Pop Star Prince Found Dead in Minneapolis Home

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Legendary entertainer Prince dead at 57

TheTeaParty.net Executive Director Niger Innis, Democratic Strategist David Mercer, FBN’s Charles Payne, Dagen McDowell and David Asman on the death of pop music superstar Prince.

Prince, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times with hits including "Little Red Corvette," ''Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57.

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His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, told The Associated Press that the superstar "died at his home this morning at Paisley Park." The local sheriff said deputies found Prince unresponsive in an elevator late Thursday morning after being summoned to his home, but that first-responders couldn't revive him.

No details about what may have caused his death have been released. Prince postponed a concert in Atlanta on April 7, after falling ill with the flu, and he apologized to fans during a makeup concert last week.

President Barack Obama, for whom Prince was a White House guest last year, said he and his wife "joined millions of fans from around the world" in mourning Prince's sudden death.

"Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent," Obama said in a statement. " 'A strong spirit transcends rules,' Prince once said — and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative."

The dazzlingly talented and charismatic singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist drew upon musicians ranging from James Brown to Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles, creating a gender- and genre-defying blend of rock, funk and soul.

He broke through in the late 1970s with the hits "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover," and soared over the following decade with such albums as "1999" and "Purple Rain." The title song from "1999," his funky and flippant anthem about an oncoming nuclear holocaust, includes one of the most quoted refrains of popular culture: "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999."

The Minneapolis native, born Prince Rogers Nelson, stood just 5 feet, 2 inches — yet he made a powerful visual impact at the dawn of MTV. Prince was a Little Richard for the '80s, from his wispy moustache and tall pompadour to his colorful and suggestive outfits, the counterpart to the openly erotic lyrics that made him one of the most sexually daring artists of the era.

Remembering Prince

But his greatest legacy was as a musician, summoning original and compelling sounds at will, whether playing guitar in a flamboyant style that drew on Jimi Hendrix, switching his vocals from a nasally scream to an erotic falsetto, or turning out album after album of stunningly innovative material. Among his other notable releases: "Sign O' the Times," ''Graffiti Bridge" and "The Black Album."

Rarely lacking in confidence, he effortlessly absorbed the music of others and made it sound like Prince, whether the James Brown guitar riff on "Kiss" or the Beatle-esque, psychedelic pop of "Raspberry Beret."

Mick Jagger was among numerous musicians, actors and other public figures praising the artist, tweeting: "Prince's talent was limitless. He was one of the most unique and talented artists of the last 30 years." Madonna called him a "true visionary," while Oprah Winfrey tweeted: "Prince the doves really are crying now. Listening to your music. Remembering you."

Prince was fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his material and even his name. Anxious to get out of his contract with Warner Bros., he identified himself by a key-like symbol with an unpronounceable name. (Journalists called him "TAFKAP," or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince). Prince also once wrote "slave" on his face in protest of not owning his work and famously fought and then departed Warner, before returning a few years ago.

"What's happening now is the position that I've always wanted to be in," Prince told The Associated Press in 2014. "I was just trying to get here."

Prince's records sold more than 100 million copies. He won seven Grammys and received an Academy Award in 1985 for his music from "Purple Rain," the movie in which he starred as a young musician. In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame, which hailed him as a musical and social trailblazer.