Legendary Performer Prince Dead at 57

(Image: © Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

According to several eports, legendary performer—and guitarist extraordinaire—Prince has died at age 57.

Authorities responded earlier today to reports of a fatality at his Paisley Park complex outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to TMZ (which cites multiple sources), the performer has been pronounced dead.

“We are not releasing any information regarding the identity of the person who died until next of kin is notified,” spokesman Jason Kamerud said.

According to Fox 31 in Denver, Prince was released from the hospital and returned to his home after making an emergency landing in Illinois. He has been fighting the flu for several weeks, even canceling two shows in Atlanta last week, his representative told TMZ. Those shows were pushed to Thursday, and, although still not feeling well, he performed anyway for a packed Fox Theatre crowd.

After boarding his private plane to head home, the singer’s condition worsened, and the pilot made an unscheduled stop around 1 a.m. at Quad City International Airport in Moline. After receiving treatment, Prince was back on the plane after three hours.

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis June 7, 1958. By the time he was a teen, he was playing guitar with a local funk group called 94 East. He released his first solo album, For You, in 1979. He reached worldwide success behind such hits as “Raspberry Beret,” “1999,” “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry” and “Purple Rain.” For a period of time beginning in 1993, he began referring to himself as an unpronounceable symbol, in part due to conflicts with his record label.

Prince, who also was a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor, served as a major figure in popular music for over ther past three decades. He was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz and pop.

He won several Grammy Awards, was honored with an Academy Award and Golden Globe and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Fame in 2004. He sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.