Prince

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Winning Nomination

Prince had a streak of successful musical events in the 80s that influenced and shaped generations of Minnesotans. First, by introducing a sound and style of blues and dance music combined with sexy lyrics and undertones that were disguised in a string of chart-topping, catchy pop tunes. His music and performances made people get dressed up on Saturday nights to go out and dance; his venue of choice, First Avenue. At his peak of popularity he starred in the semi-autobiographical film "Purple Rain," which chronicled both his music and his home state of Minnesota. The locations used in this film became tourist attractions and in many cases were reborn, contributing to a more active society and thriving tourism in and for Minnesota.
~Jenn Mattson, Moorhead, MN


Runner-up Nominations

Two words, Purple Rain.
~Heidi Kloempken, Kasson, MN

I believe he had a huge impact on Minnesota and the music scene here. He is a gifted artist who isn't just a singer but a writer, producer and composer. If you think Dave Winfield had an impact then Prince MUST be a part of your 150.
~Brian Badenhoff

Prince is a musical genius and featured Minneapolis in his seminal film Purple Rain as well as in numerous songs. Paisley Park is a Minnesota landmark and remains a musical mecca. Not only does he continue to reinvent music, he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a respected and admired artist.
~Jeremy C. Garland, Baton Rouge, LA

Controversial or not, Prince has never forgotten Minnesota and where his roots took hold.

We could list many historical figures that would be just as important, but for contemporary considerations, Prince is someone to be recognized as not only an influence to Minnesota, but the world. His music is still as strong today as it was 20 years ago. That's not easily achieved.
~Skip Elliott, Anoka, MN

Not only is Prince one of the number one music superstars of Minnesota, but he also put our state on the map when filming Purple Rain. He is an excellent singer, dancer and musican.
~Lori Lee, Maple Lake, MN

Prince put us on the map in terms of Funk and Pop music in the 1980s like no other. His music at first was edgy, over-the-top raw and hard-core uncensored sexual stuff. Then he became a national act and hit it big with dance-able stuff you could listen to on the radio. He made a movie, has won Grammys, opened Paisley Park studios, which is known worldwide, and is still a headline and hit-producing sensation. Always controversial, he has his own style, music, and dance moves and helped a lot of other musicians become known in the industry. Also one of the first and few performers since Cher to be known by simply his first name, PRINCE.
~Betty-Jean Rode, Golden Valley, MN

The place where Prince started out at small night clubs.
~ Tonett Martin, Cambridge, MN

For me 'a true-bred Minneapolis girl' moving to the East Coast for college proved to be an incredible insight into the ignorance of eastern American's notions of national geography. When I mentioned where I came from, my classmates would inquire, 'Have you seen the movie Fargo?', or comment 'Wow, you don't look like you're from there,' as if being from Minnesota requires a standby pitchfork, donkey and/or straw hat.

One day crossing my dormitory's hall, I heard my neighbor blasting Prince's 'When Doves Cry.' I entered her room and sat as she raved about Prince: about his sex appeal, his influence on current artists, and all those ridiculous stories that further cloak his public reception in intrigue and mystery. She hilariously claimed that her life goal was to be purified in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, just like her hero's proteges. When I told her that I lived near Lake Minnetonka, that I grew up around the places where Purple Rain was shot and that my high school drama teacher was even an extra in the film, she was surprised and impressed. And while she may still not recognize the contours of my state upon a map, Minnesota is now more than just a place 'out there,' it's the place of Prince's little red Corvette, the place where Prince dreamed up his five-foot-three-inch-tall but still larger-than-life persona, it's where he shaped and sealed the sign of our times.
~Kathryn Sutton

He is a musical icon genius. His music is timeless and will live on forever. There are so many fans, including lengendary performers, who admire his presence and force. All hail his royal badness ... SIR PRINCE.
~Frankye Wells, Apple Valley, MN

Prince is a genius.
~Anna M. Jarvi-Potter, Richfield, MN

The Prince revolution gave Minnesota a sound in the music industry. Lots of artists came out of that era as well as the Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis production company who have produced many recording artists with Grammy successes. Many artists have used Paisley Park, Prince's recording studio, to this day and everyone has seen or heard about Purple Rain, the album and the movie. Prince put Minneapolis, MN on the map in the music industry, and music influences the world. I might add that he did this without scandal and he is still looking good and creating new sounds and receiving new awards every year. Every time he gets nominated and/or not to mention receives an award, Minnesota gets a positive hit which makes people think that maybe it is a good place to relocate to, maybe there is more to Minnesota than freezing temperatures and 10,000 lakes.
~Cydney Holley, Minneapolis, MN

Lasting, true, powerful, steadfast, and wise - the only musical genius of my time! He began changing the face of music from the late '70s with blatant sexual innnuendos, and he continues changing it by removing the blatance and replacing it with more subtle and sensual undertones, tasteful horns, and great old-school soul jazz and funk sounds.
~Jessica Rattmann, Minnetonka, MN

Prince put Minnesota on the world map regarding music and race relations. He created a new sound and made our state COOL for the first time. The style of music he invented is called the Minneapolis sound. His band was interacial and he had women as prominent members. His movie Purple Rain depicted Minneapolis as a place open to African-Americans. Many people moved here as a result. He also had pride for his state by building a studio that would bring musical talent to the state. All in all, Prince has made history for we Minnesotans and made us proud!!
~Nanette Missaghi, Eden Prairie, MN

Prince, one of the most influential and respected of all musical artists in the US.
~Thom Davis, Minneapolis, MN

Shaped the music of the '80s and beyond. A worldwide musical figure who continues to be one of the best entertainers from Minnesota.
~Anitra, Eden Prairie, MN

Prince put Minneapolis, Minnesota on the map as one of the top cities for music and recording artists. He showed the world that you don't have to lose sight of your hometown.
~Tessie Tyrrell, Robbinsdale, MN

He rocks.
~Dave Matschina, Eagan, MN

He provided me with a soundtrack to my life.
~Diego Corcuera, Hull, UK

Worldwide known, a household name. Not only influenced and transcended music, but became an icon of our times, with 100s of millions of sales, but lasting over 30 years without having been dictated to.
~Sam

He brought Purple to Chanhassen and put the Twin Cities on the map with his electric sound.
~Deb Berg, Apple Valley, MN

I would like to nominate Prince!!! Where would the music ...funk/r and b/jazz/pop/etc... be today without him? He is a creative genius who makes it known that Minnesota is his home. I could not nominate anyone except Prince. He brings the most influential force on many calibers of the state's history. Just as Elvis was the favorite son of the state of Tennessee, Prince deserves to be nominated as part of Minnesota's history. Thank you.
~Pamela Briones, Glendale, AZ

Prince, a self-taught musician, has composed volumes of original music with a huge array of innovative sounds. He made the Minneapolis Sound famous and along with a multitude of other unique styles, his music reaches around the world. The magnificent musical talents of Prince combine to reach people in all walks of life. Many are inspired and uplifted through Prince's music and share the feeling of unity, love and hopefulness because of it.

P.S. Prince is most definitely the Funkiest SoulMan alive!
~Margie Peterson, Culver, MN

He's only shaped the music scene for generations to come.
~Paul Gouck

Prince is one of the most talented, diverse, orginal entertainers of the last century. Not only does he play all his instruments, he writes and performs them. He wrote many popular hits for other artists as well.

Prince has made sure that Minneapolis was a place to be reckoned with as we have very talented, serious musicians who have something to say.

Prince filmed his first feature film here (Purple Rain) and built Paisley Park in Chanhassen, MN. Many famous artists have come to Minnesota to record there.

Prince really loves Minnesota and has made sure that the rest of the country knew we existed and let them know what a wonderful community we have here and how great it is to live here, considering he has always made Minnesota his home base.
~Krystal DaSilva, Roseville, MN

He changed the face of popular music.
~James Bowyer

His multitude of talent has brought Minnesota to the forefront worldwide.
~Sonji Sanders

Prince is my nomination, for all of his personal accomplishments. His own are readily available and well known, however, he has influenced so many people behind the scenes and his philanthropic work is hardly spoken of. He has written music for countless acts, even contributing to aged stars such as Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan and Larry Graham in an effort to bring some income their way after their prime has passed. As a visionary, there are none who compare to Prince. I understand that he is not everyone's favorite artist, but he is truly the one artist that has it all. In terms of talent he is unmeasured, songwriting, singing, dancing, director, producer, mentor. He has built his own world, Paisley Park literally on his own merits. Also, he has been as loyal to Minnesota as one can possibly be, famously in the Prince world stating that he will NEVER leave Minneapolis. When asked why not, he replied that it's so cold, it keeps the bad people out. His sense of humor is also vastly underrated. Prince will always be an inspiration to me and I truly feel that, as much acclamation as he has received in his lifetime, he has not received as much as he deserves, primarily because he is such a private person, he doesn't blow his own horn - Maceo does ... inside joke, and if you get it, KUDOs to you. To close, Prince is my choice, for various reasons. Thank You.
~John Ruiz, Livonia, MI

No other musician has covered almost all genres in music in such an appeal that has inspired the world. No other musician has the following credits on almost all songs: written, composed, and arranged by Prince. This man is not only a legend, but one who drew great attention to the state of Minnesota and inspired many great musicians to do the same. One of the most beautiful aspects is that Prince also has the most diverse fan base in the world, who all come together as one, to enjoy his music. Please nominate this musical hero. He so much deserves it.
~Suzanne Hill, Miami, FL

The most daring and influential musician, composer, and songwriter of his generation. I don't think anyone knew where Minnesota was until Prince knocked the music world on its butt in the 1980s. He single-handedly put Minnesota on the map. And what's more is that once he hit the big time, he didn't run off to Hollywood. He stayed put and made Hollywood come running to Minnesota.
~Ellen Gross, Nottingham, MD

Prince was single-handedly responsible for shaping the sound that eventually became known as the Minneapolis Sound. Countless artists were influenced by his music and he brought great notoriety to the state of Minnesota.
~Greg McBride, Castle Rock, CO

Hello. I would like to nominate Prince for his impact on music and pop culture. Also, his humanitarian work and the loyalty he has shown to his home state should not be ignored. He is a good citizen who is known worldwide and in my opinion, he has been most influential in raising awareness of and sparking interest in the state of Minnesota.
~A. Stanford, Miami, Fl

I think Price helped define Minneapolis as Musicapolis, establishing First Ave as a place to see live music, promoting more musicians to work in a place where their talent would be appreciated.
~Anne Wagner, Arden Hills, MN

What can I say that has not been said before. I've been to your city only to come see Prince. If it was not for Prince ... how often would people hear the name Minneapolis? You have a lovely city ... but I think that Prince has made it a little more popular for you.
~Tracy Murray, Houston, TX

He is a Rock and Roll legend and has helped to put the state of Minnesota in the forefront of everything. He deserves it.
~Valerie Williams, Lawton, OK

Prince has changed the face of the music industry in Minnesota and the world.
~Ron Larson, Kennewick, WA

The entertainer, musician, lyricist, producer and actor changed the music scene.

He is the most prolific living artist of the 20th century.
~Stefan R. Manzow

Prince is a musical genius and has transformed the world with his music.
~Karla P. Morales, San Francisco, CA

He made Minnesota known worldwide.
~Jason

For me the answer is simple - I'm not sure if I would still have been alive without this AMAZINLGLY TALENTED and SENSITIVE musician - he has made my life so much better!!! I'm almost proud of being Swedish ... even that I'm still living in the real Sweden and not Minnesota: You've got a diamond!!! Take good care of him, and treasure him!!! He sure deserves that!!! There's only one of his kind...
~Denise Lundberg, Stockholm, Sto

Known worldwide, an individual.
~ Carol Trombley, Stillwater, MN

Probably wouldn't have heard of Minnesota otherwise.
~Christos Feretopoulos, Melbourne, Australia

Dylan may have hailed from Minnesota, but it was Prince who brought the white-hot spotlight of the music industry to our fair state of Minnesota when he created his world-famous Minneapolis Sound. Make no mistake about it, by being a musical force enough quite unlike anything before or since, Prince put Minneapolis on the map musically. He continues to make music that is bold, creative, and daring. He continues to make Minneapolis proud. He continues to keep Minneapolis as his home base of operations, and as his home.

Think about it, after Prince came along, Minneapolis became a whole lot cooler--and in this winter state that is saying something.
~Shawn Robinson, St. Paul, MN

Helped shape popular music. Created the Minneapolis sound.
~Christine Fields, New York, NY

Prince put this place on the map ... sorry, not Bob Dylan ... love Bob, but Prince let the world know about Minnie City!!
~Tammy Price

Greatest musician from Minneapolis and anywhere else.
~Dan Whitell

Prince is the defining icon of a generation, and that is more than can be said for anything else about Minnesota. Fact.
~Rhodri Craven

I had not paid much attention to Minnesota while growing up in the Chicagoland area. Prince was one of my favorite rock stars, and watching Purple Rain in the early 1980s, made Minneapolis - and Minnesota - visible to me through Prince's movie and his music. He put Minnesota on the musical map! For my 16th birthday, circa January 1983, my friends and I went to the Prince Purple Rain concert at the Rosemont Horizon.

Since that time, we have moved here from Chicago. Not because of Prince, mind you, but a job transfer, and plan to stay here for years to come. I confess that one of the first things I did in getting to know the city was to visit the Hard Rock Cafe and tour the Prince gallery of memorabilila there. I have hoped to bump into him spontaneously, but no luck so far.

So, my last hope is that perhaps he'll read this and my invitation for him to please join me at my upcoming 40th birthday party next January. My husband doesn't sing too well ... Prince, could you do us the honors?
~Inga Jahn, Brooklyn Park, MN

When considering the field of entertainment, no other Minnesotan has provided the level of influence, exposure and vitality that PRINCE has. Long after other Minnesotans have run to the bright lights of New York and Los Angeles, PRINCE has held true to the belief that the quality of life that our state provides far outweighs the convenience and exposure of the coasts. Utilizing his unequaled skills as a musician he has placed Minnesota on the map as a focal point for both homegrown talent as well as a destination for national talent. He almost single-handedly put us on the map as a location for major movie production and set forth his commitment to both by building the state-of-the-art Paisley Park Studio right in our own backyard. Genius is often misunderstood when viewed at first blush, but always found in retrospect. From his diverse collection of songs, as a writer, producer and performer to his dispute with Warner Brothers to his use of the internet as a vehicle for sales and marketing, PRINCE has proven his genius over almost thirty years.
~Richard Sonterre, Mounds View, MN

Before Prince became known throughout the world, Minnesota did not have a strong music scene. When Prince made the movie Purple Rain, he put Minnesota on the map as far as music is concerned. The country saw that Minnesota is home to more than just Germans and Swedes. Minnesota has a very diverse population. I have traveled to Chicago and Mississippi and when I tell people where I am from, they always mention that they never knew there were black people in Minnesota.

Even though Prince no longer lives in Minnesota, people will always associate him with Minnesota.
~Cassandra Crawford, Farmington, MN

Prince is sheer musical genius and unique talent who spearheaded the Minneapolis sound that so many have since followed. He often doesn't get the recognition he deserves so let's change that for once by giving him this wonderful accolade.
~Pippa Ward, Nottingham

Prince Rogers Nelson has transformed the music scene with his creative and innovative talent that has grown from his own definition and unique style. A true vanguard of his era, he has captured the spirit of Minnesota by continuously exclaiming his roots in his movies and music. No other Minnesota artist has made more of an impact worldwide in his genre. Now a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Prince maintains his legendary style with fresh new music that remains classic.
~Michael D. Winston, Plymouth, MN

Prince put Minneapolis on the map from a global scale. Kids in Tokyo and Holland know where Minneapolis is because of Prince. The same can be said for the people in Carolina or California. Of course it snows here 12 months of the year, but if it weren't for the international superstar, millions of people wouldn't even have heard of a place called Minneapolis, Minnesota.
~Chase Grover

The world recognizes Minneapolis for the Prince Sound, his music changes the way that the people understand the music, his ability to play different instruments could describe he is like a genius.
~Jorge Galindo, Barranquilla

Prince is the greatest musician of all time, not just for you in Minnesota, but all over the world. For example, I am writing this here from INDIA. Kudos to Minnesota for producing someone like PRINCE.
~Navdeep Singh, Panchkula, Haryana INDIA

This man brought so much attention to your state that you probably aren't aware of. In the movie Purple Rain, he made Lake Minnetonka famous! I have never been myself, however every time I hear the name Prince, or Lake Minnetonka, I just want to come up there and see it for myself. Just so I can say I was a part of history.
~Suzyn Poteet, McDonald, TN

Prince made this state popular. His titles made Minneapolis, Minnesota a mecca for the arts, clubs and a new sound in music. With the likes of that inspiring to countless artists and musicians such as Outkast, Maxwell, DAngelo, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis another milestone for Minnesota, Janet Jackson, Pharrell Williams and many more.

Coming to Minneapolis you can't help but think of Prince when cruising along downtown to see First Avenue and the Prince museum in Block E's Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Prince should be nominated indefinitely with the landmark makings of Minneapolis most popular city.
~Isaiah Tolbert, Minneapolis, MN

Growing up in New Mexico, Prince was one of my favorite musicians and I had learned that he was from Minnesota. Then Purple Rain came out and I got to see Minnesota. Before Prince the only thing I knew about Minnesota was that the capitol was Saint Paul. Now I have lived here nearly 10 years, and think it is the most beautiful, interesting, stimulating, fun-filled state. I love Minnesota, and Prince's fame was definitely my first introduction.

Oh he is an amazing artist too!
~David Mose, Minneapolis, MN

He helped the country realize we are here. When I tell people I'm from Minnesota, they always mention Prince. He helped people realize that we do have talent here.
~ Brandy Leshore, Hopkins, MN

He made the music scene in Minneapolis ... period.
~Natasha Moseley

He changed the way we look at music.
~Kelly Budacrest

I believe Prince put Minnesota on the musical map. He has been a strong musical influence sending many tourists from the US and abroad to visit Minnesota. He has lived there his whole life and his recording studio, Paisley Park, is there, bringing him and other musicians to the state. He has always carried pride for the state he comes from and I believe he is the perfect candidate for this honor.
~Barbara Rogers-Rashid, Deerfield Beach, Fl

Prince revolutionized music, and created the Minneapolis sound that put us on the map!
~Julie Graves

Prince is the ultimate performer and a well-known Minnesotan ....
~Kathleen Wall, St. Paul, MN

Musically put Minnesota on the map for the world to know.
~Vicki Woods, Los Angeles, CA

Prince is one of the most creative and innovative singer/songwriters of the modern era. He is a huge influence on many people, and broke many barriers.
~Philip Bee

He has great music and Minnesota is his hometown. Also he has been a musician for over 20 years now and I think he should be nominated.
~Anna-Lisa Smith, Lusby, MD

He put Minnesota on the map, basically.
~Anita Walker, Mobile, AL

Prince was glam before Glam Rock, expressed sensuality as well as sexuality in his lyrics and put Minneapolis on the map for music-making in the '80s, '90s and the present. The Time, Vanity and Appolonia, along with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, all owe him a great deal.
~Raberta Washington

Prince even outshone Bob Dylan in terms of prolific songwriting skills and musicianship.
~Eric Crow, San Francisco, CA

He changed music forever. He is one of the greatest artists the world has ever seen.
~Sean Farrell, Lebanon, TN

Born and raised there, Prince has contributed a lot of music and soulful and so much of the state's sound thoughout the years. And I love everything he has done in my lifetime. I love everything about Prince. I wish that I could write a whole paper about his life and the work that he has done but it would be a lot of writing.
~Ernestine Chatman, Washington, DC

Prince, his music and especially the movie Purple Rain put the music of that decade and Minnesota on the map!
~Lori Hoffman, Hopkins, MN

When any one hears Minnesota, somewhere in their mind they see an image of Prince, purple and his guitar.
~Tanisha Ann Watley- Winston

Great singer who was born and raced here.
~Steve Esty, Falcon Heights, MN

He has shaped popular music worldwide, made First Avenue famous, brought the international music industry to Minnesota, and has thrown some of the best parties ever.
~Val Escher

The music legend! We love him.
~Aurora Lange, New London, MN

He put the Minneapolis music scene on the MAP! Talented and one of the best guitar players the music world has ever seen!
~Carrie Donovan, St. Paul, MN

He's Cool.
~Paige Kaping, Litchfield, MN

Music industry in stage and show performance, new style of music ... first pop star to write , play instruments, choregraph, produce own music and videos ... all on his own ....
~Chris Stark, Prior Lake, MN

Prince opened up the rock/music industry in Minnesota. His recording studio hosted many famous artists from the United States and the world. Prince also was influential for attracting the motion picture industry to Minnesota.
~Gail Norland, N. Mankato, MN

He is a truly talented musician. He has helped many aspiring musicians and has shown the world a slice of Minnesota Nice.
~Kay Braaten, Lexington, MN

Performer again known as Prince and Mpls Purple Rain Studios he just closed.
~Susan Latto, Duluth, MN


Contents

History

(1958- )

Creator of the Minneapolis Sound

His parents named him Prince Rogers Nelson, after his pianist father's band, the Prince Rogers Trio. In 1993, he dropped his name in favor of a glyph. People began calling him "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," "The Artist," and a host of less charitable things. He changed his name back in 2000. He has cultivated a singular, mysterious persona throughout his career and has repelled and intrigued listeners in equal measure. For all his intentional blurring of the lines, though, one thing is clear: Prince changed the course of popular music.

A devoutly Christian black man, standing 5 feet, 3 inches, and weighing 125 pounds, Prince is a most unlikely international star and sex symbol. He's credited with inspiring the Minneapolis Sound--a mix of funk, rock, R&B, and New Wave that fueled his career as well as those of other musicians, including Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Morris Day, and Sheila E. Unlike contemporaries such as Madonna and Michael Jackson, Prince is often described as being more than a commercial sensation. He is viewed as a serious musical artist, influencing everyone from George Michael to Janet Jackson to D'Angelo to Outkast. He has kept tight control over the production of his material, recording most of it in the Minneapolis metro area. Given his sexually explicit lyrics and suggestive moves, his live performances have also set a standard for others to follow.

Here's how Alex Hahn, who published a biography of Prince in 2003, sums up his influence: "As the 1980s continued, the sound Prince perfected with records like 1999 and Purple Rain became the most influential (and, for that matter, the most openly imitated) style of the entire decade. His artistic calling cards--minimalist production, taut funk rhythms, and salacious lyrics--were appropriated by dozens of pop artists, often with potent results. Even as important musicians like Miles Davis, Eric Clapton, and Robert Plant hailed Prince as a pop pioneer, the most convincing evidence of his influence was on the radio: it was almost impossible to spin the dial without encountering something that sounded very much like him."

Resource Links

Prince (musician) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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