12 Wildest Prince Moments

Butterflies, boos and bare butts – the most outrageous episodes from a legendary career

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Prince Tops PMRC's Infamous
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Prince Tops PMRC's Infamous "Filthy 15" (1985)

As the story goes, Tipper Gore founded the Parents Music Resource Center in 1985 after she caught her 11-year-old daughter listening to Prince's racy "Darling Nikki." From there, the future Second Lady used the PMRC to pressure the record industry to censor itself, mostly be using its "Filthy 15" list as a weapon of shame. The plan backfired, of course – what self-respecting kid in the Eighties wouldn't want to track down every song on that list? – and Prince had the unique honor of placing two selections among the ranks. Not only did "Darling Nikki" take the top spot, his composition "Sugar Walls" for Sheena Easton took number two, thanks to its poetic metaphor for female genitalia. (His former protégé Vanity clocked in at number four with "Strap on Robbie Baby.") Prince even beat out metal heavyweights such as Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate and Venom. Later in life, the religious Prince decried the pleasures of the flesh, telling NME, "I know those paths of excess, drugs, sex and alcohol – all those experiences can be funky, they can be very funky, but they’re just paths, a diversion, not the answer."

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