Prince performs at the San Jose Event Center in San Jose, Calif. on April 19, 1997.
Prince performs at the San Jose Event Center in San Jose, Calif. on April 19, 1997.  Tim Mosenfelder—Getty Images

11 Essential Prince Songs You Should Listen to Right Now

Apr 21, 2016

Legendary musician and global icon Prince died today at the age of 57 at his Paisley Park studio in Minnesota. While his ongoing musical revolution was cut short, generations will continue to appreciate his legacy thanks to his unforgettable songs. Prince put out 37 studio albums during his long (but somehow not long enough) career. Here are 11 essential songs to remember the icon:

"Sometimes It Snows In April" (1986)

This song about saying goodbye to a friend becomes particularly poignant in light of Prince's passing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D86W3NQ8bt0

"When You Were Mine" (1980)

Whether Prince was singing or it was being covered by Cyndi Lauper or Tegan and Sara, this song from the 1980 album Dirty Mind managed to be both heartbreaking and uplifting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GwUhq_WBj0

"She's Always in My Hair" (1985)

This song could have been a lead single for a lesser artist, but for Prince it was relegated to b-side status, released with "Raspberry Beret." The song was introduced to a new generation when D'Angelo covered it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyyS0FSztKc

"When Doves Cry" (1984)

This sultry, simmering song from Purple Rain sat at the top of the charts for weeks, becoming Prince's longest-running number one hit.

https://youtu.be/K8P736yl_qQ?list=PLrItSKCP69XFfSZZjQNlWvAdeQl7OQPBL

"Black Sweat" (2006)

Prince won the Grammy Award for Best Male R & B Vocal for this track from his 2006 album 3121. The song is reminiscent of his earlier hit "Kiss" with its sensuality and a sonically sick groove.

"Purple Rain" (1984)

The title track to the soundtrack of his semi-biographical film of the same name helped turn Prince into a household name. He later won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score (a category that no longer exists).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8BMm6Jn6oU

"Little Red Corvette" (1983)

This was Prince's first track to reach the Top 10, peaking at #6 on the Billboard charts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEHCNMuX-64

"Kiss" (1986)

The sing-along single from Prince & the Revolution's 1986 album Under the Cherry Moon was Prince's third tune to hit No. 1 in the U.S. The catchy track showed that you don't have to be rich to rule his world—giving hope to the cash-poor everywhere.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=1lsKXnR04gk

"Diamonds and Pearls" (1991)

This was the first Prince album to officially feature his new backing band, The New Power Generation, and was seen by many as a return to form for the artist. The title track was a blistering ballad with an indelible beat that was eventually sampled by Lil Wayne.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=MD5jN9o5Wpk

"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" (1995)

Prince wrote this song for his ex-wife Mayte Garcia, but every girl (and many boys) wish he had written the stunning love song for them.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=CcIvdzYuA1Q

"Breakfast Can Wait" (2014)

The song and its accompanying video showed that Prince never took himself too seriously. The album art featured comedian Dave Chappelle dressed like Prince and holding up a plate of pancakes—a sly reference to Charlie Murphy's infamous story of playing basketball with Prince before the Purple One made him pancakes.

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