Some of them he wrote and recorded first, some sampled his music, some he helped record. Prince’s fingerprints can be found on all sorts of hits by other music artists.
So let’s get crazy: Here are nine tracks that bear the mark of The Purple One.
‘Jungle Love’ / Morris Day and the Time, 1984
“I played drums all day, every day. I would skip school to do it ...,” Morris Day told Jimmy Kimmel last year, talking about how he got into music. “What changed it was meeting guys my age who were just as serious as I was. When Prince came into the equation, that dude was all music.” His showy role in Prince’s “Purple Rain” put him on the map. You wanna make love or what?
‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ / Sinead O’Connor, 1990
Prince wrote the song in 1985, but it blew up when Sinead O’Connor nailed it in 1990 -- and then she announced last year that she wouldn’t be performing it live anymore. “After twenty-five years of singing it, nine months or so ago I finally ran out of anything I could use in order to bring some emotion to it,” she said.
‘Manic Monday’ / The Bangles, 1986
C’mon, sing it -- you know how: “It’s just another manic Monday / I wish it was Sunday / ‘Cause that’s my fun day / My I don’t have to run day / It’s just another manic Monday”
‘Sugar Walls’ / Sheena Easton, 1985
“You know, I didn’t know him as well as people would make it out to be,” Sheena Easton told the Windy City Times in 2012. “People thought, ‘Sheena Easton and Prince -- they must be having an affair.’ But I did know him well enough to know he loved to write and produce. He’s very prolific. God forbid, when that man passes and they go in there. He’s got quite a vault.”
‘I Feel for You’ / Chaka Khan, 1984
Prince recorded “I Feel for You” in 1979, but Chaka Khan took it to No. 3 five years later, with harmonica help from Stevie Wonder and a rap intro by Melle Mel. A side note about that intro: “As we were mounting the recording onto the main master, my hand slipped on the repeat machine,” producer Arif Mardin told NPR in 2005. “So it happened to be, ‘Chaka-Chaka-Chaka-Chaka-Chaka-Chaka Khan,’ and we said, ‘Let’s keep that. That’s very interesting.’ And it was an accident.”
‘The Glamorous Life’ / Sheila E, 1984
“Boys with small talk and small minds / Really don’t impress me in bed / She said I need a man’s man baby / Diamonds and furs / Love would only conquer my head.” (God bless the ‘80s.)
‘How Come You Don’t Call Me’ / Alicia Keys, 2001
“There is only one man who is so loud he makes you soft. So strong he makes you weak. So honest you feel kind of bashful. So bold he defies you to be subtle and and so super bad he makes you feel so super good. He’s the only man I’ve ever seen who lights the stage on fire ...,” Alicia Keys said in 2004 when she helped induct Prince into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His songs, she said, made her “look at songwriting as stories that are untold passions dying to be heard.” This song was originally released as the B-side of Prince’s “1999" single.
‘Stand Back’ / Stevie Nicks, 1983
Stevie Nicks wrote this one, but she was inspired by “Little Red Corvette” and wound up calling Prince “out of the blue,” she said in 1991, and hummed him a melody. He came right over to where she was recording, jammed on synthesizer for 25 minutes and voila, the song became what it is. Then he was gone. “He was so uncanny, so wild, he spoiled me for every band I’ve ever had because nobody can exactly re-create -- not even with two piano players -- what Prince did all by his little self.”
‘Pray’ / MC Hammer, 1990
Hear the doves crying in the background? Prince didn’t write this one either, but he did allow MC Hammer to sample “When Doves Cry.” When Hammer put the music publishing and copyrights to his catalog on the block in 2005, only 75 percent of “Pray” was available -- because the rest belonged to Prince.