Darling Nikki

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"Darling Nikki"
Song by Prince
from the album Purple Rain
ReleasedJune 25, 1984
StudioKiowa Trail Home Studio (Chanhassen, Minnesota)
GenreHard rock
LabelWarner Bros.

"Darling Nikki" is a song produced, arranged, composed, and performed by American musician Prince, originally released on his sixth studio album Purple Rain (1984). Though the song was not released as a single, it gained wide notoriety for its sexual lyrics—in particular an explicit reference to female masturbation—and was responsible for the creation of the infamous Parental Advisory sticker. The song tells the story of a "sex fiend" named Nikki who seduces the singer.

In the film Purple Rain, for which the album serves as the soundtrack, the song is directed toward Apollonia Kotero's character when she decides to work with Prince's character's rival (played by Morris Day). Compared with the slick production of the other songs on the album, "Darling Nikki" was deliberately engineered to have a raw and live feel. Near the end of the song, the music stops into the sound of rain and wind. There is singing, but it is played in reverse. Played forward, the vocals are Prince singing:

Hello, how are you?
Fine, fine, 'cause I know that the Lord is coming soon
Coming, coming soon.[1]

During the Purple Rain Tour performances of "Darling Nikki", the recording at the end was played forward. This can be heard in the 1985 live video Prince and the Revolution: Live.

Parental Advisory sticker[edit]

Tipper Gore in 2009
Karenna Gore in 1997
Tipper Gore (left) founded the PMRC after catching her then-eleven-year-old daughter Karenna (right) listening to "Darling Nikki".
An earlier version of the Parental Advisory sticker that was later used in re-issues of Purple Rain.

American social issues advocate Tipper Gore reportedly co-founded the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) in 1985 because she witnessed her daughter Karenna, who was 11 years old at the time, listening to "Darling Nikki".[2] As examples of what they meant, PMRC published a list of 15 popular "filthy" songs, with "Darling Nikki" first. The PMRC would later become known for leading to the use of the well-known Parental Advisory sticker on album covers.[3][4][5]


Chart (2016) Peak
US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[6] 26
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[7] 9


Credits sourced from Duane Tudahl, Benoît Clerc, and Guitarcloud[8][9][10]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Poundstone, William (1986). Big Secrets. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 231. ISBN 0-395-45397-6.
  2. ^ Miss Cellania (January 2, 2012). "Tipper vs. Music". Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music. The Bathroom Reader Institute. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  3. ^ "PMRC". April 6, 2003. Archived from the original on April 6, 2003. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  4. ^ "Page 11". Joesapt.net. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  5. ^ Cruz, Gilbert (November 2, 2006). "All-Time 100 Albums – Purple Rain". Time. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  6. ^ "Prince Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  7. ^ "Prince Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  8. ^ Tudahl, Duane (2018). Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984 (Expanded ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781538116432.
  9. ^ Clerc, Benoît (October 2022). Prince: All the Songs. Octopus. ISBN 9781784728816.
  10. ^ "Purple Rain". guitarcloud.org. Retrieved April 29, 2023.