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UPDATED: 12:00 p.m. ET, June 7, 2021

Monday marks what would have been the 63rd birthday of Prince, the performer who preferred purple and paisley and left behind decades of chart-topping, timeless musical hits before his untimely demise more than five years ago.

Sadly, as the world celebrates Prince’s life, many of his fans are also likely mourning the life of Clarence Williams III, the ubiquitous character actor whose portrayal of Prince’s father in the 1984 movie, “Purple Rain.” Williams died Friday, just days before Prince’s birthday, further linking them together.

The musical genius passed away on April 21, 2016, but he certainly has not left the world of pop culture. He’s had a number of posthumous awards bestowed upon him, including receiving a major honor from the University of Minnesota in 2019. The institution—which is based in his hometown—awarded him with an honorary degree for his contributions to the music industry and the city of Minneapolis.

The university even held a ceremony where they awarded him with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. However, the school made the decision to give “The Purple One” an honorary degree long before he passed away.

“Prince emulates everything a musician should be,” Michael Kim, director of the university’s School of Music, said in a statement to CNN. “Society pressures young people to conform to certain standards, and Prince was anything but standardized. Be yourself, know who you are and good things are going to happen.”

In addition, Prince clapped back from the grave after Trump had the audacity to use his music at rallies.

“The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or The White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately,” Prince’s estate said in a statement via Jeremiah Freed, also known as Dr. Funkenberry.

There is no doubt that Prince was certainly a political artist, and he often talked about race, poverty and faith in his music. He was not associated with a particular political party, and he was also open about never having cast a ballot in an American election, or elsewhere.

In 2009, Prince told Tavis Smiley about President Barack Obama, “Well, I don’t vote. I don’t have nothing to do with it. I’ve got no dog in that race.”

He continued, “The reason why is that I’m one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and we’ve never voted. That’s not to say I don’t think … President Obama is a very smart individual and he seems like he means well. Prophecy is what we all have to go by now.”

That said, fun fact: In 1990, Prince gave $2,000 to Minnesota Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, who was a Republican.

We are honoring the Purple One’s legacy with other surprising facts you may not have known.

Happy Birthday, Prince: 19 Surprising Facts About The Purple One  was originally published on globalgrind.com

1. Prince wrote his first song at age 7. He titled it “Funk Machine.”

Prince wrote his first song at age 7. He titled it “Funk Machine.” Source:Getty

2. Prince once sued Adobe Photoshop to prevent fans from altering his photos. Unfortunately, he lost.

Prince once sued Adobe Photoshop to prevent fans from altering his photos. Unfortunately, he lost. Source:Getty

3. Prince’s favorite meal was spaghetti and orange juice.

Prince’s favorite meal was spaghetti and orange juice. Source:Getty

4. The “Purple Rain” soundtrack spent 24 weeks at number one on Billboard

The “Purple Rain” soundtrack spent 24 weeks at number one on Billboard Source:Getty

5. Michael Jackson’s “Bad” was supposed to be a duet with Prince.

Michael Jackson’s “Bad” was supposed to be a duet with Prince. Source:Getty

6. Prince was a devout Jehovah’s Witness.

Prince was a devout Jehovah’s Witness. Source:Getty

7. In 1980, when John Lennon was murdered, Prince was only a few blocks away.

In 1980, when John Lennon was murdered, Prince was only a few blocks away. Source:Getty

8. Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks was supposed to write “Purple Rain,” but couldn’t handle the pressure.

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks was supposed to write “Purple Rain,” but couldn’t handle the pressure. Source:Getty

9. Family and friends called Prince “Skipper” as a kid.

Family and friends called Prince “Skipper” as a kid. Source:Getty

10. In 1984, Prince not only had the number one movie in the country, but also the number one single & album.

In 1984, Prince not only had the number one movie in the country, but also the number one single & album. Source:Getty

11. Despite his small stature, Prince was a remarkable basketball player.

Despite his small stature, Prince was a remarkable basketball player. Source:Getty

12. Prince formed his first band when he was 13 years old.

Prince formed his first band when he was 13 years old. Source:Getty

13. In 2012, Prince dissed Maroon 5 for covering “Kiss.”

In 2012, Prince dissed Maroon 5 for covering “Kiss.” Source:Getty

14. In 2013, Prince performed at “Star Wars” director George Lucas’ wedding.

In 2013, Prince performed at “Star Wars” director George Lucas’ wedding. Source:Getty

15. The movie “Purple Rain” cost $7 million to make and grossed over $69 million.

The movie “Purple Rain” cost $7 million to make and grossed over $69 million. Source:Getty

16. Prince scrapped his 1987 album “The Black Album” just days before its release.

Prince scrapped his 1987 album “The Black Album” just days before its release. Source:Getty

17. Prince penned The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” and Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For U.”

Prince penned The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” and Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For U.” Source:Getty

18. Prince’s dad once had a band called Prince Rogers Jazz Trio.

Prince’s dad once had a band called Prince Rogers Jazz Trio. Source:Getty

19. Prince sent Janelle Monae a singing telegram asking for a copy of her “The Electric Lady” album.

Prince sent Janelle Monae a singing telegram asking for a copy of her “The Electric Lady” album. Source:Getty
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