Prince was a singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. A guitar virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist known for his genre-crossing work, wide-ranging singing voice, and flamboyant stage appearances, he is regarded as one of the greatest musicians in the history of popular music.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Prince developed an interest in music as a young child and wrote his first song, "Funk Machine", at the age of seven. He signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records at the age of 19, and released his debut album For You in 1978. Following up with his next four albums—Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)—Prince gained critical success, prominently showcasing his explicit lyrics as well as his blending of funk, dance, and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released his sixth album Purple Rain, which was also the soundtrack to his hugely successful film acting debut of the same name. It quickly became his most commercially successful record, spending 24 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200. The film itself was critically and commercially successful and also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score, the last film to receive the award.
In April 2016, at the age of 57, Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. He sold over 100 million records worldwide, ranking him among the best-selling music artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, seven Brit Awards, six American Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award. He was also honored with special awards including the Grammy President's Merit Award, American Music Awards for Achievement and of Merit, and the Billboard Icon Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2016. Prince had a net worth of $300 million at the time of his death in April 2016.