Prince, a Master of Playing Music and Distributing It

April 22, 2016 1:46 PM

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Prince, a Master of Playing Music and Distributing It

In 1993, Prince decided that he’d had enough. His longtime struggles with his record label, Warner Bros., had left him wanting to reassert control over his creative life. The company might own his music, he reasoned, but it did not own him. So he changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph, a highly stylized overlay of the symbols for man and woman.

Prince, as was made clear in that moment, existed in a place beyond convention. His glyph was sent out on 3.5-inch floppy disks to media organizations so that they could use it. That way no one had an excuse to refer to him with any terms other than his own.

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