Sad news for film and music lovers everywhere, as the entertainment industry lost another one of its all-time greats earlier today. Film and music icon Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, has passed away at the age of 57. Prince's publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, confirmed the death earlier this morning, after police and medical staff were called to the musician's Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
TMZ reports that Prince's body was discovered at his Paisley Park compound in the a.m. hours. The site obtained audio of the 911 dispatch call, where an unidentified caller said there was a "male down, not breathing." While no exact cause of death has been determined yet, the singer had been suffering from health issues recently. On Friday, April 15, his private jet had to make an emergency landing in Illinois, and his representatives said that the singer had been battling the flu. He appeared at a concert the next day to let his fans know he was OK, but he had cancelled two previous concerts due to health concerns.
Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Della (Shaw), a jazz singer, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. At the age of 18, he started recording demos with Chris Moon, which eventually lead to a recording deal with Warner Bros. Records, making him the youngest artist on the label. His debut album For You was released in 1978, but it wasn't until his 1982 album 1999 that he started to get mainstream attention, with the title track and other hits like Little Red Corvette. In 1984, Prince released what would be his most influential record, Purple Rain.
That same year, Prince also starred in the feature film Purple Rain, earning the actor/musician an Oscar for Best Original Score. He also starred in and directed a sequel to Purple Rain, 1990's Graffiti Bridge, and went on to win a Golden Globe in 2007 for his "The Song Of The Heart" from the animated film Happy Feet. The artist also starred in and directed 1986's Under The Cherry Moon and 1987's Sign O' The Times. He most recently appeared on the Fox sitcom New Girl as himself, and made a surprise appearance at the Golden Globes last year, to present the award for Best Original Song.
Throughout his illustrious career, Prince released 39 studio albums, selling over 100 million records worldwide. He most famously changed his name to a symbol in the 1990s, after a dispute with Warner Bros. Records, but he went back to Prince in the early 2000s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. We'll be sure to keep you posted as more details about the legendary Prince's death surface.