Prince's Revolution: From R&B Controversy To Rock Star Status

By Emily Morenz
American musician Prince (1958 - 2016) performs onstage at the Ritz during his 'Dirty Mind' tour, New York, New York, March 22, 1981. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

With "Little Red Corvette" and "Let's Go Crazy," Prince finally hit it big. A musical prodigy, Prince secured a major-label contract while still in his teens and released four decent albums, each selling more than the previous one -- but then came the hit, 1999, followed by the masterpiece, Purple Rain.

Just as there could be no one word to describe Prince himself, no genre can summarize the eccentric music he created throughout multiple decades. Through a combination of R&B, pop, rock, funk, and almost every other type of music, Prince invented a sound that had never been heard before and could never be copied. Prince was also courageous enough to write X-rated lyrics for his songs, despite the condemnation he received. This was parallel to the scandalous journey Prince would embark upon throughout his entire musical career.