A ladies' man in music and real life

"Could you be the most beautiful girl in the world?" croons Prince in his 1995 song of the same name.

While it made every woman who heard it think it was about her, it was classic Prince - the Lothario who sang of trying "to tame your little red love machine" on Little Red Corvette or wanting to be the "only one you come for" on I Wanna Be Your Lover.

Prince was a ladies' man in music and real life.

His long list of beautiful lovers was well-documented and included the likes of actress Kim Basinger, singer Madonna and ex-Baywatch star Carmen Electra.

He married his back-up dancer, Mayte Garcia, in 1996, but they divorced in 1999 after the death of their one-week-old son.

He found love again with Manuela Testolini, a former employee at his charitable foundation, whom he was married to from 2001 to 2006. He was also engaged to singer Susannah Melvoin.

Perhaps the most prolific of his collaborations was with another fiancee, singer and percussionist, Sheila E, who was as much his paramour as his music partner.

Together, they produced hits such as The Glamorous Life and A Love Bizarre.

His songs became massive pop hits for stars as diverse as The Bangles (Manic Monday), Sinead O'Connor (Nothing Compares 2 U) and Chaka Khan (I Feel For You).

He was also one of the few artists to work with Kate Bush on her 1993 track, Why Should I Love You.

Bush typically does not collaborate with other high-profile artists.

Prince also mentored and produced bands during his three-decade career, including girl group Vanity 6 and pop-funk band The Time.

One of his more recent collaborations was with Janelle Monae, on a slow-burning funk duet off The Electric Lady album (2013), called Givin Em What They Love.

Mrs Joan Scully, an operations manager who was born the same year as Prince and grew up with his music, said it was a "big shock that he died at such a young age".

His songs remind her of her 20s, when she used to head to nightclubs such as Chinoiserie at the then Hyatt Regency Hotel with her friends and listen to songs such as 1999 and Sign O' The Times.

She says he had an extremely attractive personality and just "had that appeal".

"His X-factor was not just that he's a fantastic entertainer, but also, until today, his songs still get my adrenaline pumping," she says.

As for her favourite song, Purple Rain, she says it will now take on a different meaning.

"It still hits me every time I listen to that song."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'A ladies' man in music and real life'. Print Edition | Subscribe