Prince earned 31 Grammy award nominations and seven total wins during his celebrated run — a formidable resumé for any musician, let alone one who died at the young age of 57.

Had the funk/R&B/pop icon not tragically passed in 2016, it's likely he would have racked up several more nods on the industry's biggest stage. But as it stands, his three-decade Grammy history is full of career highlights (including Album of the Year nominations for Purple Rain and Sign o' the Times) and pop culture time-capsule moments.

In February 1985, Prince played on the Grammy stage for the first time after a gushing introduction from Mike Melvoin, then-president of the Recording Academy and father of  Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin, "Tonight we get to celebrate the success of a very special performer – someone who's taken the music world by storm," enthused the beaming Mike, and Prince's acrobatic powerhouse performance of "Baby I'm a Star" lived up to the hype.

Prince returned for another dynamic, show-stealing performance in 2004, opening the ceremony with a duet medley with Beyoncé. They opened with a mind-melting sample of "Purple Rain," featuring some of Prince's signature guitar fireworks, before moving through "Baby I'm a Star" and Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love."

And Prince even left an impression when he wasn't winning awards or doling out guitar solos. In 2015, he strutted onstage to hand out the Album of the Year trophy, delivering a powerful speech and obliging that year's winner, Beck, with a charming hug.

Even after his death in 2016, his spirit wound up dominating the stage: The following year, Bruno Mars and Morris Day and the Time teamed up for a musical salute to the Purple One. And the Academy has two more tributes planned for 2020: an in-show performance featuring Usher and Sheila E., followed by a massive all-star concert featuring his collaborators and admirers.

To celebrate, here's a recap of Prince's lengthy history at the Grammy Awards.


Prince Albums Ranked

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