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Prince Dead at Age 57

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Prince has died at his Paisley Park home and studio in Minnesota, his publicist confirms. He was 57.

Rumors began circulating after a death was reported earlier today (April 21) at Prince’s Minnesota compound, beginning with early reports from TMZ. Police were said to be investigating.

Carver County Chief Deputy Jason Kamerud confirmed a response to a medical call at 9:43AM, according to Fox 9, after Prince was found in an elevator. Time of death was listed at 10:07AM, after CPR failed. The county sheriff’s office is investigating but they reportedly do not suspect foul play.

“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,” publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said in a statement. “There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”

One of music’s most prolific, eccentric and influential performers over the last few decades, Prince first rose to local fame in his hometown of Minneapolis – and he never left. After a pair of late-’70s recordings, Prince hit his stride in the new decade, reeling off a series of classic ’80s albums that blended funk, R&B and rock including 1999, Purple Rain and Sign ‘O the Times. Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to a film set in Minneapolis, became Prince’s first No. 1 album while also earning multiple Grammys and an Oscar. He worked as a mentor and producer to a string of bands, as well – including the Time, who appeared in Purple Rain.

Later, a disagreement with his label led Prince to independent work and a famous decision to change his name to a symbol. Chaos and Disorder, from 1996, was the final project under his original Warner Bros. contract. Prince would go on to issue nearly 40 albums, with the most recent – titled HITnRUN Phase Two – arriving in December. He reclaimed his name in 2000 and also staged a celebrated Super Bowl halftime performance in 2007 before re-signing with Warner, in a surprise move.

There had even been talk of another new album, but then Prince was hospitalized last week after his plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Moline, Ill. At the time, a rep said he had been battling a case of the flu.

UPDATE: TMZ is reporting that the emergency landing was not required because of the flu, but rather a drug overdose. Prince was allegedly rushed to the hospital after taking too much Percocet, perhaps for a lingering hip problem that required surgery in 2010. He was reportedly given a “save shot,” which TMZ says is “typically administered to counteract the effects of an opiate.” Their sources add that doctors wanted Prince to stay overnight in the hospital, but he refused when he was told that he could not have a private room. Prince’s representatives have not commented on the matter.

Prince was also at work on a memoir, to be titled The Beautiful Ones.

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Next: Prince Albums, Ranked Worst to Best

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