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Timeline : Prince

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June 7, 1958

Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He's named after his father's jazz combo, the Prince Rogers Trio.

April 7, 1978

Prince releases his debut album, For You. It reaches #163 in the US and contains his first Hot 100 entry: "Soft and Wet," which reaches #92.

October 19, 1979

Prince releases his sophomore album, Prince, containing the #1 R&B hit "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and the original version of "I Feel For You," later a hit for Chaka Khan. It's his first album certified Platinum for sales over 1 million.

October 8, 1980

Prince releases his third album, Dirty Mind. The title hints at the lascivious songs within, including "Head" and "Sister." The biggest hit from the set is the modest "Uptown," which goes to #5 on the R&B chart.

June 2, 1981

Prince makes his live British debut at The Lyceum Ballroom in London. He does not play the UK again for five years.

October 11, 1981

Opening a show for The Rolling Stones at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Prince gets booed off the stage. The Stones have good intentions in bringing in a rising star, but his act isn't a good fit for this crowd, and when he opens his trench coat to reveal bikini briefs, it gets ugly. Prince never again performs as an opening act.

October 27, 1982

Prince releases his fifth album, 1999. It's a breakthrough, selling well over 5 million copies worldwide, thanks to "Little Red Corvette" and the title track.

November 11, 1982

Prince begins his 1999 tour with a show in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The opening acts are two groups he put together in Minneapolis: The Time and Vanity 6.

May 21, 1983

"Little Red Corvette" goes to #6 in the US, giving Prince his first Top 10 hit on the Hot 100. The video is one of the first by a black artist to go in hot rotation on MTV.

July 27, 1984

Prince stars in the film Purple Rain. The movie, in which he plays as an upstart musician who clashes with his band, parallels his life story, but is not strictly autobiographical, and he didn't write or direct it.More

July 7, 1984

"When Doves Cry" goes to #1 on the Hot 100, giving Prince his first chart-topper on the tally. The song is from his upcoming movie Purple Rain.

August 4, 1984

The Prince album Purple Rain, which also serves as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, hits #1 in the US, where it stays for an amazing 22 weeks.

September 29, 1984

"Let's Go Crazy" by Prince and the Revolution hits #1 for the first of two weeks.

November 4, 1984

Prince kicks off his Purple Rain tour with a show in Detroit. His opening act is Sheila E., whose Prince-penned song "The Glamorous Life" reached #7 in America the previous month.

March 25, 1985

Prince wins an Oscar for Best Original Score for the film Purple Rain.

April 22, 1985

Prince releases his seventh album, Around The World In A Day, the follow-up to Purple Rain. It's his first issued on his Paisley Park imprint and primarily recorded at his Paisley Park studios.

June 1, 1985

The Prince album Around The World In A Day goes to #1 in the US, where it stays for three weeks. Hits from the album include "Raspberry Beret" and "Pop Life."

September 12, 1985

Rolling Stone publishes their interview with Prince, who has not spoken to the press in three years. He remains elusive, but explains why he made up stories in his early years to appease and confound reporters: "I used to tease a lot of journalists early on, because I wanted them to concentrate on the music."More

January 28, 1986

The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after liftoff, killing the seven crew members on board. The disaster inspires a lyric in the Prince song "Sign O' the Times": Silly, no? When a rocket ship explodes and everybody still wants to fly.

April 19, 1986

You don't have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude: Prince hits #1 in the US with "Kiss." The #2 song is "Manic Monday" by the Bangles, which he wrote.More

July 2, 1986

The second Prince movie, Under the Cherry Moon, hits theaters. Unlike the first, Purple Rain, Prince directs it himself.More

March 30, 1987

Prince releases his ninth album, Sign o' the Times.

March 29, 1987

Prince is named Worst Actor and Worst Director for Under the Cherry Moon at the 7th Golden Raspberry Awards. The film also earns Razzies for Worst Picture (tied with Howard the Duck), Worst Supporting Actor (Jerome Benton), and Worst Original Song ("Love or Money").

May 10, 1988

Prince releases his 10th album, Lovesexy, which becomes his first chart-topper in the UK.

August 20, 1990

Prince releases his album Graffiti Bridge, which contains the tracks "Thieves In The Temple" and "New Power Generation."More

July 28, 1992

Prince trademarks the male/female symbol he has been using on various album covers and promotional materials. He later re-designs the symbol and uses it as his name.More

August 31, 1992

Prince extends his contract with Warner Bros. in a deal reported as being worth $100 million, but worth far less in reality.More

October 13, 1992

Prince releases an album with a symbol on the cover that later becomes his name.More

June 7, 1993

On his 35th birthday, Prince changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol, making him, literally, an icon.More

February 22, 1994

Prince is granted the trademark on the symbol he has been using as his name.More

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