The news of Prince’s death has music fans revisiting his musical majesty. During the years of his peak popularity, the prolific Prince played a major role in hits recorded by other artistes.
You probably know about his direct proteges, including The Time, Sheila E and Tevin Campbell.
Here are 5 big hits that you may not have known that His Royal Badness contributed mightily to:
Stand Back, Stevie Nicks
Prince played keyboards on this solo hit by Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks, and it became her third Top 10 hit. Nicks wrote the song, and she must’ve been under a Princely spell when she did.
Billboard Top 40 success: No. 5 in 1983.
Sugar Walls, Sheena Easton
Sheena Easton came on the scene as the wholesome singer of Morning Train (Nine To Five), a No. 1 smash in 1981. Three years and one Prince connection later, and she’s not so G-rated. And that’s all we’ll say here about the lyrical content. The writing and co-production went to someone named Alexander Nevermind. (If you don’t know from reading this who that really is, then Nevermind.)
Billboard Top 40 success: No. 7 in 1984.
Manic Monday, The Bangles
The hip kids knew of The Bangles before 1986, but Manic Monday, written by Prince using the pseudonym Christopher, became their first Top 40 hit, making this all-female band from Los Angeles stars. With a leadoff verse including the line, “I was kissin’ Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream,” who else could’ve written it?
Billboard Top 40 success: No. 1 in 1986.
Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O’Connor
The spelling of the song title drops a big clue that The Purple One wrote this ballad. Nothing Compares 2 U was Sinead O’Connor’s lone Top 40 hit, and it helped make her a major star. It was first recorded by The Family, one of Prince’s many side projects, and O’Connor remade it in heartbreaking fashion.
Billboard Top 40 success:
No. 1 for four weeks in 1990.
Love … Thy Will Be Done, Martika
Martika’s biggest hit was Toy Soldiers, which killed it on the charts, going to the top. Her fourth and final Top 40 song was this one, written by Prince.
Billboard Top 40 success: No. 10 in 1991. – Dayton Daily News/Tribune News Service/Bob Underwood