Prince, the pop music legend, and cultural icon has died at age 57. Reports of the musician’s death first surfaced this morning when word got out that police were investigating a death at his Paisley Park estate outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Carver County Sheriff’s Office Tweeted “Deputies are on the scene of a death investigation at Paisley Park in Chanhassen. More info to follow.”
Officials said they wouldn’t release any names until next of kin were notified.
But an anonymous family member has already confirmed that the artist has indeed passed away. His publicist Yvette Noel-Schure also confirmed his passing.
Since the release of his first album in 1978, Prince established himself as one of the most recognizable musical performers of the 20th century.
His iconic style included everything from his flamboyant and lavish costumes to his unique combination of rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop, disco, jazz, and pop.
From start to finish, Prince was a trendsetter.
He is also known for pushing the envelope and mixing things up. His artistic output was at times controversial.
His often sexual themes and edgy performances earned him the nickname His Royal Badness.
Many credit him as one of the key reasons for the invention of “Parental Advisory” warnings on the covers of albums. As the story goes, Tipper Gore founded the Parents Music Resource Center after listening to Prince’s sexually-themed song “Darling Nikki.”
And in the early 1990s, Prince found himself in a legal battle with Warner Bros. over who had control of his musical output.
In the middle of the dispute, he appeared in public with the word “slave” written on his cheek. He then started going by the name The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
Over the course of his career, Prince won seven Grammys as well as an Oscar for best original song for the 1985 film “Purple Rain.” In 2004 he was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame.
At this time it remains unclear what the cause of Prince’s death was. But there have been reports that the artist had been sick for some time.
Earlier this month, he told reporters that he wasn’t feeling well. Then last Friday his plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Illinois, after which the artist was hospitalized.
Prince will be missed. His innovative and creative work pushed the boundaries of pop music and culture, influencing the work of everyone from Stevie Nicks to Madonna to Cyndi Lauper, Beyonce, Lenny Kravitz, D’Angelo, and much, much more.