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Band details

Assembled: 1991
Disbanded: -
Activity with Prince: 1991-1994
Live Performances
First live appearance w/Prince:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:
With Prince:


With Prince's Associates:
Self Productions w/Prince:
  • none.

Hornheads is a brass ensemble, formed in 1991 as a nameless collective, sometimes referred to as NPG Hornz. They were first assembled when Prince wanted a horn section to accompany The NPG on the Diamonds And Pearls Tour. Centered around trombonist and arranger, Michael B. Nelson, the Hornheads have made contributions to many live shows between 1991 and 1994, and (as a trio) in 1999/2000, as well as on many Prince and related artists albums.

On Prince albums they are usually credited as 'Hornheadz' while the albums they released as a collective are as Hornheads.

In 1994 The Hornheads released there first album: Hornheads, which included their composition Intermission, also performed live on the road with Prince and The NPG in 1993. And 'New Dell Inn', an arrangement that Prince also used in Billy Jack Bitch as well as 'Tub O’ Grease', which is a version of Oilcan from the New Power Generation’s first ’solo' album Gold Nigga released in 1993.

A sophomore album 5 Heads Are Better Than 1 followed in 1997. Then it took them until 2004 to complete their third album Fat Lip. they are also featured on a wide range of albums by artists unrelated to Prince (see listing below).

Since 2011 The Hornheads again went into the studio working for Prince They did sessions with him throughout 2012. Some of the songs with them have been released through 3rdEyeGirl.com. After the nineties the Hornheads only worked as a studio outfit and no longer went on the road with Prince.

Line Up

Original member Brian Gallagher left the ensemble in early 1996 and was replaced by Kenni (sometimes Ken) Holmen. Holmen had played on the Hornheads none-Prince projects since 1994. In 1999 the Hornheads performed with Prince as a trio, comprising Michael B. Nelson, Dave Jensen and Kathy Jensen.


On record The Hornheads can be heard on almost all Prince albums released between 1992 and 2002, as well as on a plethora of associate artist-albums, ranging from The NPG to Carmen Electra, Chaka Khan and Graham Central Station.


Guest Apperances



  • 23 February 1993: Hollywood, CA, USA - Paramount Studios - Stage 29 (Arsenio Hall Show)

Additional Information

See also Trivia

As The Hornheads (solo albums)
1994 Hornheads
1997 5 Heads Are Better Than 1
2004 Fat Lip
As The Hornheads Latin Ensemble
2006 Smokin’ Cuban Jazz
As The Hornheads Big Band
2006 I Love las Vegas

Grand Central All Biographies Prince Biography Madhouse