The world knew Prince as one of the most renowned singers of all time, but these crazy lesser known facts say an incredible amount about the man behind the performer.
NBA star Carlos Boozer once rented his house out to Prince. While he was living there, "Prince changed the front gate to the Prince sign, changed the master bedroom into a hair salon, changed the streaming blue waters that led to the front door to purple water," knocked out walls and changed the molding on top of the ceiling. Boozer considered beating him up, but Prince gave Boozer a check to cover all the damages shortly after leaving. Boozer later filed a law suit.
Prince's birth name was, in fact, Prince. However, his record label owned the rights to marketing his name so he felt like he had lost his identity. "The Artist formerly known as", is kind of a middle finger to them.
"In April 2008, Prince covered "Creep" at Coachella. This version was captured on a video and uploaded to Youtube. However, it was quickly taken down at Prince's request. After finding out about the blocking, Thom Yorke was quoted as saying: 'Well, tell him to unblock it. It's our song.'"
Prince was angry at Weird Al Yankovic for asking if he could parody one of his songs. After hearing he was to sit in the same row as Weird Al at the Grammy’s, Prince’s lawyers sent a telegram demanding he not make eye contact. Weird Al has asked permission from Prince to parody his songs on numerous occasions, and has always been refused. Weird Al did anyway, and continued to make fun of Prince for years.
Prince asked to borrow a valuable vintage guitar for a live show after spotting it during a rehearsal. He got his wish because Prince gets what he wants. After finishing, he ended the performance by throwing and smashing the guitar off stage. Its owner reluctantly asked Prince to sign the guitar after the stunt, to which Prince responded "No."
Prince purportedly recorded so much that he was just leaving tapes lying around in various places including people’s cars. So, he built a personal vault in his house to store hundreds of works that no one has seen. He has composed, arranged, produced and played all the instruments in almost every song that he's recorded. Prince wrote more songs than the Beatles, and has a known backlog of over 600 songs. Accompanying recordings may mean lots of "new" releases for decades to come.
"Prince asked filmmaker Kevin Smith to make a documentary about him. After finishing it Smith learned that the documentary would end up in a vault for Prince's private use. No public release. Prince is pretty particular in the way he does things."
Before becoming a star, Prince was broke in his hometown in Minnesota. When he was hungry, he would sometimes stand near a local McDonalds to smell the food.
Just days before Prince was going to release "The Black Album," he stopped the project and the following release of the album in 1987. He said the reason was because the album was "too dark and immortal" and it had been said that he claimed the devil had been talking to him. Later, he said his decision came after a "spiritual epiphany," though the media reported that he had been experimenting with ecstasy.
"An old coworker of mine (music shop) was a drum tech for Princes band. He told me Prince took them all to a movie for someone's birthday. He purchased out all of the tickets for that particular screening. The weird part is that he sat behind everyone, and the group was informed that if they turned around and looked at him during the movie they would be removed from the movie. Don't know what Prince was doing back there, but apparently his girlfriend that was with him was 10/10"
Prince wanted Stevie Nicks to join him in recording his famous hit "Purple Rain," but not only because he wanted her to sing with him. Prince believed that while working together, Stevie Nicks would have "liked a romance with me, too."
Prince ordered a salon in Washington to completely black out all of its windows before doing his hair. He apparently paid them extra to make sure it happened.
MJ and Prince were supposed to duet "Bad" for the official song recording, but Prince refused because the opening line of the song "Your butt is mine” did not sit well with him.
Prince hated his work leaking on the internet. He disliked digital music distributors like YouTube, Ebay, iTunes and even fans because they weren't paying him up front for distribution rights, so he sued all of them. In 2014, he sued 22 fans individually after they uploaded videos of him taken at live performances. He told the press that the internet was bad, and that it was over. "Like MTV, at one time, MTV was hip, and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computer and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers, and that can’t be good for you.”
Questlove's autobiography "Mo' Meta Blues" details a time when Prince asked him out rollerskating late one night: "He clicked the lock and opened it, and took out the strangest, most singular pair of roller skates I had ever seen. They were clear skates that lit up, and the wheels sent a multicolored spark trail into your path ... He took them out and did a big lap around the rink. Man. He could skate like he could sing."
"The Scandalous Sex Suite," an infamous single released in 1989, contained vocals from Kim Basinger. The vocals included some moaning and groaning, and is rumored to have come from recordings of Prince and she having sex together.
One of Prince's former audio engineers said that MJ and Prince played a game of ping pong while both at the same recording studio in L.A. "You want me to slam it?" he remembered Prince said, to which Michael responded coldly, "Michael drops his paddle and holds his hands up in front of his face so the ball won't hit him. Michael walks out with his bodyguard, and Prince starts strutting around like a rooster. 'Did you see that? He [Jackson] played like Helen Keller.'"
Prince confirmed that Dave Chappelle's famous sketch about Charlie Murphy’s basketball game with Prince and the Revolution actually happened. He would go on to humor Chappelle by using Chappelle's 'Prince' character on on his album cover “Breakfast Can Wait.” When asked about the sketch, he confirmed the details, except they didn't wear their club clothes. He also said there wasn't anything weird about serving them pancakes (the scene appeared after Prince and crew played basketball through the night) because by that time it was 6 in the morning.