Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker. A guitar virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist known for his eclectic genre-crossing work, flamboyant and androgynous persona, energetic live shows and wide-ranging singing voice, in particular his far reaching falsetto and high-pitched screams, Prince is regarded as one of the most talented popular music artists of his generation. His innovative music integrated a wide variety of styles, including funk, R&B, rock, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop. Prince pioneered the late 1970s Minneapolis sound, a funk rock subgenre drawing from synth-pop and new wave.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Prince developed an interest in music as a young child and wrote his first song, "Funk Machine", at the age of seven. He signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records at the age of 19, and released his debut album For You in 1978. Following up with his next four albums—Prince, Dirty Mind, Controversy, and 1999 —Prince gained critical success, prominently showcasing his explicit lyrics as well as his blending of funk, dance, and rock music.