His name, his pride or his music?
When Prince announced on his 35th birthday (June 7, 1993) that he was changing his name to , no one took his announcement seriously. Who in their right mind would change their name to an unpronounceable symbol? It's funny because just a month earlier, Prince had retired from studio recordings.
In an exclusive interview, told 1994's August issue of Vibe
|magazine that Prince "stopped making records because he didn't need to anymore." Til this day, it's still a big mystery why he changed his name. There have been a few magazines such as 1995's fall issue of Esquire Gentlemen where has spoken more in-depth about the new name. The question that still lies is...did Prince change his name for himself? To get out of his contract because he doesn't own any of his material? Or to prove a point to his former record company about music? Some people believe he only did it to bulk up his publicity and then in the next couple of years, he'll change his name back to Prince. But if we look back over Prince's career, he was never Prince all of the time. He had many different and unique names. The first one notably remembered was Jamie Starr. Starr's name appeared (including Prince) on albums by The Time, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6 and Sheila E. Why the name Starr? Maybe so groups like The Time and Vanity 6 could obtain their own notoriety. It was years before people figured out Starr was Prince.|
soundtrack to Purple Rain hit the top of the charts, the media and the public gave Prince
some new names like His Royal Badness, His Purple Majesty and The Kid (which he portrayed
in the movie). That same year, Prince (under the name Alexander Nevermind) wrote Sheena
Easton's "Sugar Walls." Rumors began spreading around that Alexander Nevermind
was used to describe the bad relationship he had with Alexander O'Neal. At one time,
O'Neal was to be the leader of The Time.
In 1986, Prince introduced another name, Christopher Tracy. Tracy was the name that wrote The Bangles' "Manic Monday." In Prince's second movie, "Under The Cherry Moon", his character name was Christopher Tracy. Why so
|many names? Did he feel like a different person
everytime he created a different song?
The next year,
Prince gave us Joey Coco. Coco wrote songs for various artists including
"Telepathy" for Deborah Allen and "You're My Love" for Kenny Rogers.
Then, Prince had Camille. Camille was the funny voice on the Sign O' The Times album.
Whatever Prince was doing to his voice, it made him sound like he was inhaling some
helium! The unique voice of Camille formed from the outtakes of this album. Though Times
was almost a three-disc set, it whittled down to two. Certain Camille songs such as
"Housequake" and "If I Was Your Girlfriend" remained on the album
while others became B-sides. It was once considered that these Camille sessions should be
under one album. Just like Jamie Starr, Camille also fooled many people. It even fooled
America's Top Ten host Casey Kasem. When "U Got The Look" was on the charts,
Kasem mentioned Camille as if it was a real person. After Camille was going so well, he
went on to Paisley Park. Coincidentally, that's the name of his recording studio in
Minneapolis. It seems like most of the songs under that name were throwaways such as Paula
Abdul's "U". There was nothing to think about with Park. Everyone knew it was
On his last (Prince) album, Prince became Victor on "The Sacrifice Of Victor." This time, Prince wasn't playing around again with another silly name. It was his true thoughts about being victor, victor through violence, racism, etc. Overall, Prince was trying to give the world a lyrical message. Musically, he's not always going to be a caterpillar. Someday, he'll be a butterfly. It almost seem to make sense why he named this album .
After being with Warner Brothers for eighteen years, they decided to end their relationship with on a good note with Chaos And Disorder. But still, he seems to be upset with them. On the album cover, a foot print lays over a cracked vinyl record which has a picture of an eye. This eye is similar to the vinyl picture on Prince's 1999 album. And from this eye, there's a tear falling from it which ironically has an upside-down Warner Brothers logo inside.
Striking an alliance with EMI-Capitol for his 1996 album Emancipation, a triple-CD set, has unrestricted output, keeps his master tapes and is free to market and price his album. Emancipation is best described as simply "love, sex and liberty." With "slave" taken off his face, told USA Today, "this is my debut. My name represents this body of work, not what came before."
|In 1997, started selling a four-CD set titled
Crystal Ball via the internet (selling 100,000 copies). The latter, made exclusive deals to distribute the set
through record stores oppose to record companies delivering it to record stores. Believing
that record companies take too much money from their artists, he decided to delete the
middle man. And it doesn't stop there, there will also be three new albums coming from his
label this year including Chaka Khan, who hasn't released a new album since 1992.
Music is music. It doesn't really matter whose name is on the record. If the record's good, somebody will buy it. Whether it's