These wouldn’t have existed without Prince
They were the most exciting and one of the scariest parts about shopping for music when you were a kid! Being excited when a band you liked had the sticker on the album while simultaneously being scared your parents would see it and take it away… It’s because of Prince that we have these stickers at all.
For this though, we gotta go back to 1984 and Prince’s Purple Rain album and a song called “Darling Nikki”
Elizabeth Gore (wife of Al) was listening to that song with their 11-year old daughter and was so shocked at the lyrics that she wanted a way to warn parents about it and other “adult” themed music! She founded the Parents Music Resource Center in 1985 and they released a list called the “Filthy Fifteen”.
There was even a senate hearing about the whole thing and if you have the time, it’s such a cool watch and really brings up serious discussions on censorship in music.
TIME has a write up if you wanna find out more. Super cool read!