These 20 Tragic Facts Surfaced After Prince’s Death – And They Might Bring A Tear To Your Eye

To his legions of fans, Prince wasn’t just a pop star but an idol. Indeed, thanks to the Minneapolis native’s iconic back catalog and virtuoso ability on a myriad of instruments, some have even dubbed him the greatest musician of the last century. But behind Prince’s sometimes outrageous public persona, he craved privacy – so much so that when he died in 2016, he still largely remained an enigma. And that’s why the following secrets about the superstar and his death have only just now come to light.

20. Prince loved to cook… especially eggs

After the star’s death, some of his close friends sat down with GQ in order to share their best stories about him. Rapper and dancer Cat Glover revealed, for instance, “Prince was never an eater. He would usually smell his food. Literally. I never really seen Prince eat.” That said, Glover had seen the superstar cook.

So, too, had the star’s background vocalist Jill Jones, who revealed, “Prince did the cooking. Scrambled eggs. He put curry [powder] and a little bit of Cheddar cheese in them. It was really good, actually.” Dancer Misty Copeland agreed, saying, “Yeah, he has made me scrambled eggs. Breakfast was his forte. He liked to use a lot of seasoning… [His eggs] were delicious.”

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19. He had a swear jar

While Prince may have put out some pretty provocative songs during his career, he distinctly changed his tune in the early ’00s. At that time, the musician joined the Jehovah’s Witness faith, and he adhered to the church’s principles devoutly – even down to the language that he’d allow to be spoken within his recording studio.

What’s more, Prince’s friend James Lundstrom has since revealed that the singer was very serious about his “cuss bucket.” In 2017 Lundstrom recalled to the BBC, “He didn’t want to dishonor the faith. He wasn’t joking. You had to pay in cash in the bucket. He would charge you between three and ten dollars per swear word.”

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18. He traveled under a non-regal pseudonym

While Prince may have used his real first name on his way to fame, he wasn’t afraid of a pseudonym or two. For instance, when writing songs, he would sometimes use pen names – including Jamie Starr, Joey Coco and Alexander Nevermind among others.

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And when Prince traveled, he also took on a new name: Peter Bravestrong. In fact, the star used this on-the-road pseudonym to label the luggage that he took with him to his last concert in Atlanta, Georgia. Investigators later found the Bravestrong suitcase at the star’s Chanhassen, Minnesota, home and recording studio.

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17. He wore a wig in Purple Rain

Prince made his on-screen debut in the movie Purple Rain. Starring in the role of “The Kid,” the part was – perhaps unsurprisingly – based on the singer himself. And although the 1984 rock musical did indeed feature some truths about the star and his life, one thing about his performance was phony. Believe it or not, but the bouffant hairstyle that he sported during one period of production was actually a wig.

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Prince’s one-time art director Steve Parke told the BBC that the star had once exclaimed, “Look at that wig!” while watching a clip from Purple Rain. Then, down the line, Parke followed up with Earl Jones, the singer’s hairstylist, to see if Prince was being serious. And Jones confirmed that the musician had indeed worn a wig for the film’s re-shoots, as he had cut and dyed his hair after filming had originally ended.

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16. Prince’s last purchase was a half-dozen records

Five days before Prince’s death on April 21, 2016, music lovers everywhere celebrated Record Store Day by visiting their local independent sellers and picking up new albums. Prince did the same, too, by hopping on his bike and cycling over to Minneapolis music emporium Electric Fetus.

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Then, once at the store, the pop star bought six CDs from Electric Fetus’ collection: Joni Mitchell’s Hejira, Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book, Swan Silvertones’ Inspirational Gospel Classics, the Chambers Brothers’ The Time Has Come, Santana’s Santana IV and Missing Persons’ The Best of Missing Person. After that, he got back on his bike, waved to fans and pedaled away.

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15. He could be very mean

Even before Prince died, he had had a reputation for being a perfectionist. After the musician’s passing, though, those who worked with him revealed that the star achieved his vision ruthlessly at times. Michael B. Nelson – who had been a trombone player in Prince’s backing band New Power Generation – somewhat attested to this fact when he explained to Rolling Stone that the singer “did like to push the band with fear.”

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And to illustrate his point, Nelson recalled a chilling example of Prince’s mean streak. Apparently, the trombone player had missed a note while he had been on tour with the star in 1993. Then, the following evening, Prince had reportedly walked towards Nelson when it came time to go for the same note again and proceeded to hold his gun-shaped microphone to the musician’s head while he played the solo. Nelson added, “It wasn’t showbiz at that point. It was, ‘Don’t you ever do that again.’”

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14. Prince was also secretly very charitable

CNN commentator and Prince’s buddy Van Jones revealed after the star’s death that he had impacted the world in more ways than one. And while Jones claimed that Prince’s faith prevented him from speaking out about his humanitarian efforts, the musician was nevertheless “helping every day of his life” through his charity and good deeds.

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In an example of the latter, Jones said that Prince had frantically called him when he had heard that Lauryn Hill “had gotten into some trouble.” In particular, the pop icon asked his friend where Hill’s children were in order to make sure that they were okay. “His first thing he wanted to know was where were her kids and what he could do to help,” Jones concluded.

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13. He followed a very strange sleeping schedule

Five months after Prince’s death, his former flame Charlene Friend talked about his strange sleeping habits. And Friend told People that her ex-paramour didn’t rise and rest like the average adult. Instead, she said, “He would sometimes stay up for five days at a time without sleep, food or even water, going nonstop back and forth to the studio.”

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Then, Friend claimed that when Prince did eventually sleep, he would crank up the thermostat to 80 degrees, put aluminum foil over the windows and shake all night long. Allegedly, there may have been some explanation for these bizarre practices, as Friend asserted that Duane Nelson, Prince’s half-brother, had told her the star had been doing cocaine. Yet the star’s ex emphasized that she had never even seen him take over-the-counter medication – let alone illegal drugs.

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12. Prince’s inner circle knew that he had an addiction problem

From his Purple Rain tour onward, Prince reportedly dealt with pain – specifically in his hips. But the musician supposedly couldn’t remedy the problem with a double hip replacement, as Jehovah’s Witnesses are not permitted to have the blood transfusions that are required with such surgery. Instead, he seemed to rely on opioids to dull the ache in his joints.

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And after Prince’s passing, doctors confirmed that he had died after he had overdosed on fentanyl – a painkiller with a potency roughly 50 times that of heroin. This news came in tandem with many of the singer’s friends and associates coming out and affirming that the star did indeed suffer from an addiction to prescription medication.

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11. His staff reached out for help with his addiction

It’s unclear which – if any – of Prince’s friends tried to intervene with his prescription drug usage. What has come to light, however, is that the singer’s staff made a point of trying to get him help in the days leading up to his death. In particular, the employees called in Dr. Howard Kornfeld, who is a California-based addiction expert.

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But as Dr. Kornfeld couldn’t fly from California to Paisley Park to attend to Prince himself, he instead sent along his son Andrew, who was studying medicine at the time. Andrew didn’t get the chance to speak to Prince about his addiction, however; instead, he arrived at the Minnesota residence to find the star seemingly lifeless on the floor. The visitor subsequently made a call to 911.

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10. It’s unclear how Prince got the drugs on which he overdosed

While, as previously mentioned, Prince overdosed on fentanyl, investigators couldn’t actually find any prescriptions for the painkiller in the musician’s name. Oxycodone was discovered in the name of Prince’s bodyguard Kirk Johnson, however, with the authorities ultimately determining that Johnson had gotten the pills on his boss’ behalf.

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In searching Prince’s home for clues, investigators also found plenty of other painkillers, with some of these pills going on to test positive for fentanyl. Once again, though, they were stumped as to how the singer had obtained the meds without a prescription – not least because the black-market drug trade in Prince’s hometown hardly ever saw fentanyl for sale.

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9. Police regretted not confiscating Prince’s laptop

Prince famously refused to own a smartphone, choosing instead to keep in touch through email and landline calls. Owing to this quirk, then, the “Purple Rain” singer’s laptop could have answered some of the lingering questions about his death – yet investigators did not search the device in their first sweep of Paisley Park.

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One Carver County Sheriff’s deputy also said that he had “regretted not taking the computer by [Prince’s] bedside,” adding, “I believed that this contained conversations between his staff and [him] about medications, possibly.” When police returned to the property, though, the laptop was no longer in its original position; instead, it had been removed and secured behind a locked door. Later, the authorities also found that many of the star’s emails had disappeared.

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8. An obscure Prince track played at the star’s funeral

Given Prince’s prodigious musical output, it seemed almost inevitable that a track or two of his would feature during the commemorations that took place after his death. But at the cremation ceremony held for the star on April 23, 2016, close friends and family didn’t actually hear one of his hits.

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Instead, the assembled mourners listened to the track “Comeback,” which Prince had written in the wake of a personal tragedy. In 1996 he and his then-wife Mayte García had welcomed a son, Amiir, who had passed away only days after his birth, and the star had worked through his grief by penning the song. Some fans may have heard the track on The Truth – an album that originally saw a limited release in 1998.

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7. Prince’s will is yet to be found

You’d think that a huge star with millions of dollars worth of assets would have an airtight will in place. But Prince didn’t appear to have gone about acquiring such a document – or, at least, if he had, it hasn’t yet been unearthed. Owing to this lack of paperwork, then, the courts have had to decide who will get the singer’s estate now that he’s gone.

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In the absence of a will, a judge therefore had to decide what to do with Prince’s money and property. And, at first, it seemed that his younger sister, Tyka Nelson, would get a good portion of the “Raspberry Beret” singer’s fortune along with his five other half-siblings. As it happens, though, ongoing legal battles between the heirs has kept the estate in limbo years after the star’s death.

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6. Prince’s album sales soared after his death

In the same year that Prince died, he ended up reigning as America’s top-selling album artist. In fact, the star sold in excess of 2.2 million records even after he had passed away. That feat could be partly attributed to the fact that Prince’s music wasn’t available on streaming platforms at the time, leaving fans to have to resort to purchase physical copies of his work instead.

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Downloadable copies of Prince’s music were also available in 2016, making him the sole artist that year to sell over one million albums in both physical and digital formats. 5.4 million individual songs were snapped up in that 12-month period, too, which pushed the late star ahead of both Adele and Drake in terms of units shifted. And when Prince tracks did finally appear on streaming platforms in February 2017, the musician’s back catalog received a stunning 17 million plays in just seven days.

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5. Prince almost had a Netflix show

Even though Prince hadn’t apparently arranged a will, it nevertheless seems that he had made plenty of other plans before his death. Then, once he passed, a number of his potential projects and deals came to light. And it was the star’s friend Maya Washington who revealed to GQ that he had begun discussing the possibility of a Paisley Park-centric reality show with Netflix.

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Essence magazine later confirmed Washington’s statement, with a representative for Netflix saying, “We did have discussions about [a Paisley Park show], but sadly for all of us it did not come to fruition prior to [Prince’s] passing.” Rumors have since swirled, however, that the star’s siblings may get their own reality show to document how their lives have panned out since their famous relative’s death.

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4. Prince’s net worth was unclear

Just as legal experts struggled to name an heir to Prince’s fortune, they also had trouble calculating the singer’s net worth. And the star had plenty of tangible assets, too – not least his $25 million real estate portfolio. Prince owned the sprawling Paisley Park property, of course, but he had also covertly purchased the home featured in the Purple Rain movie.

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Yet while these and other possessions held by Prince had easy-to-calculate value, administrators had more trouble discerning the total of the singer’s more intangible assets. For instance, how much would his likeness, music or name be worth? What about an unreleased Prince track? These questions proved a lot harder to answer, thus leaving the star’s estate difficult to measure on a financial level.

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3. We may get to hear some never-before-released Prince tracks

Prince once stored all of his most prized recordings in a vault. Then, after his death, the secure container – which held everything from unreleased songs to rehearsal tapes and concert clips – was drilled open. And since 2016, new songs have trickled out from the artist’s meticulously kept archive.

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What’s more, there should be plenty of music over the next several years as Prince’s estate reveals those many previously hidden tracks. After all, there’s no shortage of stuff in the archive. David Z, one of Prince’s engineers, recalled the star’s work ethic to the BBC, saying that the singer would lay down two songs a day. Fellow recording engineer Susan Rodger also remembered the vault being stuffed with unreleased tunes in the late ’80s – so you can only imagine what was collected after that…

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2. It could take a while to hear Prince’s unreleased music, though

Some of the music contained within Prince’s vault has already been released to the public. For instance, in 2016, a turn-of-the-millennium track called “Moonbeam Levels” appeared on compilation album Prince 4Ever. The star’s estate also signed a deal with Universal Music in order to share some fresh tracks.

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Yet there’s so much unreleased Prince music to get through that we may not get to hear all of it. Paisley Park staffer Scott LeGere has said, for example, “[The vault] probably won’t be tapped out in our lifetime.” Plus, the “When Doves Cry” singer’s estate has shut down former employees’ attempts to release their bespoke Prince recordings – thus making it even harder to hear the totality of his saved-up tracks.

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1. Prince lived happily until the end

Some of the details that have emerged about Prince in his final days may make it seem as though his life came to a sad, lonely end. That probably isn’t the case, though, as by many accounts the singer seemed to be living happily – albeit privately – at Paisley Park. And in addition to the musician’s record-store spree just days before his death, fans also spotted him riding around a nearby mall.

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Plus, as one of Prince’s protégées Judith Hill remembered, the superstar found joy in the little things. She recalled his love of the movie Zootopia, for instance, as well as animation in general. He also played table tennis with finesse and loved to cook meals for his friends. So, while in many ways, Prince was much like any of us, his fans won’t forget that he was also one of the greatest musicians of the last century – and still beloved and missed today.

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Yes, there’s no denying that Prince’s life was truly one of a kind. But if you’re still not satisfied, there’s yet more proof to come. Take these 20 little-known facts about the purple-loving pop icon, which show just what a curious, kooky character he really was.

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The death of Prince in 2016 not only robbed the musical world of one of its most gifted stars, but it also robbed it of one of its most eccentric. With the first anniversary of his death coming up on April 21, here are 20 little-known things about the Purple One that prove he was truly one of a kind.

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20. He redecorated an NBA star’s property without his permission

Carlos Boozer was left regretting his decision to rent his West Hollywood mansion to Prince back in 2004. In fact, the NBA star actually filed a lawsuit after the musician redecorated the property in his favorite purple without asking. But Boozer eventually dropped the case when Prince restored the home back to its original colors.

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19. He had an unusual piece of bedroom furniture

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Of course, Prince was just as idiosyncratic when it came to kitting out his own house. One of the guest bedrooms in the star’s famously purple Paisley Park home boasted a two-foot yellow gnome adorned with butterflies. Strangely enough, the statue was initially kept in the living room but had to be moved after spooking out visitors.

18. He had his own private hair salon

Prince’s unusual tastes also extended to his properties abroad. The star’s house in Marbella, Spain, boasted sea views and was also uniquely equipped with a hair salon. However, only the man himself was allowed to use it. Indeed, even ex-wife Mayte was forced to go elsewhere every time she wanted a trim.

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17. He used to stand outside McDonald’s just to smell the food

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Prince’s extravagant lifestyle as an adult was in stark contrast to his experiences growing up in a poor family. In fact, the star was so impoverished in his youth that he regularly stood outside McDonald’s. But it wasn’t to beg for money for food, he just wanted to inhale the aroma of the restaurant’s Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets.

16. He was a reporter’s nightmare

An interview with Prince was the stuff of dreams for most music journalists. However, it often became the stuff of nightmares thanks to the musician’s refusal to allow any electronic gadgets to record his words. He even insisted that journalists couldn’t jot down any notes because of how distracting he found it while talking.

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15. He didn’t own a cell phone

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Of course, Prince’s deep distrust of all things technological didn’t stop there. The star repeatedly spoke about how irritating he found society’s obsession with cell phones and refused to own one himself. Furthermore, he also banned fans from taking footage of him during a show, kicking out anyone who broke the rule.

14. He wasn’t a fan of Photoshop

Prince was famously anti-YouTube and anti-internet in general. However, you may not know that he was also very much anti-Adobe Photoshop CS6. The star once took legal action, unsuccessfully, against its makers in order to stop fans manipulating images of him using the software.

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13. As a kid, he danced with James Brown…

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Prince famously performed with James Brown and Michael Jackson at a Los Angeles gig in 1983. However, that wasn’t the first time that he’d appeared alongside the soul legend. The Purple One briefly danced alongside Brown as a ten-year-old when his stepdad decided to lift him onto the stage during a show.

12. …but he was insulted by being asked to sing with Michael Jackson

Although he once performed with Michael Jackson, it seems the love for his fellow artist stopped there. Most stars would consider an invite to perform on a Jackson record a huge privilege, but not Prince. In fact, the musician actually became incensed when he was asked to appear on the King of Pop’s Bad album. The star refused to contribute as he didn’t like the idea of being just a guest.

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11. He didn’t believe in the concept of time

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Prince may have worked with backing band The Time, but he didn’t actually believe in the concept of time itself. In 1999 he told a Dutch TV reporter that he’d stopped celebrating birthdays. Moreover, in a 2011 interview with The Guardian he claimed that, “time is a mind construct… it’s not real.”

10. He practiced door-to-door evangelism

One Prince fan got the shock of her life when the star turned up on her doorstep unannounced in 2001. Unfortunately for Minneapolis resident Rochelle, the Purple One wasn’t there for musical reasons. Instead, he was attempting to spread the word of his Jehovah’s Witness faith as a door-to-door evangelist.

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9. He once took out a nationwide personal ad

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“Eligible bachelor seeks the most beautiful girl in the world to spend the holidays with.” It’s not exactly clear why one of the biggest stars in the world needed to place a nationwide personal ad to find a date (a publicity stunt, perhaps?). But that’s exactly what Prince did in 1993.

8. He met his wife via videotape

In the end, Prince met the love of his life through watching a videotape. Longtime Prince fan Mayte Garcia first caught his attention with footage of a belly dancing performance she sent to the star as a teen. After meeting in person, Prince asked her to perform on his Diamonds and Pearls tour. The pair later married in 1996 – on Valentine’s Day, no less.

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7. He made his Purple Rain co-star keep her marriage a secret

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Before settling down with Garcia, Prince liked to keep the public guessing about his romantic relationships. In fact, he even made his Purple Rain co-star Apollonia Kotero keep her very own marriage hushed up. The reason? To make fans believe that they were also a couple in real life.

6. He planned to release a record as a woman…

Renowned for exploring his sexuality, Prince created a female alter ego named Camille during the recording of the seminal Sign ‘O’ The Times. He later recorded a whole album under the pseudonym, using studio trickery to distort his voice. Sadly for Prince completists, the star canceled the record mere weeks before it was due to be released in 1986.

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5. …and canceled an album that was “the work of the devil”

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The Camille album wasn’t the only Prince recording that got shelved at the last minute. In 1987 the star canceled The Black Album just a week before it was due to hit stores after becoming convinced it was the work of the devil. However, the LP finally got a commercial release seven years later.

4. He wanted Kevin Smith to make a film based on one of his albums

Director Kevin Smith and Prince wouldn’t appear to be the likeliest of bedfellows. But the pair very nearly worked together on a film based on the Purple One’s 2001 LP, The Rainbow Children. Understandably, the director pulled out when he realized the movie would essentially be little more than a Jehovah’s Witnesses recruitment video.

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3. He liked talking in riddles

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Sticking with Smith, the director once revealed how Prince often liked to talk in riddles during their early conversations about the project. “If a big snake gives birth to a little snake, what is that little snake going to grow up to be?” was just one example. Oh, and the answer was a big snake, apparently.

2. He once organized a Willy Wonka-style contest

Prince was often hailed as a real-life Willy Wonka – even more so when he staged his very own golden ticket contest, just like the reclusive chocolate factory owner. In 2006 the musician placed purple tickets within 14 copies of his latest album. The lucky recipients were then treated to a private show at Paisley Park.

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1. He once charged an unusual price for concert tickets

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That wasn’t the only gimmick that Prince used when it came to live performances. In 2006 he decided to charge fans the figure of £31.21 ($39) for U.K. shows promoting his album titled 3121. Also, the record itself was apparently named in honor of the address of the LA residence that it was recorded at. Whatever the truth behind the title, Prince fans certainly got a great deal that day!

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