One of the most iconic musicians in American rock and R&B history is dead at 57.
Prince—the singer, songwriter, and legendary guitarist behind songs like "Purple Rain," "Raspberry Beret," and "1999"—was found dead at his Paisley Park home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minn., on Thursday morning.
The Carver County Sheriff's Office responded to a medical call from the home at 9:43 a.m. local time, and discovered a fatality. Police initially would not release the deceased's identity until next-of-kin had been notified; and several hours later the rocker's publicist confirmed that he had died.
The "Purple Rain" writer had suffered a major health scare just one week ago when his flight made an emergency landing in Atlanta and he was hospitalized for flu-like symptoms. He appeared the following day, however, at a $10 dance party near his home, reportedly telling a jubilant crowd: "Wait a few days before you waste any prayers."
Born Prince Rogers Nelson in 1958, the musical pioneer broke at age 21 when his 1979 disco-pop classic "I Wanna Be Your Lover" shot up the charts and invaded dance halls with his falsetto vocals and sexually charged lyrics. But he truly rose to rock immortality when his musical drama film and album Purple Rain exploded both in the box office and on pop charts around the world. Singles from the film and album, such as "When Doves Cry," "I Would Die 4 U" and "Let's Go Crazy" dominated in sales and charting.
Prince was known for his mythical and epic live performances. His 2007 Super Bowl Halftime show is considered the greatest in the history of such performances.