Pop superstar Prince found dead

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo, Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) — Pop superstar Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive musicians of his era with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ”Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry,” was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist.

The pop icon was unresponsive in an elevator when he was found by sheriff’s deputies who had been called to his suburban Minneapolis compound, a Minnesota sheriff said Thursday.

RELATED: Tampa Bay area man talks about touring with his mentor, Prince

Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said deputies responded to a medical call about 9:43 a.m. Medical personnel tried CPR, but couldn’t revive the 57-year-old, who was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.

The sheriff’s brief statement said the death was under investigation and provided no other details.

The Minneapolis native broke through in the late 1970s with the hits “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” and soared over the following 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.”

The man born Prince Rogers Nelson stood just 5 feet, 2 inches and seemed to summon the most original and compelling sounds at will, whether playing guitar in a flamboyant style that openly drew upon Jimi Hendrix, switching his vocals from a nasally scream to an erotic falsetto or turning out album after album of stunningly original material. Among his other notable releases: “Sign O’ the Times,” ”Graffiti Bridge” and “The Black Album.”

He was also 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 of not owning his work and famously battled and then departed his label, Warner Bros., before returning a few years ago.

“What’s happening now is the position that I’ve always wanted to be in,” Prince told The Associated Press in 2014. “I was just trying to get here.”

In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame, which hailed him as a musical and social trailblazer.

“He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties,” reads the Hall’s dedication. “Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative.”

A small group of fans quickly gathered in the rain Thursday outside his music studio, Paisley Park, where Prince’s gold records are on the walls and the purple motorcycle he rode in his 1984 breakout movie, “Purple Rain,” is on display. The white building surrounded by a fence is about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis.

Steven Scott, 32, 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.

“He brought people together for the right reasons,” Scott said.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW: 

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s