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Secrets Prince Didn't Want to Share

Whether you see Prince as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor, and director or a rebel who set himself against the music industry, there's no denying he was a significant influence on the music industry. Becoming a symbol that no one could pronounce showed "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" was willing to break the mould. But ultimately, he loved music. The BBC reported that Prince played 27 instruments on his first album, For You. That shows the sort of dedication that led him to produce 39 studio albums between 1978 and 2015.

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Time Capsule

We have a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone to thank for this first secret. Prince only mentioned the vault where some of his best work was locked away. After his death, investigators found hundreds of song tapes, including an unreleased version of "Nothing Compares 2 U". In the interview, Prince said he "didn't always give the record companies the best song." And he confirmed, "I have a couple Revolution albums in the vault and two Time albums, one Vanity 6 album ... and tons of stuff recorded in different periods. But so much gets recorded that you don't have time to compile everything. In the future, you could put all the best stuff from one particular time period together, and then you can release it."

Epilepsy

No one knew Prince had epilepsy. Prince told PBS talk show presenter Tavis Smiley, "I've never spoken about this before, but I was born epileptic, and I used to have seizures when I was young." His condition directly influenced the vibrant performer he became. "You know, early in my career, I tried to compensate for that by being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could." Prince sang about it on The Sacrifice of Victor in the lyric, "Epileptic 'til the age of seven."

Cocaine

This next one might not be a surprise. How many performers use cocaine? According to his ex-girlfriend Charlene Friend, Prince would sometimes go days without water, food or sleep. She told people.com, "He would sometimes stay up for five days at a time without sleep, food or even water, going nonstop back and forth to the studio." To Friend, Prince seemed so health-conscious, "always taking vitamins like echinacea and goldenseal," so she was surprised when Prince's half-brother, Duane Nelson, told her Prince used cocaine. "It was shocking to me to hear that."

Philanthropist

Most celebs make sure the world knows just how generous they are. Prince wasn't like that. When he passed away, countless charities and organisations came out to thank him for his generosity over the years. The most shocking part was that Prince didn't want anyone to know about his charitable works. Environmentalist and human rights activist Van Jones tells how his organisation received a $50,000 donation with no name attached to it. Jones returned it. The money was sent back. Then a representative of the donor called, saying, "I cannot tell you who the money is coming from, but his favourite colour is purple," which was all the info Jones needed to know who the generous benefactor was.

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Secret Son

According to people.com, in the autumn of 1996, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Prince and his then-wife, Mayte Garcia. According to Garcia, Winfrey "…come to find out if the child was dead or deformed like people were saying." Tragically, the couple's son died only a few days after his birth. Rather than telling the world their sad story, Prince chose to distract the media, which led to unwanted attention and lots of speculation.

Opioid Addiction

Towards the end of his life, Prince became addicted to opioids. One of his long-term associates, Kirk Johnson, didn't know. He found out Prince was addicted to painkillers just one week before his death. It was only when Prince overdosed on his private plane that Johnson and others close to Prince got involved hoping they could help cure his addiction. Prince hid his addiction from those close to him by putting the pills in containers labelled as paracetamol or other everyday medicines.

Netflix Show

The world missed out on a Netflix show starring Prince. He'd been talking with Netflix execs about a reality show set at Paisley Park, his home and recording studio. We have an interview in GQ to thank for that information. In that interview, Prince's friend and photographer, Maya Washington, spoke about a conversation she had with Prince during which they discussed the show. From what she said, it seems Prince was on the fence about taking part.

Jehovah's Witness

Prince was known to be a Jehovah's Witness, but according to The Wrap, he would go door to door from time to time, spreading the word. On one occasion in 2003, a Jewish couple in Eden Prarie, Minnesota, invited Prince into their home when he showed up randomly on their doorstep. He was trying to convert them to Jehovah's Witnesses, but he left after 25 minutes when the couple told him, "this is not something I'm interested in." To his credit, he went without any drama even though he wasn't accustomed to hearing the word "no" by that stage of his career.

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