Prince, the songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman, died Thursday – April 21 at his residence, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn., according to a statement from his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure. He was 57.
No cause of death has been given.
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“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,” publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said.
Earlier Thursday, police said they were investigating a death at the Paisley Park studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. They responded to a medical call and found the singer unresponsive in an elevator, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said.
In a statement, the Carver County sheriff, Jim Olson, said that sheriff’s deputies responded to an emergency call at 9:43 a.m.:
“When deputies and medical personnel arrived, they found an unresponsive adult male in the elevator. First responders attempted to provide life-saving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim. He was pronounced deceased at 10:07 a.m.”
The sheriff’s office said it would continue to investigate his death.
A massive outpouring of grief followed on social media.
Prince was hospitalized last week after his plane for was forced to make an emergency landing in Moline, Ill. Released a few hours later, a rep told TMZ that he had been battling a bad case of the flu.
Prince’s Top 10 hits included “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss,” and “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”; albums like “Dirty Mind,” “1999” and “Sign O’ the Times” were full-length statements. His songs also became hits for others, among them “Nothing Compares 2 U” for Sinead O’Connor and “I Feel for You” for Chaka Khan. With the 1984 film and album “Purple Rain,” Prince told a fictionalized version of his own story: biracial, gifted, spectacularly ambitious. Its music won him an Academy Award and the album sold more than 13 million copies in the United States alone.
Between 1985 and 1992 he released eight albums, one per year, including the soundtrack for Tim Burton’s “Batman.” He starred in two more movies during that era — “Under the Cherry Moon” and “Graffiti Bridge.”
He also put out a concert film. “Sign ‘o’ the Times” hits theaters in 1987.
He infamously changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in the 1990s during a dispute with his record label, Warner Bros. He started to become known then as the “Artist Formerly Known as Prince.”
In 2000 when the singer’s publishing contract with the company expired, he reclaimed the name Prince.
Prince won seven Grammy Awards and earned 30 nominations. Five of his singles topped the charts and 14 other songs hit the Top 10. He won an Oscar for best original song score for “Purple Rain.”
The singer’s predilection for lavishly kinky story-songs earned him the nickname, His Royal Badness.
He was also known as the “Purple One” because of his colorful fashions.
His sound was as unique and transfixing as he was. He created what became known as the Minneapolis sound, which was a funky blend of pop, synth and new wave.
Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, was a man bursting with music — a wildly prolific songwriter, a virtuoso on guitars, keyboards and drums and a master architect of funk, rock, R&B and pop, even as his music defied genres. In a career that lasted from the late 1970s until the arena tour this year, he was acclaimed as a sex symbol, a musical prodigy and an artist who shaped his career his way, often battling with accepted music-business practices.
In Prince’s biggest hits, he sang passionately, affectionately and playfully about sex and seduction. With deep bedroom eyes and a sly, knowing smile, he was one of pop’s ultimate flirts. But elsewhere in his catalog were songs that addressed social issues and delved into mysticism and science fiction. He made himself a unifier of dualities — racial, sexual, musical, cultural — teasing at them in songs like “Controversy” and transcending them in his career.
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