- Was born with epilepsy and had seizures as a child.
- Had a mainstream breakthrough in 1984 with the film Purple Rain, in which he starred. The soundtrack album sold 13 million copies and featured the year's top-selling single, the hypnotic "When Doves Cry."
- A racy song on Purple Rain, "Darling Nikki," so enraged Tipper Gore that she started the Parents Music Resource Center, leading to parental advisory album stickers.
- His 1987 double album, Sign 'O' the Times, went platinum and turns up often in lists ranking the greatest albums of all time.
- Received the Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992.
- Became a Jehovah's Witness in 2001.
- Was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
- Was named music's top earner in 2004 by Rolling Stone magazine after banking $56.5 million that year.
- Caused a stir with a 2010 interview in the UK's Daily Mirror when he declared, "The Internet's completely over."
- Is a vegan.
- 1986, Grammy — Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals: Winner
- 2004, Grammy — Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: Winner
- 1984, Grammy — Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: Winner
- 2007, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Winner
- 1985, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1984, Grammy — Best R&B Song: Winner
- 1984, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song Score): Winner
- 2004, Grammy — Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: Winner
- 2007, Grammy — Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: Winner
- 1984, Grammy — Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner
- 1985, People's Choice Awards — Favorite New Song: Winner
- Carmen Electra — Ex-significant Other
- John Nelson — Father
- Tyka Nelson — Sister
- Hayward Baker — Stepfather
- Kim Basinger — Ex-significant Other
- Sherilyn Fenn — Ex-significant Other
- Troy Beyer — Ex-significant Other
- Sharon — Half Sister
- Manuela Testolini Nelson — Ex-wife
- Mattie Shaw — Mother
- Mayte Garcia — Ex-wife
- Omarr Baker — Half Brother
- Vanity — Ex-significant Other
- Lorna — Half Sister
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