Legendary artist Prince found dead at 57

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Prince Dies at Age 57

Prince, a prolific multi-instrumentalist and virtuosic performer, was found dead at his home and recording studio in Minnesota early on Thursday, his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure toldThe Hollywood Reporter.

"When deputies and medical personnel arrived, they found an unresponsive adult male in the elevator," said Carver County sheriff Jim Olson in a statement. "First responders attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim."

Deputies arrived at the residence at 9:43 am after being called and Prince was pronounced dead at 10:07 am, the sheriff's office said.

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

He released his debut album, For You, in 1978, followed by Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980) andControversy (1981). All of them traded in his trademark sound — deep synth funk grooves with provocatively sexual lyrics and heart-piercing ballads sung in pure falsetto.

See photos from throughout Prince's career:

44 PHOTOS
Prince through the years
See Gallery
Legendary artist Prince found dead at 57
Singer Prince performs in a surprise appearance on the "American Idol" television show finale at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California in this May 24, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello/Files
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: American singer, songwriter, musician and actor Prince performing in NYC at the Bottom Line on February 15, 1980. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
Rock star Prince is shown during his performance onstage during the telecast of the Grammy Awards, Feb. 27, 1985 in Los Angeles. He won or shared three awards, including Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals, with his band Revolution, for "Purple Rain"; Best Album of Original Score for TV or Movies, "Purple Rain"; and Prince took Writing Rhythm and Blues honors for "I Feel For You," recorded by Chaka Khan. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)
Rock singer Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., during his opening show, Feb. 18, 1985. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)
Singing star Prince is all smiles as he addresses the audience at the American Music Awards, Jan. 27, 1986 in Los Angeles. He was up for several awards but did not place, but did present the award in the Pop-Rock Category for favorite single to Huey Lewis for his "Power of Love," hit. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Popstar Prince pictured performing to Dutch fans in the Galgenwaard Football Stadium in Utrecht Friday night, June 19, 1987 the first concert of three to be held in the Netherlands, part of Prince's European Tour. (AP Photo/Barbara Walton)
American rock artist Prince starting his European tour with a concert at the ice hockey stadium in Stockholm, May 8,1987.(AP Photo/Bjorn Elgstrand)
American pop star Prince sings at the beginning of his second concert July 10,1988 at Paris Bercy stadium, where he began his "Lovesexy" world tour.(AP Photo/Pierre Gleizers)
** FILE ** This undated file photo shows singing star Prince. Rock musician Prince was born on June 7, 1958. Prince will turn 50 on Saturday, June 7, 2008. (AP Photo, File) ** zu unserem Portraet **
Prince performing in Minneapolis on April 30,1990. (Photo: Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect)
American pop star Prince performing at Wembley, London, 22nd August 1990. (Photo by Graham Wiltshire/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
PRINCE IN "ROCK IN RIO" CONCERT, BRAZIL 1992. (Photo via Alamy)
American singer-songwriter Prince performs on stage, London, 1993. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
The Artist formerly known as Prince performing at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View Calif. on October 10th, 1997. Image By: Tim Mosenfelder/ImageDirect
FOR RELEASE WITH STORY BC-ENTERTAINMENT-PRINCE - The Artist formerly known as Prince seen here in a publicity photograph, July 29. The Artist formerly known as Prince has a new album "Newpower Soul" which was recorded, pressed and distributed by his NPG records label without the assistance of a major industry label. MS/CM/SB
05/16/00 New York City The Artist Formely Known as Prince reclaims his name 'Prince' and announces public tours at his Paisley Park Studio, during a press conference in New York City. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
American singer Prince performs in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2003. Prince's concert was the the opening act in a four-week government-sponsored music festival titled "Hong Kong Harbor Fest," aimed at boosting the image of SARS-battered Hong Kong. The singer was recently nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (AP photo/Anat Givon)
UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Singer Prince. (Photo by Diane Freed)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Musical Artist Prince performs at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
Singer Prince, who was presented the Vanguard Award, performs during the 36th NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, March 19, 2005. The award show will be telecast on the Fox televison network in the United States on March 25. REUTERS/Lee Celano ljc/MK
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 27: Musician Prince arrives at the 77th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on February 27, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 19: Musician Prince performs onstage at the 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2005 file photo, singer Prince arrives with his wife Manuela Testolini for the 77th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential 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, April 21, 2016, in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
Jun 30, 2006; New York, NY, USA; PRINCE performing at the Celebrate Brooklyn concert in Prospect Park. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Aviv Small/ZUMA Press. (©) Copyright 2006 by Aviv Small
Milan, ITALY: US singer Prince is pictured during Italian fashion house Gianni Versace show during the Spring/Summer 2007 women's collections, 29 September 2006 in Milan. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Musician Prince performs during the 'Pepsi Halftime Show' at Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
MIAMI - FEBRUARY 01: Musician Prince performs during the Super Bowl XLI Half-Time Press Conference at the Miami Convention Center on February 1, 2007 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
**FILE** Singer Prince and actress Penelope Cruz,right, sit in the audience, in a Feb. 8, 2007, file photo, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Prince has angered the music industry and stirred up trouble among British retailers by giving away his new album with a tabloid newspaper this weekend. "Planet Earth" will be packaged with the Mail on Sunday at a price of $2.80. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
July 7th, 2007 - Minneapolis, MN, USA - The first ten fans in line for an exclusive Prince performance at Macy's downtown received photographs of the iconic Minneapolis funk rocker. Prince performed with his band on the 8th floor at Macy's downtown during an exclusive concert launching his new per
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Recording artist Prince leaving the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Mortons on February 25, 2007 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JUNE 01: Singer Prince performs onstage during the 2007 NCLR ALMA Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on June 1, 2007 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NCLR)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Prince on stage at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center on February 10, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 3737 -- Air Date 03/27/2009 -- Pictured: Musical guest Prince performs during the Mercedes Benz outdoor concert series on March 27, 2009 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
US singer Prince performs on October 11, 2009 at the Grand Palais in Paris. Prince has decided to give two extra concerts at the Grand Palais titled 'All Day/All Night' after he discovered the exhibition hall during Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel fashion show. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S singer Prince attends John Galliano's Spring-Summer 2010 fashion collection, presented in Paris, Wednesday Oct. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Prince attends the Apollo Theater's 75th Anniversary Gala at The Apollo Theater on June 8, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic)
Prince Tour 2011
US singer and musician Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson) performs on stage at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris, on June 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
In this Saturday evening, Aug. 6 2011 photo American singer and songwriter Prince performs on the Isle of Amager in Copenhagen, Denmark. The concert was the first of two and it was interupted by heavy rain. (AP Photo/Polfoto/Jakob Joergensen) DENMARK OUT
Singer Prince and his date are shown seated before the start of the Versace for H&M fashion show in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Sept. 24, 2012 - Chicago, Illinois, U.S. - Prince performed at the United Center on Monday night. Prince is scheduled to play three consecutive night as part of Welcome 2 Chicago. September 24, 2012, Chicago, Illinois, United Center, Prince in Concert, Welcome 2 Chicago (Credit Image: © Carlos Gonzalez/Minneapolis Star Tribune/ZUMAPRESS.com)
This photo taken on Tuesday Feb. 5, 2014 and released by 3RDEYEGIRL NPG Records on Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014, shows Prince performing in London. The enigmatic star flew into London on Tuesday at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album "Plectrum Electrum," recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL. Details are being released in a trickle, but Prince said he planned to play "iconic" venues along the lines of music club the Bag o' Nails -- where Jimi Hendrix once played -- storied rock venue Electric Ballroom and Ronnie Scott's jazz club. "We'll work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues," Prince said. (AP Photo/3RDEYEGIRL NPG Records)
U.S. pop singer Prince, left, watches the fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament between Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Dusan Lajovic at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Monday, June 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

His mainstream breakthrough came with back-to-back albums with his backing band the Revolution: In 1982, 1999 launched several pop and dance floor hits onto the charts, including "Little Red Corvette" and the title song, a post-apocalyptic party anthem.

"I'm blown away and may he rest in peace. Music has lost one of its greatest icons," Charlie Murphy, a close friend of the artist, told THR.

Two years later he released the album — a soundtrack, actually, to his movie-starring debut — that would launch him into the same superstar stratosphere of other 1980s pop titans like Michael Jackson and Madonna.

The soundtrack was 1984's Purple Rain, a searing musical backdrop to a semi-autobiographical tale of "the Kid," a Minneapolis rocker from an abusive family. The album launched five singles, two of which — "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" — went to No. 1 on the Billboard chart. The title ballad reached No. 2 and has gone on to become one of the most recognizable rock anthems in history. The soundtrack itself is frequently cited on music critics' polls as being one of the best of all time, and Prince won an Oscar for original score in 1985.

Subsequent releases grew more experimental in nature, including the psychedelic Around the World in a Day (1985) and Sign "O" the Times (1987), a double album recorded partly before a live audience in Paris that dispensed with the Revolution and which is widely considered to have been produced at Prince's creative peak. (Among the compositions on it are "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker," "If I Was Your Girlfriend," and "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.")

In between he starred in another film, 1986's Under the Cherry Moon, in which he played a gigolo wooing Kristin Scott Thomas in the south of France. The movie bombed, but produced a successful soundtrack album: Parade, which featured the hits "Kiss" and "Mountains."

See photos from Prince and Beyoncé's 2004 Grammys performance:

16 PHOTOS
Prince and Beyoncé at the 2004 Grammys
See Gallery
Legendary artist Prince found dead at 57
PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2004 - Singers Beyonce (L) and Prince (R) perform during the 46th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 8, 2004. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn REUTERS PJ/GMH Also see image GF1DUVGAJOAA
Singers Prince (L) and Beyonce perform during the 46th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 8, 2004. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn PJ
Prince and Beyonce perform a medley of his hits during The 46th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Prince and Beyonce perform a medly of his hits during The 46th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Prince and Beyonce perform a medley of his hits (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Musical Artist Prince (L) and Singer Byonce Knowles perform at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer/actress Beyonce Knowles and Musician Prince perform at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Prince (R) and Beyonce (L) perform the opening act of the 46th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles 08 February 2004. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer/actress Beyonce Knowles and musician Prince perform at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer/actress Beyonce Knowles and Musician Prince perform at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer/actress Beyonce Knowles and Musician Prince perform at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Prince (L) and Beyonce (R) perform the opening act of the 46th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles 08 February 2004. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer Beyonce Knowles performs Purple Rain with musician Prince at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer/actress Beyonce Knowles and Musician Prince perform at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer/actress Beyonce Knowles and Musician Prince perform at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Throughout the 1990s, Prince was backed by a large band known as The New Power Generation, and his sound moved away from synth and heavy rock guitars and into one of brassier R&B. In 1993, he famously changed his name to that of an unpronounceable glyph that melded the symbols for male and female.

The move was one of protest against his label, Warner Bros., leading him to shave the word "Slave" into his face at one point. Between 1994 and 1996 he churned out the five remaining records due on his contract and signed with Arista Records in 1998.

By the 2000s, the glyph was retired and he was once again referring to himself as Prince. In 2001, Prince became a Jehovah's Witness and moved to Los Angeles to "better understand the music industry." In a 2008 interview with The New Yorker, he compared his religious conversion to "a realization ... like Neo in The Matrix."

In that same interview he grew uncharacteristically political, saying, "So here's how it is: You've got the Republicans, and basically they want to live according to this." (He gestured at a Bible.) "But there's the problem of interpretation, and you've got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn't."

"And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you've got blue, you've got the Democrats, and they're, like, 'You can do whatever you want.' Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right," Prince said. The comments drew criticism from gay rights groups and fans, many of whom felt the musician had turned his back on them since the days of Controversy, when he toyed with ideas of gender and sexuality and sang on the title song, "Am I black or white, am I straight or gay?"

In the 15 years since, he's released an astonishing 15 records and toured tirelessly. His latest tour, dubbed "Piano & a Microphone," saw him crisscrossing the globe from Melbourne, Australia, to Oakland, Calif., cycling through an intimate, improvised evening of hits performed solo at a grand piano.

On the night he learned of his collaborator Vanity's recent death, Prince told the crowd, "I just found out a little while ago that someone dear to us has passed away. So I'm going to dedicate this song to her."

The song was: "Little Red Corvette."

Read Full Story

From Our Partners