Prince: The most controversial moments from his career


Superstar Prince was a king of reinvention - and had his fair share of controversial moments during his four-decades-long career.

The star was never shy when it came to singing about sex - and even ventured into the territory of incest when he sang Sister, from the album Dirty Mind. The sexually explicit lyrics referred to relations with "my sister" when he was 16. Another song on the album, Head, referred to oral sex.


In his song Controversy he incorporated the Lord's Prayer into the lyrics. The 1981 release was considered by some to be blasphemous.

His song Darling Nikki, which refers to masturbation, led to the founding of the Parents Music Resource Centre which pressed for music labels to put Parental Advisory stickers on their releases. Tipper Gore, wife of former US vice president Al, was spurred to take action when she heard her young daughter play the 1984 Prince song.

The singer changed his name to a symbol back in 1993, and became known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. He went back to being known as Prince in 2000.

Prince and his former wife Manuela Testolini

Sparked by a major dispute with his record label Warner Brothers in the early 1990s, Prince appeared in public with the word "slave" on his face. He told Rolling Stone magazine in 1996: "People think I'm a crazy fool for writing 'slave' on my face. But if I can't do what I want to do, what am I? When you stop a man from dreaming, he becomes a slave. That's where I was. I don't own Prince's music. If you don't own your masters, your master owns you."

Just six years ago, Prince declared his view that the internet is "completely over", claiming computers and digital gadgets are not good for people. He chose to release the album 20Ten through the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Prince has died aged 57 (Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

In 2014 in a dramatic turnaround he said he had decided to stop swearing in his music. He told Essence magazine: "Did you ever hear Muhammad Ali curse? Would you curse in front of your kids? To your mother?" Referring to a number of female artists, he added: "They're all my sisters. We shouldn't curse at them. We need to treat all of them, and all people, like royalty."

Last year the artist asked for his back catalogue to be removed from a number of streaming services. The move came on the same day he released the single Hardrocklover on SoundCloud.