Darling Nikki

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"Darling Nikki"
Song by Prince
from the album Purple Rain
ReleasedJune 25, 1984
RecordedLate July 1983
StudioKiowa Trail Home Studio (Chanhassen, Minnesota)
LabelWarner Bros.

"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 an explicit reference to masturbation. Compared with the slick production of the other songs on the album, "Darling Nikki" was deliberately engineered to have a raw and 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.[1]

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.

Parental Advisory sticker[edit]

Reportedly, American social issues advocate Tipper Gore co-founded the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) in 1985 because she witnessed her daughter Karenna, who was 11 years old at the time, singing along to "Darling Nikki".[2] The PMRC would later become known for leading to the use of the Parental Advisory sticker on album covers.[3][4][5]

Cover versions and sampling[edit]

Rihanna performing "Darling Nikki" on her 2011 Loud Tour.
  • In 1995, Whale released a cover on their "Pay for Me" single.
  • In 1996, the band Chum released a cover version on their Century Media release Dead to the World.
  • In 1997, Three 6 Mafia sampled it on their song "The End" from their album "Chapter 1: The End".
  • In 1998, as part of the compilation Do Me Baby: Austin Does Prince, the Asylum Street Spankers released an acoustic version of this song.
  • Chicago punk-band Apocalypse Hoboken recorded a cover of the song, which appeared on their 2000 album Microstars.
  • In 2003, the alternative rock band Foo Fighters recorded a cover of the song, which they included as a B-side on their single "Have It All". Though their version of "Darling Nikki" was never officially released as a single, it found success at American modern rock radio, peaking at number 15 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. This version was performed on the MTV Video Music Awards with Cee Lo Green guesting on vocals. This version was later released on the vinyl-only compilation album Medium Rare.
  • Tech N9ne's song "Freaky", on his 2005 album Vintage Tech, interpolates "Darling Nikki".
  • In 2006, jazz band Sex Mob performed "Darling Nikki" with John Medeski at live at Willisau album.
  • Model/actress Rebecca Romijn recorded a cover of "Darling Nikki" for the 2006 compilation album, Electro Goth Tribute to Prince.
  • A cover by electro music group Chairlift was included on the 2009 tribute compilation Purplish Rain. A free download of the song was offered by Spin magazine.[6]
  • In the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "Did the Earth Move for You?", Will Smith does his own version of the song with his lyrics saying "I'm stuck in a basement, sittin' on a tricycle, girl gettin' on my nerves/Goin' outta my mind, I thought she was fine, don't know if her body is hers."
  • West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur used a sample of "Darling Nikki" for the song "Heartz of Men" on his 1996 album All Eyez on Me.
  • The song "Blow Ya Mind", appearing on the album Pink Friday by Queens-based rapper Nicki Minaj, contains an interpolation of "Darling Nikki".
  • Hard rock band Talisman recorded a version for their 1998 album Truth.
  • Rihanna covered the song on her 2011 Loud Tour.
  • Actress and comedian Maya Rudolph performed a cover of the song with friend Gretchen Lieberum and musical group The Roots on the September 19, 2012 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in honor of Fallon's 38th birthday.
  • In 2008, the band Love Is All released a cover version on their "Love is All Play 5 Covers" EP.
  • In 2008, both Name and White Lord Jesus made a cover for the 81-track Norwegian Prince tribute Shockadelica.
  • Dru Hill covers this song in concerts, as each member performs songs that inspired them musically Nokio the N-Tity performs this during that section.
  • Beyoncé posted a video on YouTube to the tune of "Darling Nikki" to show appreciation of Nicki Minaj for being a part of the TIDALX1020 performance.


Chart (2016) Peak
US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[7] 26
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[8] 9


  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. ^ "Get Your FREE Copy of SPIN's Prince Tribute!". SPIN.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  7. ^ "Prince Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  8. ^ "Prince Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2016.

External links[edit]