Prince Rogers Nelson a.k.a Skipper

Early Life

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Basketball Prince
In Minneapolis Minnesota on June 7 1958, Prince Rogers Nelson was born to John L. Nelson and Mattie Shaw at Mount Sinai Hospital. John Nelson at the time was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer. Prince was named after his father, whose stage name was Prince Rogers, and who performed with a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. In a 1991 interview with A Current Affair, Prince's father said, "I named my son Prince because I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do"(Prince Biography).

Prince's sister Tika Evene, usually called Tyka, was born in 1960(Nislon). Eight years after her birth Prince's parent divorced, when Prince was ten. In 1968, Mattie Shaw was married once again to Hayward Baker, a man Prince never got along with eventually becoming the main reason the kid ran away from home(Prince Biography). Seeking refuge in his father's home, Prince's interest in music was sparked once he was given a guitar by his father. But once he and a female friend were discovered by his own dad numerous conflicts arose and caused Prince to move out and into the home of a neighbor. The Andersons, and befriended their son, Andre Anderson who later became known as Andre Cymone.

Later, both Prince and Anderson joined Prince's cousin, Charles "Chazz" Smith, in a band called Grand Central alongside Morris Day and Linda Anderson. All while Prince attended junior high school. Over time Prince was able to hone his talent and broaden his knowledge about music with the help of manager and mentor to Grand Central, Pepe Willie, a musician married to one of Prince's cousin. With this progress Prince eventually became the band's frontman, converting the band's purpose from cover songs to self written works. Therefore, transforming the band from Grand Central to Champagne by the time Prince entered high school at Central High School.


By 1976, Prince felt it was time to catch a proper music deal from any music label by putting together a demo tape. With the help of Chris Moon, a sound engineer, the work was brought to the attention of Owen Husney, a Minneapolis businessman. Impressed with Prince's talent, Husney financed a management company called American Artist through which he promoted Prince as the star of the future, finally landing him a deal with Warner Brothers Records in 1977(Prince Biography). Allowed to produce and control his own songs Prince started out by releasing his first song under contract, "For You", on April 7, 1978.