Upon being told by his manager that under no circumstances can he continue to go onstage wearing spandex pants without underwear, a young musician begins performing in nothing more than a trench coat, black high-heeled boots and black bikini underwear.
A few years later, after he has become an international success, he grows increasingly angry that the record company he is signed to owns the “masters” of all his releases. In response, he begins performing with the word “slave” written on his face, a message he also carries into meetings with company executives. “Imagine yourself sitting in a room with the biggest of the big in the recording industry, and you have ‘slave’ written on your face,” he tells a journalist. “That changes the entire conversation.”
His next act of defiance is still more extreme: on his 35th birthday, he announces that he is changing his name to a glyph combining the symbols for male and female. Only when his contract expires does he revert to his previous name.
(Prince Rogers Nelson, a.k.a. Prince, a.k.a. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince)