Tributes pour in as pop superstar dies at 57
Prince, the pioneering musician, has died at his home at the age of 57, days after his flight was diverted to a hospital after falling ill on tour.
The singer, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, was confirmed dead at Paisley Park, Minnesota, the estate where he lived and worked.
Fans last night laid flowers around the compound as they gathered to console one another, with musicians around the world paying tribute to his legacy.
The singer, one of the bestselling artists of all time with countless hits including 'Purple Rain', 'When Doves Cry' and 'Kiss', had last week made an emergency landing mid-tour for hospital treatment after suffering flu-like symptoms.
The singer had been recuperating at home and on Saturday night threw a party in which he appeared to be back on his feet, telling guests to "wait a few days before you waste any prayers".
Prince's publicist released a statement saying: "It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died."
Sheriff's officials in Minnesota said that deputies found Prince unresponsive in an elevator after they were summoned to his Minneapolis compound.
Jim Olson, the Carver County Sheriff, said first responders tried CPR but could not revive the singer. Mr Olson said the death was under investigation.
President Barack Obama said: "Today, the world lost a creative icon."
Nile Rodgers, the music producer and co-founder of Chic, said: "RIP our dearly beloved Prince. Tears and love on our tour bus... I'll never forget my brother. We've had good times."
Film director Spike Lee said: "I miss my brother. Prince was a funny cat. Great sense of humour."
Prince's music career spanned more than three decades and he won seven Grammy Awards, sold more than 100 million records and won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score for 'Purple Rain'.
The singer, who was just 5ft 2in, was also seen as an eccentric with a tendency towards bizarre career moves, such as changing his name to a symbol in the 1990s.
He was married twice, the first time to his backing dancer Mayte Garcia, from whom he split in 2000, and then to Manuela Testolini, whom he divorced in 2006. Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. (© Daily Telegraph, London)