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September 01, 2006


Chuck McKay

The man was born Prince Rogers Nelson.

In 1993 he released this statement: "Prince is the name that my Mother gave me at birth. Warner Bros. took the name, trademarked it, and used it as the main marketing tool to promote all of the music that I wrote. The company owns the name Prince and all related music marketed under Prince. I became merely a pawn used to produce more money for Warner Bros…."

"The Artist" was the name he used in protest until his publishing contract with Warners expired in 2000. That was the occasion on which he reverted to his own name.

I mention this only as a minor point in your excellent observations about names. Prince hadn't changed his name to the unpronounceable symbol as a marketing ploy, but rather as a legal strategy.

Unfortunately for him, like Ronnie Spectre, Boz Scaggs, and Dean Martin, Prince learned that the public usually doesn't grow fonder of you in absentia.

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