Superstar musician Prince dies at 57

Deep shock as diminutive yet colossal soul and pop star Prince dies suddenly at his Paisley Park home and recording complex in Minneapolis.

Fans of superstar musician Prince have been left in shock at his sudden death aged 57 at his home, and famous recording studio complex Paisley Park, in Minneapolis. His death was confirmed by his publicist.

One of the greatest solo performers on the planet, Prince sold over 100 million records in a career that began in the late 1970s and was loved for his often outrageous, sexually charged lyrics, androgynous appearance and cross genre music. A gifted multi-instrumentalist with a vivid imagination for lyrical story telling he was comfortable and accomplished crafting pop hits, playing jazz licks and creating a unique style of his own gritty, dirty funk. It was born from the joy and groove of Sly and The Family Stone, dressed with a voluptuous and eccentric fashion sense drawn from Jimi Hendrix.

Prince was the consumate perfectionist who demanded the highest standards from his band members. He maintained an often contradictory and bizarre mystique shrowded in self protection. His first big hit came with the 1982 release of the album and song ‘1999’ before following up with 1984’s global hit ’Purple Rain’ which accompanied a film of the same name. The late 1980s saw him produce some of the most memorable live tours ever seen with his albums ‘Lovesexy’ and ‘Sign Of The Times’. Some of his songs became hits for others including Chaka Khan (I Feel For You), Tom Jones (Kiss), The Bangles (Manic Monday), Sinead O'Connor (Nothing Compares 2 U), D'Angelo (She's Always In My Hair) and Sheena Easton (Sugar Walls). In the 1990s he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and became known as ‘The Artist’ in protest at the what he saw as an unfair recording contract with his long-time record company Warner Brothers but later returned to the name Prince and indeed to Warner Brothers for a distribution deal.

Prince recently announced he was to write his memoirs and reputedly recorded four new albums in the last 18 months with a gruelling work ethic. Recent projects have involved a group called 3rdEyeGirl in which he starred. He has continued to play his classic hits and those he wrote for others, latterly laced with sophisticated layers of jazz brass.

Last week he was rushed to hospital after his health forced his private jet to make an emergency landing but appeared to have recovered, even hosting an all night dance party at Paisley Park. He was even spotted out and about on his bike near his home. His death, which remains unexplained as yet, has left a real and palpable sense of deep shock across the world in a year that appears to be relentlessly taking iconic artists.

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