Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.
Prince was a musical innovator who was known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. His music integrated a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He won eight Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the film Purple Rain. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Morris Day & The Time
With his dynamic dancing and smooth yet gutsy vocals, Morris Day played an essential role in the development of the Twin City dance/club sound of the 1980s. A founding member of Prince’s band, the Time, he remained with the group from 1981 until 1984, when he launched his solo career. Returning again in 1988, he also performed and recorded with the Time from 1990 until 1991 and then after 1995.
Day’s involvement with Prince traces back to 1980, when his composition “Partyup” (originally recorded when he was a member of the Enterprise), was covered on Prince’s Dirty Mind album. Releasing his debut solo album, Color of Success, in 1985, Day reached his apex with his second solo album, Daydreaming, two years later. Produced by ex-Time members Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, the album included the chart-topping R&B tune “Fishnet.” Day released his third solo album, Guaranteed, in 1992. After Guaranteed, Day toured occasionally without any new product. He finally returned to recording in 2004 with It’s About Time, a mostly live album with a few new studio cuts, one including a guest appearance by rapper E-40. Day has also appeared in several films and television shows.
During the mid-’80s, Sheila E. was the biggest and brightest of Prince’s protégées, unique in seeming that she could stand toe to toe with the Purple One. Certainly during his post-Revolution tours of the late ‘80s, Prince showcased Sheila E., the culmination of an association that began when Prince wrote and co-produced her 1984 breakthrough, “The Glamorous Life,” and duetted on “A Love Bizarre,” the 1985 follow-up that was her second-biggest hit. This close association often framed Sheila E.’s career entirely in terms of Prince, but she was a successful musician prior to entering his orbit, recording with George Duke and touring with Marvin Gaye, and she worked steadily afterward, touring with the likes of Ringo Starr and recording her own albums.
As the daughter of legendary jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo, Sheila E. -- born Sheila Cecelia Escovedo on December 12, 1957 -- was born into a musical family that also included her uncle Alejandro Escovedo. Sheila E. began her professional career just prior to her 20th birthday, playing percussion on 1976 albums by Alphonso Johnson (Yesterday’s Dreams) and Merl Saunders (You Can Leave Your Hat On) and her father’s 1977 session, Solo Two. She joined George Duke’s band in 1977 and moonlighted on sessions by Con Funk Shun, the Rowans, and Herbie Hancock. During the early ‘80s, she continued to play studio sessions, then landed a spot in Marvin Gaye’s touring band in 1983.
Morris Day Biography by Craig Harris
Sheila E Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine