Music icon Prince dead at 57

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Taken from CNN

Prince Rogers Nelson, the eclectic virtuoso who penned such gems as “Kiss” and “Let’s Go Crazy” and who took on the music industry in his fight for creative freedom, died Thursday.

The 57-year-old singer was found unresponsive Thursday morning in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said.

Paramedics tried to perform CPR but were unable to revive him, the sheriff said. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m., less than 30 minutes after sheriff’s deputies responded to a medical call at the scene.

Prince Rogers Nelson
Prince Rogers Nelson

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death, Olson said. An autopsy will be performed by the Midwest regional medical examiner.

Prince’s publicist confirmed his death but didn’t provide details about the possible cause or who was with the musician.

“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.

Word of his death sparked a massive outpouring of grief on social media, outside his famed studios and even from the White House.

Fans rushed to record stores to pick up vinyl and other Prince memorabilia. Some said the icon’s death “is what it sounds like when doves cry,” a reference to his monster hit from 1984.

“As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader and an electrifying performer,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement. ” ‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.”

Just this month, Prince made news, but it wasn’t for his music. He said he wasn’t feeling well, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and canceled a concert at the Fox Theater in the Georgia city.

A week later, he took the stage in Atlanta to perform two concerts with 80-minute sets, unusually short for him. The stage was engulfed in lavender smoke. It was just Prince at his piano. He played his classic songs but kept the mood light and fun — at one point showing off his skills with a version of the Peanuts theme song.

That concert, a week ago, earned rave reviews.

But as he headed back to Minnesota after the performance, Prince’s plane made an unexpected stop.

The singer’s plane made an emergency landing Friday and he reportedly was rushed to a hospital in Moline, Illinois.

Afterward, publicist said, “He is fine and at home.”

On Saturday, he played for a small gathering of fans at Paisley Park, proudly showing them a new purple Yamaha piano and a guitar that was made for him in Europe. The appearance, Minneapolis Star-Tribune music critic Jon Beam wrote the next day, seemed aimed at proving he was alive and well.

“I have to leave it in the case, or I’ll be tempted to play it,” Prince told the crowd, according to Beam. “I can’t play the guitar at all these days, so I can keep my mind on this (the solo piano) and get better.”

“He was more connected to us Saturday night than I had ever seen. … He talked about what happened, and said he was OK, and said, ‘Don’t waste your prayers on me right now, you know, wait a few days,’ ” one fan told CNN affiliate WCCO Thursday.

Reflections like that about Prince performing are no surprise, Michaela Angela Davis told CNN.

The writer and cultural critic, who was once Prince’s stylist, said he played as brilliantly for 75 people as he did for 75,000.

“Because he was playing for the music. He was the music,” she said. “He literally told me that he thought in music. …. Sometimes, you could be at lunch with him, and he would get up and leave, because there was a melody so urgent, a music so real, that he would just go to the studio and put it down.”

 

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