Paisley Park, MN — The artist known as Prince, then as nothing, then as Prince again who pioneered “the Minneapolis sound” and took on the music industry in his fight for creative freedom, died Thursday at age 57.
“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” said his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure.
The announcement Thursday afternoon came a few hours after authorities in Carver County, Minnesota, responded to Prince’s Paisley Park estate in the town of Chanhassen.
The 57-year-old Grammy-winning artist’s death also came a week after his tour plane made an emergency landing in Illinois, where he was hospitalized with what was described as the flu. That illness followed him cancelling a pair of concerts in Atlanta.
It was 1984’s Purple Rain — his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 — released in conjunction with the film of the same name, that cemented him as one of the greatest artists of his generation, earning him two Grammys, an Oscar and a victory over Michael Jackson’s Thriller for Favorite Pop/Rock Album at the 1985 American Music Awards.
He was fiercely independent, often fighting with his corporate bosses, at one point comparing his relationship with Warner Bros. to slavery and refusing to release a new album. He later set up his own label, NPG, and released a three-disc album he called “Emancipation.”