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Superstar Prince dies after collapsing in lift

Published 21/04/2016

Prince has died aged 57, his publicist confirmed
Prince has died aged 57, his publicist confirmed
Prince died at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota
Prince pictured performing in 1986

Pop superstar Prince has died at the age of 57 after being found collapsed in a lift at his home in Minnesota.

Medical personnel tried to revive the star, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, said Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson, who added the death is being investigated.

The singer, whose real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, was taken ill on April 15 while flying home from a show in Atlanta, Georgia.

His private jet made an emergency landing in Molina, Illinois and t he Purple Rain singer was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance, where he was treated and released hours later.

At the time a representative for Prince assured fans he was feeling much better and was resting at his Paisley Park home.

But less than a week later paramedics were called to 7801 Audobon Road.

H is British publicist later said: "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."

Fans quickly gathered outside his home and t ributes flooded in for the music maverick, including a touching message from American President Barack Obama, ahead of his arrival in the United Kingdom.

Mr Obama said the world had lost a "creative icon".

He added: "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."

Chic frontman Nile Rodgers also remembered the star, tweeting: "RIP our dearly beloved Prince. Tears and love on our tour bus ... I'll never forget my brother. We've had good times."

Madonna, who collaborated with Prince on Love Song on her album Like A Prayer, posted a picture of the two of them together on Instagram, writing: "He Changed The World!! A True Visionary. What a loss. I'm Devastated."

Chaka Khan posted a picture of herself with Prince on Twitter, adding: "I LOVED him, the world LOVED him. Now he's at peace with his Father. Rest in power, @prince, my brother."

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood wrote: "I will miss a good friend who was so talented. He was such a great performer/guitar player. Sleep well Prince."

Music producer Quincy Jones tweeted: "RIP to @prince ... a true artist in every sense of the word. Gone way too soon."

Film director Spike Lee wrote on Instagram: "I Miss My Brother. Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor."

Sir Elton John shared a picture of Prince on his Instagram page, writing: "This is truly devastating news. The greatest performer I have ever seen. A true genius. Musically way ahead of any of us. Sang with him twice on stage. What an honour. Rest in peace you purple warrior. #Prince #RIP"

Scottish singer Sheena Easton, who cast aside her squeaky clean image to feature on his song U Got The Look, and was a rumoured romantic interest, said: "It is impossible to imagine him not being here. The world of music was forever changed the day he picked up his guitar. His talent was breathtaking, his heart was kind, and all of us have been blessed to have had a glimpse into this sweet and magical soul."

The star was widely regarded as one of the most inventive musicians of his era.

He became an international superstar in 1982 after his breakthrough album 1999 and was most famous for hits including Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Kiss.

His won seven Grammy Awards, sold more than 100 million records and won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain.

The singer, who was just 5ft 2in, was also seen as an eccentric with a tendency towards bizarre career moves, such as changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol in the 1990s.

He became even more famous with the release of the film Purple Rain in 1984, a seemingly autobiographical movie set in the club scene in his home town of Minneapolis.

It was a huge success and the soundtrack album spent 24 weeks at the top of the charts and sold more than 13 million copies.

It was the first time in his career that Prince had recorded with, and credited, his backing band, which he named the Revolution.

He was fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his material and even his name.

Prince once wrote "slave" on his face in protest at not owning his work and famously battled with and then departed from his label, Warner Bros, before returning a few years ago.

The Rev Jesse Jackson praised Prince for fighting for the freedom of artists and for himself, calling him "a transformer".

Prince was married twice, the first time to his backing dancer Mayte Garcia, from whom he split in 2000, and then Manuela Testolini, whom he divorced in 2006.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame in 2004.

He captured the imagination of Londoners when he played 21 nights at the O2 Arena in the summer of 2007, performing to half a million people.

On his last night he declared: "Everything's changed this summer. It doesn't matter who came before or who comes after. From now on, the O2 is Prince's house."

The last time he had played in the UK was in October 2002, when he opened with a 12-minute jazz song, and berated fans who had come expecting Purple Rain. At the O2 all that changed and he opened with his biggest hit.

Prince returned to the UK again in 2014 to play smaller venues with his new three-piece band of female rockers 3rdeyegirl.

He was in the process of writing an untitled autobiography which was due to be published in 2017.

Sales of Prince's music soared after news broke of the pop star's death.

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