Pop Superstar Prince Dead at 57
CHANHASSEN, Minn. (ABC News) — Prince has died at age 57, his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure told the AP.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the singer, songwriter, multiple instrumentalist, producer and actor was recognized as a musical genius, trend setter and advocate for artists’ rights. His indelible impact on pop music culture dates back to when he first surfaced in 1978 with his debut album “For You.”
ABC News confirmed that the Carver County Sheriff’s Department has launched an investigation at the singer’s Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
The news comes days after a flight Prince, 57, was a passenger on had to make an emergency landing at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois. The singer was then rushed to a local hospital, where he was treated for the flu, his rep confirmed. He was released three hours later.
Prince had been battling the illness for weeks, his rep said.
The singer, who was on his “Piano and a Microphone” tour,” also had to cancel two shows earlier in the month due to the flu. The “Purple Rain” singer’s last performance was Thursday night in Atlanta.
Named after the Prince Roger Trio, a jazz band his father performed with, Prince was signed to Warner Brother Records as a teenager.
His early albums — 1979’s “Prince,” 1980’s “Dirty Mind” and 1981’s “Controversy” — built his core fan base while also creating controversial buzz due to their fusion of religious and sexual themes.
Combining rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop, Prince was regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. He also gained a reputation for being a staunch perfectionist.
The 1984 semi-autobiographical rock musical drama film “Purple Rain” –- and its best-selling soundtrack — vaulted him into the pop stratosphere. The film won the now-defunct Best Original Song Score award at the Oscars and the album was his best-selling one, amassing sales of over 25 million copies.
During the 1980s, at the height of his popularity, Prince was most frequently compared to Michael Jackson, who was considered his fiercest music rival.
He collaborated with a wide array of music acts including Sheena Easton, Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush, Madonna, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper and his former lover Sheila E. Through the years –- and a few name changes –- Prince spun his musical magic into outfits such as The Time, the all-female Vanity 6, and The New Power Generation.
In 1993, a legal battle ensued between Warner Bros. and Prince over the artistic and financial control of his musical output. During the intense lawsuit, he appeared in public with the word “slave” written on his cheek and started going by the name The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
With a singing style renowned for its versatility of reaching from the highest falsetto to the deepest baritone, Prince influenced an entire generation of artists. Today, you can hear remnants of his artistry in music by acts such as Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Miguel, and a few veterans too, such as Lenny Kravitz, Meshell Ndegeocello, D’Angelo and Maxwell.
Through the years, a host of music legends have performed his compositions, most notable are Khan’s cover of “I Feel for You,” MeLi’sa Morgan’s stirring rendition of “Do Me Baby” and Stephanie Mills’ take on “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?,” which Keys covered in 2001 and enjoyed chart success with. Blues and soul legend Millie Jackson released an audacious cover of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover” as a lead single from her 1986 “An Imitation of Love” opus.
During the 1990s, Ginuwine launched his career with a clunky cover of “When Doves Cry,” TLC redid “Get It Up” for the “Poetic Justice” soundtrack, and Mariah Carey and Sisqo worked new wonders on his classic “The Beautiful Ones.”
In 2013, he collaborated with Ledisi on the funk track “Ain’t Gonna Miss U When U’re Gone,” and with Janelle Monae for “Givin Em What They Love.”
Notoriously known as a recluse, Prince appeared as himself on a 2014 episode of the Fox comedy “New Girl.”
Through his career, Prince won seven Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Known as a touring draw, he wowed crowds at arenas worldwide and became infamous for secret concerts at intimate venues.