The musician known as Prince, who sang such hit songs as “1999,” “Little Red Corvette” and “When Doves Cry,” has died at the age of 57. His body was discovered at his Paisley Park Estate in Minnesota on Thursday morning. His death was confirmed by his publicist, via the Associated Press.
The publicist also released a statement:
The cause of death is not yet known, but the musician, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, had suffered a medical emergency on the morning of Friday, April 15, which caused his private plane to make an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois so that he could be hospitalized.
It was later reported that he had been suffering from flu-like symptoms. Nonetheless he performed publicly the very next day and told the members of the crowd to “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers.”
UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 13: RITZ CLUB Photo of PRINCE, Prince performing on stage – Purple Rain Tour (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)Richard E. Aaron — Redferns/Getty Images
Prince burst onto the international music scene with his 1982 album “1999,” and won seven Grammy awards. In 1993 Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol that combined the symbols for male and female, leading him to be referred to as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.” He changed it back to Prince in 2000.
He has sold over 100 million records and also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for “Purple Rain” in 1985. He had an estimated net worth of $300 million.
INGLEWOOD – FEBRUARY 19: Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum on February 19, 1985 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Fans from Rev. Jesse Jackson to rapper Ice-T reacted immediately—and emotionally.
Daniel Bukszpan is a New York-based freelance writer.