Dearly Beloved: 5 Interesting facts about our late Prince

Fans around the world are celebrating his life.

Musician Prince is seen on stage at the 36th NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Prince was honored with the Vanguard Award. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Two years ago on this day, we lost the enigmatic artist known as Prince. The 57-year-old died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.

Millions of fans all over the world mourned Prince’s death, but also celebrated his life. Prince shared his musical gifts for decades, leaving his adoring fans with a vast catalog of funk/R&B/rock tracks that defy one-label classifications. There is no definitive “best of” Prince album because it would be impossible to determine which of his hits to leave out of the collection.

He expertly played multiple instruments, wrote hit songs for himself and others, and gave amazing performances that are legendary. He could sell out arenas, but he would also sometimes pop up at small, intimate venues and jam all night long on a whim. He was (and is) a creative treasure.

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The seven-time Grammy award winner was notoriously private. While Prince lovingly shared his ever evolving artistry, he kept certain details of his life close to the vest.

To honor Prince’s life on this day, Here are five interesting facts about the man who provided the soundtrack to our lives.

A Real Prince


Musician Prince performs onstage at the 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Many entertainers change their pedestrian-sounding names to something with a little more pizazz to help them stand out in the crowded world of Hollywood stars. But Prince had to do no such thing. His parents named him Prince Rogers Nelson when he was born on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, MN.



NEW ORLEANS – JULY 2: Prince performs at the 10th Anniversary Essence Music Festival at the Superdome on July 2, 2004 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Though some of his music was clutch-your-pearls graphic, in real life, Prince was on the shy side and quite humble. So much so, that he rarely spoke of his numerous philanthropic endeavors. The singer poured his energy and money into several causes such as #YesWeCode, an organization that aims to teach 100,00 under-privileged kids how to code. Long-time Prince friend Van Jones said Prince also donated to #BlackLivesMatter, and Harlem’s Children Zone.


His Symbol Had a Name


MIAMI GARDENS, FL – FEBRUARY 04: Prince performs during the “Pepsi Halftime Show” at Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Remember when everyone in media was having so much fun saying “The artist formerly known as Prince” when Prince changed his name to a symbol back in the ‘90s? Well, it turns out, that symbol actually had a name. It was called Love Symbol #2. Prince even took out a copyright on it. What was Love Symbol #1? No clue.


1984 Was a Great Year

In 1984, Prince was on top of the world. He had the number one film at the box office (Purple Rain),  he had the number one album (the soundtrack for Purple Rain), and he had a number one single with “When Doves Cry.” His 1984 wins even spilled into the following year. In 1985, he won two Oscars for Purple Rain—Best Original Musical and Best Original Film Score.

Celebrities and Everyday Joes


LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 22: Recording artist Prince (L) and singer Mary J. Blige perform onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

When singer Lauryn Hill found herself in tax trouble a few years ago, Prince made sure she and her family where okay. According to Van Jones, the Purple one immediately reached out once he learned that Hill was having difficulties. He wanted to make sure her kids were wanting for nothing. Jones said Prince was generous not just with celebrities, but with everyday people as well.

Reportedly, he was constantly writing checks and sending resources to those in need. “He did not want it to be known publicly and he did not want us to say it. But I’m going to say it, because the world needs to know that it wasn’t just the music. The music was one way he tried to help the world, but he was helping every single day of his life, said Jones in a CNN interview.”