Prince arrived on the scene in the late-70s, and it didn't take long for him to upend the music world with his startling music and arresting demeanor. He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the '80s.
Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative. His colorful image and revolutionary music made him a figure comparable in paradigm-shifting impact to Little Richard, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and George Clinton.
By his early teens he'd mastered multiple instruments and was fronting his first band, Grand Central. A demo tape by the young prodigy resulted in major-label interest, and an 18-year-old Prince signed to Warner Bros., insisting on the right to self-produce. His first two albums, For You (1978) and Prince (1979), unveiled a budding genius and one-man band.
The latter found the music luminary fully flaunting the eclectic eroticism he would become famous for and further developing the virtuosic funk/R&B signature blend he would break through with in a major way on subsequent effort Dirty Mind. Prince's eponymous second album produced his first hit, "I Wanna Be Your Lover" (No. 11) and showcased his songwriting depth on essential standouts like "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Feel for You."