NEW YORK – Pop icon Prince — one of the most influential but elusive figures in music — died suddenly at his compound in Minnesota on Thursday, a representative said. He was 57.
“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,” said his spokeswoman, Yvette Noel-Schure.
She did not offer further details. Local authorities outside Minneapolis said that they were investigating a death at Paisley Park, with local media showing images of emergency vehicles.
The pop legend last week was taken to a hospital after his private jet made an unscheduled landing.
But Prince was said to be suffering the flu and made light of the situation, later posting on Twitter about a local shop in Minneapolis for Record Store Day.
RIP Prince, thank you for blessing this world with your music. pic.twitter.com/m3jGWUx7CL
— FREDDY (@FreddyAmazin) April 21, 2016
Prince became an international sensation in the 1980s, when he popularized the Minneapolis sound of danceable funk. His 1984 album “Purple Rain” is often described as one of the greatest of all time.
The artist lives in the outskirts of Minneapolis, where he throws parties and preserves master vaults at his Paisley Park studio.
Prince in the 1990s changed his name to an unpronounceable “love symbol” and wrote “slave” on his cheek to protest contractual conditions by his label Warner.
Among his best-known songs are “Purple Rain,” “1999,” “When Doves Cry,” “Cream” and “Kiss.”
He was recently prolific in his output, releasing albums through streaming site Tidal, and has taken to scheduling shows at the last minute to avoid scalpers.
“This is what it sounds like when doves cry.. Prince R.I.P. Condolences to his family & 2 us all,” actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg said on Twitter.
Prince, we're crying tears of purple rain. Thanks for decades of inspiration. RIP. pic.twitter.com/6ezWUZcNMt
— Regal Cinemas (@RegalMovies) April 21, 2016