Legendary artist Prince dies at 57
Will Smith, President Barack Obama, Beyoncé, Madonna and more pay tribute to the iconic singer
Prince has passed away at the age of 57. The artist was found unconscious in an elevator in his Paisley Park Studios in Minnesota yesterday. According to CNN, paramedics tried to perform CPR but were unable to revive him. Authorities confirmed his death half an hour later and his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure released a statement.
"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," read the statement.
His sudden death shocked the world, including close friend Will Smith who had spoken to him the night before the tragedy.
"I am stunned and heartbroken," Will wrote on Facebook. "I just spoke with him last night. Today, Jada and I mourn with all of you the loss of a beautiful poet, a true inspiration, and one of the most magnificent artists to ever grace this earth."
An eccentric, genre-defying musician, Prince rose to fame in the 80s with hits like Kiss, Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and I Wanna Be Your Lover. The seven-time Grammy winner sold more than 100 million records through his 40-year career. A prolific songwriter and musician who fused funk, R&B and pop in a way no one else ever did, Prince's music and androgynous style had an intense and lasting influence that he will always be remembered for.
While fans gathered at Paisley Park to remember the late singer, celebrities took to social media to pay tribute to Prince in their own way. Rest in peace, Prince. You will be missed dearly.
It was Raspberry Beret. I was 4 years old. Yes, 4. I remember that I instantly loved it. "Mommy, who is that singing?" Seems weird but it's true. More than a "once in a lifetime" artist... Just a ONCE IN FOREVER ARTIST. I'm still in shock as I write this and I feel this overwhelming grief. But, we should all turn away from that and HONOR this musician that changed all of our lives, our perspectives, our feeling, our whole being. From another planet? Probably. Royalty, for sure. Us worthy..? Laughable. They say don't meet your idols... That they let you down. But, some of my greatest, funniest (yes, he was hilarious), and most prolific encounters and conversations about music came from the moments that I spent with him. It would be silly to say that he has inspired our music... It's beyond that. He's somewhere within every song I've ever written. I am sad, but I will smile when I think of every second that I had the fortune of being in his company. We have lost our greatest living musician. But his music will never die. Prince, NOTHING COMPARES... #RIPPrince
R. I. P to the King Prince thank u for inspiring me to be a Musician First and using this tool to heal people— Wyclef Jean (@wyclef) April 21, 2016
The Prince is dead. Long live the Prince.— Kathy Bates (@MsKathyBates) April 21, 2016
Prince was brilliant and larger than life. What a sad day.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 21, 2016
Unbelievable just heard about PRINCE. Strength and light to his family/loved ones. One of my favs and a true pioneering artist. RIP brotha.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 21, 2016
This fucking sucks... Prince on repeat all day. Just like I did with Michael and Whitney 😔— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) April 21, 2016
So sad about @prince ..... You will be so missed.— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) April 21, 2016
I'm not even gonna say rest in peace because it's bigger than death. I never met the man (I was too nervous the one time I saw him) and I never saw him play live, regrettably. I only know the legends I've heard from folks and what I've heard and seen from his deep catalogue of propellant, fearless, virtuosic work. My assessment is that he learned early on how little value to assign to someone else's opinion of you.. An infectious sentiment that seemed soaked into his clothes, his hair, his walk, his guitar and his primal scream.
He wrote my favourite song of all time, 'when you were mine'. It's a simple song with a simple melody that makes you wish you thought of it first, even though you never would have - a flirtatious brand of genius that feels approachable. He was a straight black man who played his first televised set in bikini bottoms and knee high heeled boots, epic. He made me feel more comfortable with how I identify sexually simply by his display of freedom from and irreverence for obviously archaic ideas like gender conformity etc.
He moved me to be more daring and intuitive with my own work by his demonstration - his denial of the prevailing model…his fight for his intellectual property - 'slave' written across the forehead, name changed to a symbol… an all out rebellion against exploitation. A vanguard and genius by every metric I know of who affected many in a way that will outrun oblivion for a long while. I'm proud to be a prince fan (stan) for life.