Prince was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor widely considered to be one of the greatest musicians of his time. He was born On June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis as Prince Rogers Nelson to John Lewis Nelson and Mattie Della Shaw. Despite being born epileptic, the future music icon showed great talent, most likely inherited from his pianist father and jazz singer mother. In 1973, Prince met producer Jimmy Jam, marking the start of his long and illustrious musical career.
Due to his incredible talent and work ethic, Prince signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records at only 19 years old. He then released his debut album “For You” in 1978 and his sophomore album “Prince” in 1979. However, it wasn’t until the release of his subsequent albums, “Dirty Mind” (1980), “Controversy” (1981), and “1999” (1982), that Prince received critical and commercial successes. The artist’s most popular work is his sixth album “Purple Rain” (1984) which topped the Billboard 200 chart for weeks and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. Three years later, Prince released “Sign o’ the Times” which critics referred to as his magnum opus.
In 1993, Prince changed his name to a visual symbol which fans called the “Love Symbol” because of a legal dispute with his recording label. He also adopted other stage names including “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” or “The Artist.” Fortunately, Prince gained back control over his original name after he moved to Arista Records in 1998. Over the following decade, the artist continued to dominate the charts and released at least six more albums. Unfortunately, in April 2016, Prince passed away unexpectedly due to an accidental overdose of fentanyl while at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota.
Despite Prince’s untimely passing, his legacy continues to live on. The multi-awarded artist still has a vast array of unreleased music set to release after his death. The controversies surrounding his work and personal life aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the artist’s death has only magnified the intense search for the burning question: was Prince gay? Read on below to discover the truth behind the music icon’s fluid sexuality.
VOTE: What was Prince’s Sexuality?
Prince was known for many things including his long list of alleged and confirmed relationships. Throughout his career, he was linked to Madonna, Kim Basinger, Carmen Electra, and Sherilyn Fenn. Surprisingly, the artist was notoriously private when it came to the details of his love life. So much so that most of the information regarding his marriage or children is still unclear. Here’s a quick look at Prince’s official relationships throughout the years.
Prince and Mayte Garcia (1996-2000)
In 1990, Prince met his first wife Mayte Garcia while she was standing outside his tour bus. At the time, Garcia was only 16 years old but the artist declared her as his “future wife” to one of his bandmates. They exchanged letters for two years before Prince finally invited Garcia to join his team as his backup dancer. When Garcia turned 19, the artist apparently told her that “it was time” for her to go on birth control.
According to Garcia, she can’t truly tell at which point their relationship became romantic. However, it was a childhood dream come true for the dancer to marry Prince. The couple eventually tied the knot on Valentine’s Day in 1996. By this time, the artist was 37 years old and she was only 22.
Despite the controversial age gap, the pair maintained that their bond was deep and spiritual. In 1997, Prince told one of his closest friends, Spike Lee, that he believed that “his soul had been in love with his wife for thousands of years.”
The couple welcomed their first child, Amiir, in October 1996. Unfortunately, due to genetic complications, the newborn passed away six days later. Their child’s death created a wedge between the two. Things gradually declined as Garcia suffered another miscarriage. However, the last straw came when Prince decided to become a Jehovah’s Witness.
In 1998, Prince announced that he was annulling his marriage to Garcia. The pair finally settled their divorce in 2000.
Prince and Manuela Testolini (2001-2006)
Fresh off his divorce from Garcia, Prince met his second wife, Manuela Testolini, while she was working under one of his charities. They immediately hit it off, started dating, and got married all within the same year. At the time, Prince was 43 while Testolini was only 24 years old. Although the whirlwind romance raised eyebrows, the couple lasted for five years before Testolini finally filed for divorce.
Prince Talks About Sexuality
Aside from his powerful vocals and musical talent, Prince was also known for his flamboyant style and androgynous look. The artist’s brand and persona caused a lot of controversies during the peak of his career. During an interview with VH1 in 1997, Chris Rock asked Prince if his “androgynous thing” was an act or a search for his sexuality.
Was Prince Gay?
No, Prince wasn’t gay. The artist has never publicly confirmed his sexuality. However, it’s not surprising that many fans consider him a queer icon thanks to his brand and persona. It’s important to note though that Prince has only been linked to women throughout his life, so it’s safe to assume that he was straight.