Legendary funk and rock musician Prince was found dead today at his home and recording studio, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minnesota, the AP reports. He had been hospitalized for illness less than a week ago. He was 57 years old at the time of his death. His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, confirmed the news and said that no further information was available as to the cause of death.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958, the artist emerged as one of the most transformative figures in popular music, challenging preconceptions about sexuality, race, and the nature of music as art itself over the course of dozens of albums from the late 70s up through last year's HITnRUN: Phase One and HITnRUN: Phase Two. Prince reinvented what it meant to be both a rock star and a pop star, projecting an inimitable image of mystery and fashionable charm. He penned countless hits, among them "I Wanna Be Your Lover," "Kiss," "Purple Rain," "When Doves Cry," "Little Red Corvette," "Raspberry Beret," "1999," and many more. He successfully rebranded as a symbol. He successfully re-re-branded as Prince. He played the Super Bowl. He shredded on guitar. He could pull off any type of pants.
Earlier this month, Prince was rushed to the hospital after his jet made an emergency landing in Illinois forcing him to cancel several concerts, according to TMZ. At the time he was taken to the hospital and treated, and released three hours later, which his representatives claimed was a flu. This morning, the Carver County Sherriff's department was called to investigate a death at Paisley Park, which has since been confirmed to be Prince by multiple sources.
There is no easy way to capture Prince's legacy, and there will be countless stories to tell and remembrances to be made in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. A proper obituary will follow soon. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans as we try to process the loss of such an indelible icon.
UPDATE: The Carver County Sheriff's Office released a statement saying it responded to a call at around 9:43 AM this morning. Emergency workers arrived to find Prince unresponsive in the elevator. They attempted to perform CPR but were unable to revive him.