Prince, the legendary and innovative music artist and actor, has died at age 57. TMZ reported Thursday that the Carver County Sheriff’s department responded to an emergency call at the singer’s Paisley Park studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota at 9:43 that morning. They waited to reveal the identity until after they’d notified his next of kin. A rep for the singer confirmed his death to the Associated Press.
A week ago, the singer’s private plane made an emergency landing after a gig in the middle of the night in Moline, Illinois so he could go to a hospital. Varying reports said he was suffering dehydration and was getting over the flu. He was released after three hours and flew home, where he was recovering at home. He’d canceled some dates of his “Piano and a Microphone” tour in early April because of the flu, TMZ previously reported.
Over the course of nearly four decades, Prince became an icon of artistry and individuality. Few artists defined and redefined pop, rock, R&B, funk, soul and nearly every musical genre imaginable like Prince, who issued his debut album in 1978.
He embraced controversy, presenting himself as an androgynous sex fiend in his album art and lyrics, and challenged conservative music ideals in his first decade on albums like 1999, Purple Rain and Sign ‘O’ the Times.
A singular force, he famously performed, produced and wrote nearly all of his own songs at the beginning of his career and would go on to build a music empire out of his home near Minneapolis as he expanded his musical vocabulary. Four of his albums topped the Billboard 200, and the RIAA awarded 20 of his LPs with gold, platinum and multiplatinum plaques.
This is a developing story and will be updated.