Darling Nikki

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"Darling Nikki"
Song by Prince and The Revolution from the album Purple Rain
Released June 25, 1984
Format CD
Recorded 1983
Sunset Sound, Los Angeles
Genre Hard rock, funk metal
Length 4:14
Label Warner Bros.
Writer Prince
Producer Prince
Purple Rain track listing
"Computer Blue"
"Darling Nikki"
"When Doves Cry"

"Darling Nikki" is a song produced, arranged, composed and performed by American musician Prince and originally released on his Grammy Award-winning 1984 album, Purple Rain. Though the song was not released as a single, it gained wide notoriety for its sexual lyrics and in particular a reference to masturbation. Partly because of the lyrical content of "Darling Nikki", Tipper Gore founded the Parents Music Resource Center,[1][2] which eventually led to the use of "Parental Advisory" stickers and imprints on album covers.[3] Compared with the slick production of the other songs on the album, "Darling Nikki" was deliberately engineered to have a raw, live feel.

The song tells the story of a "sex fiend" named Nikki who seduces the singer. In the film Purple Rain, the song is directed toward Apollonia Kotero's character when she decides to work with Prince's character's rival, played by Morris Day.

Near the end of the song, the music stops into the sound of rain and wind. There is singing, but played in reverse. The vocals, unreversed, are Prince singing,

"Hello, how are you?
Fine fine 'cause I know that the Lord is coming soon
Coming, coming soon."[4]

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

Parents Music Resource Center[edit]

Reportedly, Tipper Gore co-founded the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) in 1985, because she witnessed her then 11-year-old daughter listening to Prince's "Darling Nikki".[5]


A circulating outtake of "Darling Nikki" contains an instrumental subdued section in the middle of keyboard onslaught at the end of the song. Also, it does not have the backmasking segment tacked on to the end; instead, Prince performs an extended hard guitar solo devoid of any other instruments.

Cover versions and sampling[edit]

Rihanna performing "Darling Nikki" on her 2011 Loud Tour.


  1. ^ "PMRC". April 6, 2003. Archived from the original on April 6, 2003. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Page 11". Joesapt.net. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ Cruz, Gilbert (November 2, 2006). "All-TIME 100 Albums - Purple Rain". TIME. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ Poundstone, William (1986). Big Secrets. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 231. ISBN 0-395-45397-6. 
  5. ^ Miss Cellania (2 January 2012). "Tipper vs. Music". Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music. The Bathroom Reader Institute. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Get Your FREE Copy of SPIN's Prince Tribute!". SPIN.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 

External links[edit]