Prince is confirmed dead, aged 57

Prince in Brussels, Belgium in 1986
Prince in Brussels, Belgium in 1986

Prince in Brussels, Belgium in 1986. Pic: Wikimedia Commons / Yves Lorson

The music world is reeling at the news that the legendary songwriter has been found dead at his Minnesota home

Acclaimed and influential songwriter, recording artist and performer Prince has died at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57, according to the Associated Press. Police were called to a medical emergency at his Paisley Park estate earlier on Thursday, US media reported. The cause of death is not yet known and an investigation is under way.

Reports stated that Prince was taken to a hospital in Illinois after his private jet made an emergency landing on Friday. However, representatives explained that he’d been suffering from flu and the musician returned home the next day.

Born in Minneapolis in 1958, Prince Rogers Nelson wrote his first song at age seven and released his debut album, For You, in 1978. His 1979 album, Prince, went platinum due to the success of the singles Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? and I Wanna Be Your Lover. His next two records, Dirty Mind (1980) and Controversy (1981) sold fairly well in Prince’s native USA, showcasing his trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporating elements of funk, dance and rock music.

However, Prince’s global fame would reach new heights with a string of dazzling long-players, starting with 1999 (1982) and Purple Rain (1984), the latter of which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name. After releasing the albums Around The World In A Day (1985) and Parade (1986), he released the critically acclaimed double album Sign o’ the Times (1987). He released three more solo albums before debuting the band The New Power Generation in 1991, which saw Prince changing his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol.

In 1994, he began releasing new albums at a faster pace to eject himself from contractual obligations to Warner Bros, releasing five records in a span of two years before signing to Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as Prince once again.

In total, Prince released 39 studio albums – two on the same day in 2014. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004, where it was said that Prince “rewrote the rulebook”.

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