The legendary singer known to the world as Prince has died. He was 57.
Prince Rogers Nelson — who rose to international fame for his innovative and influential music that combined jazz, funk and disco — was found unconscious inside his Minnesota estate.
TMZwas the first to report the singer’s death after initially saying that authorities had been investigating a death at the singer’s Minnesota home on Thursday.
Authorities had responded to a medical emergency at the Paisley Park property at about 9:43 a.m. but the identity of the deceased was not immediately released.
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The Carver County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the identity of the person as Prince in a tweet and said they would be investigating the circumstance of his death.
Authorities said they found the 57-year-old unconscious and unresponsive in an elevator. First responders reportedly tried to provide CPR “but were unable to revive the victim.” He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.
The singer’s publicist Yvette Noel-Schure confirmed that Prince had died at his home.
“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” Noel-Schure said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear what caused Prince’s death, however, the singer had been battling the flu and was hospitalized last week after his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois. The sheriff’s office said it was investigating the circumstances. The local medical examiner declined to comment on the cause of death.
Prince first rose to fame in the late 1970s, and then over the next three decades became known to be one of the most inventive and original forces in American pop music.
Throughout his career, the singer won seven Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Some of his hit songs included “Little Red Corvette,” “Purple Rain,” and “Raspberry Beret.”
In 2007, the singer performed at the Super Bowl and in 2015 released an album called “HITnRUN: Phase Two.” He had been on tour across the nation last week.
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger hailed his fellow singer and musician as “revolutionary” and one of the most unique and exciting artists of the last 30 years.
“His talent was limitless,” Jagger wrote on Twitter.
President Barack Obama called Prince “one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time,” and said few had influenced “the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly.”
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Fans gathered outside the gates of the singer’s estate on Thursday to mourn and show their admiration for the musician.
MTV said it would be changing its logo to purple for the day in honor of Prince and Twitter continued to flood with reactions from friends and fans.
In New York City, the iconic Apollo Theatre changed its marquee to read “In honor of the beautiful one,” NBC4 New York reported. Under the singer’s name the message continued “nothing compares 2 U.”
Minnesota’s public radio station, The Current, will be playing nine hours straight of uninterrupted music by Prince. To tune in, click here.
Distraught devotees gathered outside the Paisley Park compound in mourning.
“His music made the hair on your arms stand up,” said one, Kristina Dudziak, 44. “It felt like he was making love to his guitar. … It’s a sad day,” she added, starting to sob.
Sheila E., a singer and percussionist who worked closely with Prince in the 1980s, wrote on Twitter: “My heart is broken. There are no words. I love you!”
The performer’s death was the most notable passing of a music giant since rock star David Bowie died of cancer at 69 on Jan. 10.
INVENTIVE AND ECCENTRIC
Prince, whose hit songs also included “Let’s Go Crazy,” “I Would Die 4 U,” and “Kiss,” was on a U.S. tour as recently as last week.
Last Friday, he was briefly hospitalized with the flu after his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, celebrity news website TMZ said.
A representative said Prince had performed in Atlanta despite not feeling well and felt worse after boarding the plane back to Minnesota, the website reported.
But over the weekend, the musician hosted a party at Paisley Park. One attendee, 26-year-old Jamie Reimann, said Prince appeared after midnight Saturday and played two tunes on a piano in what would turn out to be his final performance.
“It was just five or six minutes. He introduced his doctor … and asked fans to give him a round of applause and said the doctor was helping him feel better,” Reimann said.
“He (Prince) looked fine, but his voice sounded like he might have had a cold or something. He didn’t look sickly.”
Prince first found fame in the late 1970s. Over the next three decades, he became known as one of the most inventive and eccentric forces in American pop music.
Often making a statement with bold fashion choices, the diminutive, 5-feet 2-inch-tall star sometimes appeared on stage sporting ruffled shirts and tight pants or elaborate costumes, including chain mail covering his face, a shimmery orange tunic with a cane, or bikini briefs.
“He was a legend,” said another fan, Karen Menardy, 45, weeping outside New York City’s storied Apollo Theater, where some passers-by danced in the street as Prince songs played on a portable speaker.
Calling Prince a “once-in-a-lifetime artist,” music TV channel MTV changed its logo to purple in his honor, and Twitter lit up with reaction from stunned friends and fans.
He was regarded as a perfectionist who from 1993 to 2000 changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in an apparent protest against his record label at the time. For a while, he was dubbed “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.”
An intensely private person, Prince sold more than 100 million records. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and his most recent album, “HITnRUN: Phase Two” was released in December 2015.
Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness about 15 years ago, and was a strict vegan. In 2009, he told PBS television about being born an epileptic and suffering seizures as a child.
He also said he was teased in school, and that “early in my career I tried to compensate by being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could.”
Prince’s Oscar was for best original song score for “Purple Rain,” the 1984 movie in which he also starred. In 2007, he played the Super Bowl in one of the most celebrated such performances.
While he was more accustomed to sold-out arenas, two years ago Prince played perhaps his most intimate gig in the living room of British singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas’ London home with his band, 3rdeyegirl, Billboard said.
“We’ll work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues,” Prince quipped then.
His music was marked by sexually charged lyrics and explosive live performances, while his private life was marked by a string of romances linking him with the likes of Madonna and actresses Kim Basinger and Carmen Electra.
Prince was married twice: to his backup singer, Mayte Garcia, in 1996 and then to Manuela Testolini in 2001. Both marriages ended in divorce, and a son he had with Garcia died a week after birth in October 1996.
“I loved him then, I love him now and will love him eternally,” Garcia told People magazine. “He’s with our son now.”
Born in Minneapolis as Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, he is said to have written his first song at age 7. As well as singing and writing, he played multiple instruments, including guitar, keyboards and drums.
In a 1998 interview with Reuters’ Franklin Paul, Prince chuckled as he said he ignored the critics and that he had no expectations for his then-current album. He said expectations take away from the quest for great music.
“I don’t expect anything,” Prince said. “I just do what I feel I’m supposed to do.”
Reuters contributed to this report.