince, musician

The Purple One returns!

Yes. Prince surprised fans on Tuesday night by playing two secret shows. First he popped over to his friend, singer Lianne La Havas, to perform in her living room for just 10 people and announce a series of upcoming UK shows. Then he moved on to nearby club, the Electric Ballroom in Camden, north London, to showcase tracks from his forthcoming album, PlectrumElectrum, with his new backing group 3rd Eye Girl.

That’s fairly intimate compared with his 21-night residency at the O2 Arena in 2007.

“That was a different time, this is a different band,” he explained to journalists. The “Cream” singer, 55, who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and is one of the bestselling artists of all time said: “We’ll work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues.”  He told the crowd of less than 300 people: “You sound like ten thousands. We love each and every one of you.”

What name is he going by these days, then?

It’s just ‘Prince’, but it can be hard to keep up. He grew up as Prince Rogers Nelson and released his debut album For You in 1978 under the mononym Prince. However, in 1993, frustrated with his label Warner Bros, he discarded the Prince moniker for an unpronounceable symbol comprised of the male and female gender signs. He was then widely referred to as ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Prince’ until 2000 when he went back to Prince after his Warner contract expired.

He’s not one to be trifled with…

No. But the diminutive musician (5ft 2) has rubbed plenty of people up the wrong way in his time too. Other than his flamboyant costumes and astonishing vocal range, the pioneer of the ‘Minneapolis sound’ – a fusion of funk, rock, pop, R&B and new wave – is known for his overtly sexual lyrics.

Saucy!

Ever so. The graphic imagery of “Darling Nikki”, a track about a “sex fiend” with a penchant for “grinding”, prompted the addition of “parental advisory” stickers for records with choice content. Sadly his new single “PretzelBodyLogic” has failed to cause much of a stir yet. Midweek predictions from the Official Charts Company suggest the track will not make it into the top 100 if current sales levels continue into the weekend.

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