Prince, iconic and innovative music legend, dead at 57

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CHANHASSEN, Minn. — Prince is dead.

The legendary musician whose innovative and flamboyant style has influenced pop culture for decades was found dead at his Paisley Park estate Thursday, his publicist told the Associated Press. He was 57.

News of his passing comes less than a week after Prince was rushed to a hospital after the plane he was traveling in made an emergency landing in Illinois. Prince said he wasn't feeling well, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and had canceled at least one concert in Atlanta.

Some days later, he took the stage in Atlanta to perform. After that concert, the singer's plane made an emergency landing, the singer's spokesperson Yvette Noel-Schure told CNN. At the time she said, "He is fine and at home."

An official cause of death was not immediately known.

Sheriff's officials said deputies found the superstar unresponsive in an elevator after they were summoned to his suburban Minneapolis compound.

Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson says first responders tried CPR but couldn't revive him. Olson says Prince was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. Thursday, about half an hour after deputies arrived.

Olson says the death is under investigation.

Hundreds of fans have gathered outside Prince's Paisley Park studio to mourn his death.

A publicist for the singer Prince released the following statement on the entertainer's death Thursday:

"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 at the age of 57. There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time."

The statement was released by Prince's publicist Yvette Noel-Schure.

Born Prince Rodgers Nelson, he was widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive musicians of his era, drawing upon influences ranging from James Brown to the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix. His hits included "Little Red Corvette," "Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry."

The Minneapolis native broke through in the late 1970s with the hits "Wanna Be Your Lover" and soared over the following decade with such albums as "1999" and "Purple Rain."

The title song from "1999" includes one of the most widely quoted refrains of popular culture: "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999."

He has 20 studio albums in his discography, has completed 28 tours before fans around the world, has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and has won seven Grammys, an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

His latest album, HITnRUN Phase One and HITnRUN Phase Two, was released last year.

Prince's career has spanned media. In 1984, he made his film debut in "Purple Rain," which raked in $80 million and became a cult classic.

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I Miss My Brother. Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor.

A post shared by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

Known for his eclectic behavior in addition to his innovative music style, Prince became notorious for changing his name in 1993 to the unpronounceable symbol Prince logo.svg and becoming known as "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince."

Earlier this year Prince announced he was writing a memoir, tentatively titled “The Beautiful Ones.”

Here in New York, the news hit hard.

"There was an uproar in my office," said Janelle Rubin, who works on the Far West Side. "Everyone's really upset."

Likewise, a South American tourist, on her first day of a trip to New York, told PIX11 News, "He was a king of rock... even in Argentina."

"We're from Minneapolis," said three young men visiting the city from Prince's hometown, where he also died. When asked what his reaction was when he'd heard of the death of his hometown hero, one of them replied, "I said something," but added that it wasn't fit for publication.

"I felt helpless. It's terrible, his friend said.

President Obama released a statement regarding the singer's death:

Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince. Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer.

“A strong spirit transcends rules,” Prince once said -- and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him.‎

The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.

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