Legendary Minnesota pop musician Prince, hailed worldwide as a versatile musical genius, was found dead Thursday morning at his Paisley Park recording studio complex in Chanhassen. He was 57.
The Carver County sheriff’s office reported that responders found the artist, unresponsive, in an elevator and were unable to revive him with CPR. He was pronounced deceased at 10:07 a.m.
The news stunned fans from Chanhassen to the White House, spreading around the globe within minutes as mourners, many awash in purple, paid respects and shared their sentiments.
President Obama’s facebook page called Prince “one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time ... a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer.”
Gov. Mark Dayton said Prince’s “tremendous talent was matched only by his generosity and commitment to improving his community ... (his) contributions to the betterment of our state will be remembered for years to come.”
Upon hearing the news, mourners began lining up with flowers and stuffed animals outside the studio on Audubon Road, some sobbing and embracing. Shocked condolences flooded social media. Lawmakers paused for a moment of silence at a state legislative hearing. Sports teams and corporations turned their social media pages purple. Target announced plans to bathe its Minneapolis headquarter building in purple light. Maplewood-based 3M turned its logo purple and added a tear.
Prince got me through the tough times and the good. Being a young black nerd in the 80's and 90's was not a whole hell of a lot of fun, guys. Prince however, he was a genius. He could play basically any instrument and played it like a legend, he created the technology he needed to play his sound, and he did it all his way, and to hell with everyone else. He made it okay to be black and different and believe me, I needed that message more than any of you could possibly imagine growing up.
We all just lived in the world he inhabited and now it's more than a bit darker.
Four months in and we've lost Prince, Rickman, Bowie, Shandling, Phife Dawg and Maurice White. 2016 is summarily fired.