The List: Prince's alter egos and aliases
At Big Room Bar's Prince Tribute on May 21, we expect to hear major hits and obscure gems from the late music icon. But which Prince made which songs? The Purple One told Oprah that he had "another person" inside of him, sex undetermined, and created music as different characters or under different aliases. Several are listed below (there are probably others that we don't know about yet).
You know that Prince is playing Camille when you hear a sped-up vocal on songs such as "U Got the Look," "Housequake" and the stunning "If I Was Your Girlfriend" - a complex examination of gender roles. Legend has it Prince considered creating an entire album and a film based on the character.
Symbol (a.k.a. the Artist Formerly Known as Prince)
Prince's most well-known alias is the unpronounceable symbol, which allowed him to release music independently from Warner Bros. Not knowing exactly what to call him, the media came up with titles such as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, the Artist and - derisively - Symbolina.
Prince, the mastermind behind the Time and Vanity 6 music groups, tried to hide his participation by crediting production to Jamie Starr or the Starr Company on the bands' records.
Prince also used pseudonyms to pen songs for artists outside of his Minneapolis empire. "Sugar Walls," a 1984 hit by pop artist Sheena Easton, is credited to Alexander Nevermind.
Pop-rock band the Bangles also benefitted from Prince's songwriting, landing a number two hit in 1986 with "Manic Monday," credited to Christopher.
Did you know that Prince also wrote country music? "You're My Love," a track on Kenny Rogers' 1986 albumThey Don't Make Them Like They Used To, is credited to one Joey Coco.
As Tora Tora, Prince contributed to the 1995 albumExodus, by his band the New Power Generation (NPG). Onstage and in videos with the NPG, Tora Tora appeared with a scarf masking his face.
In the liner notes for the 1989Batman soundtrack, Prince's songs are listed according to character. "Batdance," for example, includes lead vocals by the Joker, Vicki Vale, Bruce Wayne, Batman and Gemini - obviously not a cast member, but named for Prince's astrological sign. It's a fitting representation for a man of many dualities.
Big Room Bar
8 p.m. Saturday, May 21
1036 S. Front St., Brewery District