A musical family tree

The influences of some of the 20th century’s best musicians could be heard in Prince’s work – and he in turn shared his musical gifts with many others.


Some of the artists that inspired Prince's music

Earth Wind & Fire

The origins of some of the complex melodies of Prince’s songs can be heard in the work of the seminal 1970s R&B band.

Joni Mitchell

Prince described the singer-songwriter as a genius and covered her songs in concert.

Sly and the Family Stone

Sly Stone’s influence was clear on Prince’s music and presentation. Like the Family Stone, Prince’s first professional band, the Revolution, was multiracial and included women. Prince also covered the band’s songs in concert.

James Brown

The Godfather of Soul was an obvious influence on some of Prince’s funkiest, most percussive tracks.

Parliament Funkadelic

Prince was such a fan of the funk band that he inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Stevie Wonder

Prince performed with Wonder at the White House.

Jimi Hendrix

Prince sometimes bristled at comparisons between himself and the rock legend – especially comparisons between Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” – but Prince sampled Hendrix and reportedly had been considering performing a set of Hendrix tunes.

Larry Graham

Graham was a member of the Family Stone. He later collaborated with Prince on music and reportedly encouraged Prince’s interest in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Close ties

Artists considered to have close ties with Prince and his Paisley Park Studios and label.

Jill Jones

Jones was a backup singer for Prince and Vanity 6 in the 1980s. He wrote and produced her 1987 album.

Vanity 6

Vanity 6 was the earliest version of a girl group Prince masterminded. He renamed singer and model Denise Matthews “Vanity” and installed her as the lead singer of the group. The band’s best known song is “Nasty Girl.” Matthews passed away in February 2016.

Apollonia 6

After Vanity left Vanity 6, Prince placed actress and singer Apollonia Kotero in the group, which had a hit with 1984’s “Sex Shooter” and could be seen in the movie “Purple Rain.”

Morris Day and the Time

Prince produced the band and wrote songs for it. Its best known songs are “777-9311,” “The Bird” and “Jungle Love.”

The Family

Prince produced and wrote songs – including “Nothing Compares 2 U” -- for the short-lived band.

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

The production duo, best known for their work with Janet Jackson, were originally part of The Time.

Wendy and Lisa

The duo, talented writers and musicians in their own right, were part of Prince’s band The Revolution and can famously be seen in the movie “Purple Rain.”

Andy Allo

Prince produced the album “Superconductor” for the Cameroonian singer-songwriter.

Bria Valente

Prince co-wrote and played on the singer’s 2009 album.

Andre Cymone

The musician and Prince were childhood friends, and Cymone’s family even took in Prince for a time.

Sheila E.

The singer and drummer sang backup and played drums for Prince on some of his most iconic late-1980s work.

Brown Mark

The bassist and producer, born Mark Brown, played in Prince’s band The Revolution.


Prince wrote with and played with the late-1980s-era jazz fusion band.


Prince wrote the song “100 MPH” for the Brown Mark-led band.

Ingrid Chavez

The singer/actress appeared in Prince’s movie “Graffiti Bridge.” Her voice can be heard on his “Lovesexy” album.

Carmen Electra

Prince gave the singer/actress, born Tara Patrick, her stage name, and wrote songs for her 1993 album.

Rosie Gaines

Gaines was an important voice on Prince’s “Diamonds and Pearls” album. The two also dueted on a dazzling live version of “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

A far reach

People who recorded songs written or co-written by Prince


Prince wrote several songs for the singer, including “Love … Thy Will Be Done.”


The two co-wrote and performed “Love Song” on Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” album. Prince also plays the opening guitar lick on the album’s title track.

Chaka Khan

Prince wrote “I Feel 4 U” for the R&B singer.

Celine Dion

Prince wrote the song “With This Tear” for the Canadian singer.

Stevie Nicks

Prince co-wrote Nicks’ “Stand Back” with the rocker.

The Bangles

Prince originally intended the song “Manic Monday” for the group Apollonia 6, but The Bangles recorded it and had a hit with it instead.

Alicia Keys

Keys covered Prince’s “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore.”

Sheila E.

She sang the Prince-penned drum-and-airy-vocals showcase “Glamorous Life.”

Sheena Easton

Prince wrote “Sugar Walls” for the Scottish singer. She also dueted with him on “U Got the Look” on his album “Sign O The Times” and “The Arms of Orion” for the “Batman” soundtrack.

Kenny Rogers

Joey Coco, one of Prince’s many pseudonyms, is listed as the writer for the Kenny Rogers song “You’re My Love.”

Mavis Staples

The iconic soul singer collaborated with Prince several times in the early 1990s, including on the song “Melody Cool,” which appeared on the soundtrack to his movie “Graffiti Bridge.”

Patti Labelle

Prince wrote the song “Yo Mister” for the R&B icon.

Nona Hendryx

Hendryx recorded the Prince-penned “Baby Go-Go.”

Nona Gaye

The actress and daughter of Marvin Gaye dueted with Prince on “Love Sign,” another song he wrote.

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul recorded “U,” a song he wrote for her.

D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq and Questlove

The singers and drummer covered “She’s Always In My Hair.”

Monie Love

Prince co-wrote “Born 2 BREED” with rapper Monie Love in the early 1990s.

Tevin Campbell

The soulman was just a teen when Prince gave him the songs “Round and Round” and “Shhh” to sing.

Warren Zevon

Hindu Love Gods, which included Zevon and members of R.E.M. recorded “Raspberry Beret” in 1990. Zevon sang it frequently in his solo act.

Sinead O’Connor

O’Connor had a massive hit with her cover of The Family’s song “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Additional work by India Hayes, Kenneth Fowler, Cody McCloy and Sean O'Key