Iconic Minnesota Musician Prince Dead at 57

April 22, 2016 09:04 AM

Iconic Minnesota musician Prince has died at age 57.

The Carver County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen at 9:43 a.m. Thursday for a medical call. They arrived to find Prince unresponsive in the elevator.

The sheriff's office says deputies provided CPR but were unable to revive him. Prince was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.

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An autopsy on the pop superstar is scheduled to start Friday at the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Ramsey.

TMZ is reporting that Prince was treated for a drug overdose days before his death.

A law enforcement source tells KSTP that Prince was brought to a Twin Cities hospital Wednesday and was seen by a doctor. He was then brought back to Paisley Park.

The Carver County Sheriff's Office, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office are investigating the death. Sheriff's officials say it's too early to say whether foul play was involved in Prince's death; Carver County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Jason Kamerud said foul play "is neither suspected nor not suspected."

Kamerud told The Associated Press that it's simply too early in the investigation. He says he's not sure how long it will take to process the death scene because of the size of the compound.          

Kamerud says the medical examiner typically takes a few days to have preliminary findings, and typically weeks for toxicology results. The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday it had no information on the death.

Last week, Prince was briefly hospitalized in Illinois. A representative told TMZ the singer had been fighting the flu for several weeks.

Biography

Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis. 

The singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist 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 during the next 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."

See an interactive on milestones in his life and career here.
 

Music Sales

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

"Purple Rain" surged to the top of the iTunes Top Songs chart. Nine of the top 10 songs on the chart were Prince songs as of 6:55 p.m. Thursday.     

Nine out of the top 10 albums on the iTunes chart were Prince albums.    

The singer's music catalog, including last year's "HITNRUN Phase One & Two," was streaming on Tidal, another high-profile exclusive for the Jay Z-backed service. Other streaming services like Spotify and Rhapsody did not offer Prince's songs.          

A Warner Music spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the latest state of his contract with the record label.


Reaction

Immediately after news of Prince's death, a group of fans gathered in the rain on a hillside opposite Prince's home and studios at Paisley Park, some taking photos with their cellphones.

Thirty-two-year-old Steven Scott of Eden Prairie said he was at Paisley Park last Saturday for Prince's dance party. He called Prince "a beautiful person" whose message was that people should love one another.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reacted to Prince's death by turning to the pop superstar's hit "Let's Go Crazy" to express himself on Twitter. The Wisconsin governor tweeted along with a photo of the artist known as the Purple One: "Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today. To get through this thing called life ..."
    
The words, over a melancholy church organ, marked the opening of one of Prince's most well-known up-tempo hits.
    
Walker's previous tweet said Prince's music had been a big deal during his youth and that the death was a shock.

Reaction is also pouring in from fans and celebrities. Many celebrities took to Twitter to express their sadness Thursday. Basketball star Magic Johnson wrote that he was "so devastated by the passing of my good friend Prince."          

Director Spike Lee remembered Prince as "A Funny Cat" with a "Great Sense of Humor."          

The Rev. Jesse Jackson praised Prince for fighting for the freedom of artists and for himself, recalling the rocker's skirmishes with the recording industry. Jackson says Price "was a transformer."

READ: Fans React to Death of Superstar Singer, Songwriter Prince

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Credits

KSTP Staff

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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