[Update at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, April 21: TMZ now reports that the medical emergency Prince was treated for on Saturday was an opiate overdose. "Multiple sources" in Moline, Illinois say the singer was given a "save shot" at an area hospital, then released three hours later and flown home on his private plane.]
Prince was found dead this morning by staff at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota, TMZ is reporting. The Associated Press has confirmed his passing, citing the artist's publicist as a source. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist was 57.
Best known for his early-'80s hit albums Purple Rain and 1999, Prince Rogers Nelson made music rooted in the funk and soul of forebears like George Clinton and James Brown. To that foundation he added his own pop instincts, instrumental virtuosity and an unbridled sense of raw sexuality, especially on early albums Controversy and Dirty Mind.
Later in his career, Prince produced fewer hits but became legendary for marathon performances that could last four hours or more; his 21-show run at the Forum in Inglewood remains one of the most talked-about set of shows in that venue's history.
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The singer had been rushed to a hospital in Illinois on April 15 for an unspecified medical emergency but performed a concert at Paisley Park the following day. TMZ reported that sources close to Prince said he was battling the flu.
At that final performance, on Saturday, April 16, he reportedly told fans, "Wait a few days before you waste any prayers."
There is no word yet on cause of death.
We will have more updates to this story as it develops.