Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of jazz singer Mattie Della (née Shaw) and pianist and songwriter John Lewis Nelson. His parents were both African American and his ancestry is centered in Louisiana, with all four of his grandparents hailing from that state. Prince was given his father's stage name, Prince Rogers, which his father used while performing with his mother in a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. In 1991, Prince's father told A Current Affair that he named his son Prince because he wanted Prince "to do everything I wanted to do". Prince was not fond of his name and wanted people to instead call him Skipper, a name which stuck throughout his childhood. Prince has said he was "born epileptic" and had seizures when he was young. He stated, "My mother told me one day I walked into her and said, 'Mom, I'm not going to be sick anymore,' and she said, 'Why?' and I said, 'Because an angel told me so."
Prince's younger sister, Tyka, was born on May 18, 1960. Both siblings developed a keen interest in music, which was encouraged by their father. Prince wrote his first song, "Funk Machine", on his father's piano when he was seven. Prince's parents divorced when he was 10, and his mother remarried to Hayward Baker, with whom she had a son named Omarr; Prince had a troubled relationship with Baker, causing him to repeatedly switch homes, sometimes living with his father and sometimes with his mother and stepfather. Baker took Prince to see James Brown in concert, and Prince credited Baker with improving the family's finances. After a brief period of living with his father, who bought him his first guitar, Prince moved into the basement of the Anderson family, his neighbors, after his father kicked him out. He befriended the Andersons' son, Andre, who later collaborated with Prince and became known as André Cymone.