Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958), known from 1993 to 2000 as (or informally, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, Tafkap, or simply The Artist), is a popular and influential American musician. His music has spanned myriad styles; though his early material was firmly rooted in R&B, funk and soul, he has constantly expanded his musical palette throughout his career, absorbing many other genres including new wave, pop, rock, blues, jazz and hip hop. The distinctive characteristics of the early-to-mid 1980s work which brought him to superstardom (including sparse and industrial-sounding drum machine arrangements, and the use of synthesizer riffs to serve the role traditionally occupied by horn riffs in earlier R&B, funk and soul music) became known as the “Minneapolis sound,” which proved heavily influential. He has a reputation as a workaholic, having released over a thousand songs both under his own name and through other artists, and is known for having composed and recorded many more songs that remain unreleased. Regarded as a perfectionist, Prince has a reputation as being somewhat difficult to work with, and for being highly protective of his music. He writes, composes and produces most of his music single-handedly, and plays most of the instruments on his albums. He also is a well-known songwriter for other artists, and some of those songs have topped the charts as well.