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Music superstar Prince dies at 57

BBC News BBC News 22/04/2016
Prince on stage in Paris in 2011: Prince was still performing this year © AFP Prince was still performing this year

The hugely popular, acclaimed and influential musician Prince has died at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57.

Musician Prince performing at the 2007 Super Bowl: Prince was in his element as a live performer, like here at the 2007 Super Bowl © AFP Prince was in his element as a live performer, like here at the 2007 Super Bowl

Police were summoned to his Paisley Park estate early on Thursday and found his body in a lift. An investigation has been opened.

Prince on stage in Las Vegas in 2012: Prince released more than 30 albums in a long career © Getty Images Prince released more than 30 albums in a long career

Prince became a global superstar in the 1980s, with albums such as 1999, Purple Rain and Sign O' the Times.

Prince on stage in 2016: He had been touring as recently as this month © Getty Images He had been touring as recently as this month

No cause of death has been stated. A post-mortem investigation will take place on Friday.

Prince performs at the Apollo Theater in New York. Photo: October 2010: Prince is widely regarded as one of the most inventive and imaginative musicians of his era © Reuters Prince is widely regarded as one of the most inventive and imaginative musicians of his era

His innovative music spanned rock, funk and jazz. He sold more than 100 million records during his career.

A sign at the Apollo Theatre in New York reads: "In honour of the beautiful one, Prince. Nothing compares 2U. 1958-2016": This theatre in New York carried a commemorative message © Reuters This theatre in New York carried a commemorative message

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died," his spokeswoman said.

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In a statement, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said his deputies responded to a medical call at about 09:43 local time (14:43 GMT) and later found an unresponsive adult male in an elevator at Paisley Park Studios.

First responders tried to revive him with CPR but he was pronounced dead at 10:07.

Hundreds of fans gathered outside Paisley Park. US President Barack Obama said the world had lost a "creative icon".

'A visionary' - Madonna

Born in 1958, Prince was a prolific writer and performer from a young age - reportedly writing his first song when he was seven.

A singer, songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, Prince recorded more than 30 albums. His best known hits include Let's Go Crazy and When Doves Cry.

'A joy to watch': By Mark Savage, BBC entertainment reporter

A musical prodigy from a broken home, Prince famously wrote, arranged, produced and played almost all of his hit records.

But the Purple man's purple patch really came with his first band The Revolution.

With them by his side, he wrote more than two dozen rock classics in a five-year flurry.

Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, 1999, Raspberry Beret, When Doves Cry, Kiss... At the same time, he dashed off Manic Monday for The Bangles and Nothing Compares 2U, made famous by Sinead O'Connor.

In the studio, he was unstoppable. But the magic really happened on stage. He would vamp, preen and tease an audience into a frenzy, then slay them with a quiet moment of crystalline beauty. He was a joy to watch.

Prince the magician - Sometimes It Snows In April

He also wrote music for several artists - Sinead O'Connor's version of Nothing Compares 2U became a worldwide smash in 1990.

In 1984, he won an Oscar for the score to Purple Rain, a film in which he also starred.

Throughout his career he had a reputation for secrecy and eccentricity, once changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol.

In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which said he "rewrote the rulebook".

He had a mercurial relationship with technology. In 2000, he released singles via the pioneering music-sharing service Napster, but he later declared the internet "completely over" and refused to allow his music on major streaming platforms.

Prince's latest album, HITnRUN Phase Two, was released last year and he had been touring as recently as last week.

On 15 April he was taken to hospital after his private plane made an emergency landing in Illinois. It happened just hours after he had performed on stage in Georgia. He was treated and released after a few hours.

Tributes have been pouring in from artists young and old, across the musical spectrum.

Madonna, who dated Prince briefly, described him as a "visionary who changed the world"

Chic guitarist Nile Rogers said there were "tears and love on our tour bus"

Singer Justin Timberlake: "Numb. Stunned. This can't be real"

Guitarist Slash said Prince was "one of the greatest musical talents of my lifetime. Maybe of the 20th century"

Boy George: "Today is the worst day ever. Prince RIP I am crying!"

"I can't believe it, I'm in total shock. So many wonderful memories," wrote Lionel Richie

Musician and actor Wyclef Jean: "RIP to the King Prince thank u for inspiring me to be a Musician First and using this tool to heal people"

Mick Jagger said Prince's talent was "limitless", calling him a "revolutionary artist, a great musician, a wonderful lyricist"

"It's such a blow. It's really surreal. It's just kind of unbelievable," Aretha Franklin told MSNBC. "He was definitely an original and a one of a kind. Truly there was only one Prince."

Share your tributes to Prince. Did you meet him? Did you see him live? Email your comments: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk .

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