Cause of death has yet to be announced; tributes pour in from across the music world
Prince Rogers Nelson has been found dead at his home in Minneapolis. He was just 57 years old. The circumstances of his death are not yet known, but the Artist had recently been in hospital with flu.
Born on 7 June 1958 in Minneappolis, Minnesota, Prince was encouraged in his musical endeavours by his pianist father and jazz singer mother, and wrote his first song aged just seven. Drawing inspiration from the likes of George Clinton and Rick James, he released his debut album For You in 1978. Follow-up albums Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980) and Controversy (1981) sold fairly well in his native USA, but Prince's fame would reach new, international heights in the 80s, when a string of dazzling long-players - 1999 (1982), Purple Rain (1984), Around The World In A Day (1985), Parade (1986), Sign O' The Times (1987) and Lovesexy (1989) - firmly established his place in the pantheon of truly great artists.
Prince continued to write, record and tour prolifically throughout the decades since, exploring a wide range of styles from rock to jazz to R&B to psychedelia, and releasing a total of 39 studio albums. He'd hit a particularly 'purple' patch (pun intended) of late, releasing two albums on the same day in 2014, and two within three months of each other in 2015. Ever an indiosyncratic figure, who changed his name to a symbol at one point, he was one of those rare artists who achieve both huge commercial success and serious artistic credibility, and reach out to fans of many different genres.
To put it simply: there probably are music fans out there who'd say Prince wasn't a genius, but we've never met one. As if to confirm this, one look at iDJ's Twitter feed immediately following the news saw DJs and producers from house and trance to D&B, dubstep and grime united in expressing their grief.
This all-too-brief announcement was written with 1999 on the turntable and a tear in our collective eye. So long, you sexy motherfucker. We wish U heaven.
Prince pic: Penner/Creative Commons