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Prince Rogers Nelson (born: June 7, 1958) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was a musical innovator and known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. When he passed unexpectedly on April 21, 2016, he had built an immensely successful career that spanned over 30 years. Although Prince is widely known for his highly sexual behavior, we know less about his spiritual beliefs as well as how these beliefs influenced his public persona and private life. Through the lens of social identity theory, this manuscript will examine how Prince demonstrated his belief in God, his values, and the changes that he made in his life after he became a devout Jehovah's Witness. In particular, this manuscript will provide song lyrics and excerpts from televised and print interviews to qualitatively respond to the following three questions: (1) How did Prince demonstrate his belief in God in his music? (2) What were Prince's values? (3) What changes did Prince make in his public performances after he became a Jehovah's Witness?

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Journal of African American Studies

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