Prince Rogers Nelson (born June 7, 1958) is an American musician. He performs under the mononymous name of Prince, but has also been known by various other names, among them an unpronounceable symbol (usually spelled out as O(+>), which he used as his name between 1993 and 2000, during which time he was usually referred to as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
Prince is a prolific artist, having released several hundred songs both under his own name and with other artists. He has won seven Grammy Awards and an Academy Award, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2004, he was named the top male pop artist of the past 25 years by ARC Rock on the Net, and Rolling Stone ranked Prince #28 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
From his early material, rooted in R&B, soul and funk, Prince has expanded his musical palette throughout his career, absorbing many other genres including pop, rock, jazz, new wave, psychedelia and hip hop. Some of his primary influences include Sly Stone, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic and Carlos Santana. The distinctive characteristics of his early-to-mid 1980s work, such as sparse and industrial-sounding drum machine arrangements and the use of synthesizer riffs to serve the role traditionally occupied by horn riffs in earlier R&B, funk and soul music, were called the "Minneapolis sound" and have proved very influential.
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