A Look Behind Prince’s Songwriting Pseudonyms

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Prince’s influence on music is immeasurable. The timeless funk-soul hero inspired the masses as he continually reinvented himself from simply Prince to The Artist (Formerly Known As Prince) to the unpronounceable symbol that stood for love more than it stood for the artist himself.

Those name changes, the result of a contractual dispute in the early 1990s, was freeing and allowed the artist to create on his own terms. However, adopting a pseudonym was nothing new for His Royal Badness, who had used various lesser-known monikers throughout his career.

Prince used names like Jamie Starr, or The Starr Company, Joey Coco, Alexander Nevermind, and simply, Christopher to separate himself from the music he wrote and produced for others. Get to know the many songwriting pseudonyms of Prince below.

Jamie Starr or The Starr Company

The Time

As Jamie Starr, Prince created a side project, the Morris Day-fronted band, the Time. Between 1981 and 1990, the band released four albums which were mostly written and produced by Prince, but credited under his alter-ego, Jamie Starr.

Sheila E

Sheila E’s “The Glamorous Life” was written by Prince, but produced by The Starr Company, a moniker he used interchangeably with Jamie Starr.

Vanity 6

Prince’s protégée all-girl trio, Vanity 6, had a hit song with the 1982 released, “Nasty Girl.” It was another track written by the artist, but produced by The Starr Company.

Apollonia 6

Vanity 6 became Apollonia 6 a year later and their songs followed suit: written by Prince, but credited to The Starr Company.

Joey Coco

Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers’ 1986 song, “You’re My Love,” was credited to a songwriter named Joey Coco. This Coco was, in fact, Prince.

Sheena Easton

Coco also showed up on several Sheena Easton tracks in the 1980s, most notable on her 1988 album, The Lover in Me. While Prince is listed as a producer on the release, Coco is solely credited for penning the songs “101” and “Cool Love.”

Alexander Nevermind

Sheena Easton

Alexander Nevermind makes a one-time appearance as the writer of another of Easton’s hits, “Sugar Walls.”

Christopher

The Bangles

Simply the name Christopher was another of Prince’s pseudonyms. Christopher was credited for writing the Bangles’ massive 1986 hit, “Manic Monday.” It was a nod to the fictional character, Christopher Tracy, whom Prince had portrayed in the film, Under the Cherry Moon, released that same year.

Photo: Primary Wave

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