Julien's Auctions — Coming off another record breaking season that witnessed achieving the world record for a guitar played by Prince sold at auction ($700,000), Julien’s Auctions has announced –– PROPERTY FROM THE LIFE AND CAREER OF PRINCE. Julien’s will pay tribute to one of the greatest music legends of all time in this exclusive presentation of the titanic seven-time, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter’s personal collection of signature wardrobe, guitars, memorabilia and more items related to his iconography as part of their two day MUSIC ICONS auction taking place on May 18 with Prince and historical items by other music legends on May 19 live in New York at the Hard Rock Cafe and online.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson in 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and known around the world by his first name and later only a symbol, the one and only Prince’s music career and extraordinary, unique gifts as a recording artist have immortalized him into the ranks of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Madonna and The Beatles as one of pop music’s greatest icons. A musical prodigy and multi-instrumentalist by his early teens, an 18-year-old Prince signed his first record deal with Warner Bros. Records with a stipulation to self-produce his own recordings, demonstrating an unwavering adherence to artist control that he pioneered and would carry with him throughout his 40-year career. His early music from his first albums For You (1978) and Prince (1979) featuring his first major hit single “ I Wanna Be Your Lover” displayed flashes of his sensuality and charisma that would shape the contours of his music and image in the 80s and beyond. With his breakthrough hit album 1999 (1982) that produced the mega hits, “Little Red Corvette,” “Delirious” and the album’s title track, the Purple One innovated the electric “Minneapolis sound” of synth-pop and funk rock that would dominate and define that decade’s airwaves and influence other pop music artists. However, it was his next album Purple Rain (1984) that catapulted him to superstardom. Purple Rain also became a hit motion picture starring Prince that debuted his iconic mixed race and mixed gender band, The Revolution, featuring the duo Wendy & Lisa, drummer Bobby Z. and others, showcasing Prince and the Revolution’s electrifying performances, androgynous fashion style and daring sexuality. The album, containing some of Prince’s classics “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “ I Would Die 4 U,” “Take Me With You,” and the album’s title track topped the charts at Number One for 24 weeks and sold more than 10 million copies. The album won Prince an Oscar for Original Song Score and is considered one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. Created out of his home studio Paisley Park in Minnesota, Prince’s universe extended to producing other hit making bands such as The Time, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6 and the Family and writing top 10 hits for artists including, Sheila E. (“The Glamorous Life,” 1984), Sheena Easton ("Sugar Walls," 1984), Chaka Khan ("I Feel for You," 1984), the Bangles ("Manic Monday," 1986) and Sinéad O'Connor"(Nothing Compares 2 U" 1990) as well as directing and starring in his film, Under the Cherry Moon (1986). His other chart topping hits included “Raspberry Beret” and “Pop Life” (1985), “Kiss” (1986), “Sign ‘O’ the Times,” “U Got the Look,” and “ I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” (1987), “Alphabet St.” (1988) “Batdance” (1989), “If I was Your Girlfriend” (1987), “Diamond and Pearls” and “Cream” (1991) and more.
Throughout his career, Prince consistently proved to be a prolific artist, provocateur and visionary pushing the boundaries of sexuality, gender, genre and race while retaining creative control on his own terms and evolving musically and artistically in every recording and on tour. His live concerts and performances were legendary and displayed his showmanship as a singer, dancer and musician: from his opening performance for the Grammys in 2004 with Beyoncé that attracted 24 million viewers; to his powerful guitar solo in a group performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne, Dhani Harrison and others posthumously inducting George Harrison into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that same year; to his spectacular Super Bowl halftime performance in 2007, among others. He released his most recent album HITnRUN: Phase Two in 2015 and in 2016, he embarked on the “Piano and A Microphone Tour,” which would be his final concerts, playing live intimate solo shows until his sudden and unexpected death later that year on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57, that shocked and saddened the entire world. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
“Prince walks among the rock and roll legends who changed the world and the musical landscape with his incredible artistry and brilliance,” said Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions. “Each piece in this dazzling collection celebrates the man, the music and the moments of an extraordinary and passionate artist whose distinct style and sound set him apart from all other music icons and made him a cultural phenomenon that we will most likely never see the likes of again.”
Highlights of this auction include: a Schecter "White Cloud" electric guitar commissioned by Prince in 2002 and styled as the same guitar first made known in the film Purple Rain (Warner Bros., 1984) designed by Dave Rusan and gifted to a Paisley Park employee (estimate: $10,000-$20,000); a custom electric blue ensemble worn on stage in a 1999 performance pay per view concert at Paisley Park with Lenny Kravitz (estimate: $40,000-$50,000); a custom two piece purple glitter outfit worn on the Jam of the Year and New Power Soul tour (1997-1998) before leaving it with his first wife, Mayte Garcia (estimate: $6,000-$8,000); Prince’s two piece Devoré costume worn in his role as Christopher Tracy in the film Under the Cherry Moon (estimate: $8,000-$10,000); a custom-made floor-length red tunic with high slits on each side with a pair of custom-made red satin booties with "Andre #1" label and zips with Prince's signature love symbol (estimate: $10,000-$20,000); a black velvet sequined coat worn by Prince during his performance at Studio 54 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 2nd, 1999 (estimate: $10,000-$20,000); a gold and black print lace-up shirt with matching pants created for his 1997 Jam of the Year tour, together with a pair of black heeled booties with love symbol zips, handmade by The City Cobbler (estimate: $10,000-$20,000); a red jacquard tunic and pants ensemble with gold embroidery on the collar and cuffs (estimate: $6,000-$8,000); a red jumpsuit with Prince's love symbol in gold on the front and zips on the back (estimate: $6,000-$8,000 ); a long-sleeved lace-up collared blue shirt with matching pants stage worn by Prince with Jose Arellanes labels (estimate: $10,000-$20,000) (shown photo left); a red long-sleeved ruffled shirt and pants ensemble with purple glitter, worn by Prince on his 1998 New Power Soul tour in Europe and on the cover of the promotional Jam of the Year photo book and poster (estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a purple long-sleeved shirt and pants ensemble designed by Jose Arellanes with glitter, for Prince’s 1997 Jam of the Year tour together with a pair of matching custom-made heeled booties with Prince's love symbol sign on the zipper with a label that reads "Andre #1" (estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a shirt with an abstract face design by Pablo Lobato on the front and black worn by Prince at his 3121 Purple Ticket Contest party on May 6, 2006 (estimate: $6,000-$8,000); Prince’s handwritten lyrics for his 1985 song “Miss Understood” (estimate: $6,000-$8,000); Prince’s 1984 Purple Rain tour black lace mask (estimate: $2,000-$4,000); a near replica of Prince’s Honda motorcycle in the film Purple Rain created by a Prince superfan (estimate: $5,000-$7,000); Prince’s signed handwritten letter in purple ink to his first wife, Mayte Garcia apologizing for director Lisa Bonet for not picking her to be in the music video “Walk Don’t Walk” (estimate: $4,000-$6,000); Prince’s Purple Rain tour stage worn faux diamond bracelet (estimate: $4,000-$6,000) given later to Revolution backup member and fiancé, Susannah Melvoin; Prince’s custom 18 karat gold ring (estimate: $4,000-$6,000) worn in the 1990s and forward; 1991 tributes to Prince from Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones (estimate: $600-$800), Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers (estimate: $600-$800), Patti Labelle (estimate: $400-$600) and Joe Cocker (estimate: $400-$600); as well as clothing designed by Versace and Prada, record awards, posters, tour schedules, jewelry, backstage passes, set lists and more.