Prince would have turned 59 years old today (June 7), and music fans are feeling the void left by his untimely passing in 2016.

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis to a pianist father and a jazz-singing mother. Naturally, Prince developed an interest in music very early, writing his first song ("Funk Machine") when he was 7 and dancing with James Brown onstage when he was 10. Prince started his music career with Warner Bros. Records and released albums For You and Prince in 1978 and 1979, respectively. The latter went platinum with the help of the hit "I Wanna Be Your Lover."

On the strength of several classic albums and singles, Prince would become a superstar. He was sometimes funky, sometimes a balladeer, sometimes a rocker--always Prince. 1999 and especially Purple Rain would make him an international superstar. The ambitious double LP Sign o' the Times showed Prince was one of pop's most versatile artist, and projects like Parade and Lovesexy showed that he wasn't going to follow anyone's "rules" as it pertained to being a pop star.

He continued his high volume output throughout the 1990s, releasing hit albums like Diamonds and Pearls and The Love Symbol album early in the decade. But he would become known for his fight with Warner Bros., which resulted in Prince changing his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol and a split from the label. He'd release a myriad of projects throughout the mid-and-late 90s including Emancipation, the Crystal Ball box set and Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic. 

The singer would resume his "Prince" moniker in the early 2000s and would enjoy a welcomed commercial resurgence with 2004s Musicology, which kick-started a latter period that saw him perform at the Super Bowl, make acclaimed appearances on Saturday Night Live and hit sitcom The New Girl and release projects with his newest project 3rdeyegirl, an all-female band.

Sadly, we lost His Royal Badness in April 2016. But Prince's spirit is forever. As is his music.


Worst to Best: Every Prince Album Ranked

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