The inimitable artist Prince has died. According to a TMZ report, the musician was found in his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota early Thursday morning. He was 57 years old.
The celebrity news Web site claims that the prolific performer, born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, had a medical emergency on April 15 while on a flight. The event caused his private jet to land unexpectedly in Illinois, though he appeared in concert the next day and claimed he was feeling fine.
Prince released his debut album, For You, in 1978. A year later, he dropped the self-titled album Prince, which went platinum. But it wasn’t until the release of 1999 (1982) that the multi-instrumentalist infiltrated mainstream musical consciousness, dominating the charts with profoundly sexualized lyrics and catchy grooves that merged the synth-pop of the ’80s with the soulful funk of the ’70s in a way that blurred cultural and musical lines. Rolling Stone called the album “at once both Prince’s most experimental and his most commercial,” with “Little Red Corvette” and “Delirious” both going Top Ten. 1984 brought the release of Purple Rain, which only catapulted him further into the realm of stardom; He won the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song Score in 1985. He has sold more than 100 million records world wide, which makes him one of the top selling artists of all time.