23 Things You Might Not Know about Prince

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It's been a week since Prince left this world, but I still find myself gazing adoringly at animated gifs of him, listening to his music, watching videos of him, and reading about his life. In the course of all of this, I've learned a lot about Prince and his career that I didn't know before. Here are some things you might not know about the Purple One:

1. Prince's childhood nickname was "Skipper."

2. He wrote his first song at the age of seven. It was called "Funk Machine."

3. When he was 10, Prince danced on stage with James Brown.


4. Before he hit the big time, Prince used to stand outside of his local McDonald's and smell the food because he couldn't afford to eat.

5. Despite being 5'2", he was known to be an incredible basketball player.

6. He played every single instrument on his debut album.

7. Prince could play 27 different musical instruments.

8. He played electric guitar on Madonna's "Like a Prayer."

And synths on Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back."

9. We all know that Prince is responsible for Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U," but did you know that he also wrote "Manic Monday" by the Bangles?

10. One of his favorite meals during the Purple Rain era was spaghetti paired with orange juice.

11. Prince originally wanted Vanity 6 to be called The Hookers and Vanity to be called Vagina (pronounced Va-geena).

12. Smoke machines were allegedly used so heavily on the sets of his music videos for "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" that a bunch of people got diarrhea from breathing in all the mineral oil in the air.

13. Michael Jackson's "Bad" was almost a duet with Prince, until Prince objected to the first four words: "Your butt is mine."

14. Prince almost released an entire album as Camille, his female alter ego.

15. He produced an album called A Hollywood Affair with Kim Basinger, but the project was scrapped because she wasn't the best singer. That doesn't mean you can't still listen to it though:

16. A week before its release, Prince yanked all copies of The Black Album because he came to believe that "the dark side of him" created "something evil."

17. Prince hated swearing so much that he beckoned Sinead O'Connor to his mansion to tell her to stop using bad language in her interviews. She promptly told him to "F*ck off." They proceeded to get into a crazy fist fight, which involved chasing each other around a car and spitting and punching at each other.


18. Back in 1994, kids were playing a CD-ROM game titled "Prince Interactive," which included two unreleased songs, interview clips and the opportunity to explore his recording studio.

19. Prince was a Jehovah's Witnesses and went door to door to discuss his religion.

20. His faith dictated that he could never discuss his charitable work. Now that he has passed, stories of his involvement with YesWeCode, a movement to get underprivileged kids involved in the tech world, and Green For All, a project that supplies solar panels in Oakland and beyond.

21. After turning down Kevin Smith's request to feature a Prince song in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Prince convinced Smith to film a movie of Prince and his band performing music from The Rainbow Children. It soon became clear that Prince intended the project to be a Jehovah's Witness recruitment film, filled with messages like "Jesus Christ is the son of God." Kevin Smith decided to duck out.

22. Prince didn't take himself too seriously. After David Chappelle famously dressed up as him on his show, Prince, in turn, used Chappelle's image as the cover of his 2013 single Breakfast Can Wait. 

Breakfast Can Wait Prince Cover - P - 2013.jpg

23. In recent years, Prince only watched two things on television: the news and Zooey Deschanel's New Girl. He emailed Zooey to tell her this and eventually starred in an episode and recorded a single with her called “FALLINLOVE2NITE":

Want even more little-known facts about Prince? Check out this episode of The Cooler: