From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Prince Rogers Nelson (born June 7, 1958), known from 1993 to 2000 as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, TAFKAP, or simply The Artist, is an iconic American musician. He is best known for performing under the name Prince.
His music has spanned myriad styles; from his early material, rooted in R&B, funk, and soul, he has constantly expanded his musical palette throughout his career, absorbing many other genres including New Wave, pop, rock, blues, jazz, and hip hop. The distinctive characteristics of the early-to-mid 1980s work which brought him to super-stardom (including 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) became known as the "Minneapolis sound," which proved heavily influential.
Prince has been a remarkably prolific artist, having released several hundred songs, both under his own name and through other artists. Regarded as a perfectionist, Prince has a reputation as being difficult to work with, and for being highly protective of his music. He produces, composes, arranges and performs nearly all of the songs on his albums. Many critics have dubbed him a musical genius because of his versatility, compositional and vocal skills, and his proficiency on various instruments.