Tributes pour in for pop royalty

Pop superstar Prince has died at his home in Minneapolis aged 57, his publicist has said.

US media have reported that emergency services were called to his Paisley Park estate earlier today, with questions of what had happened before his staff confirmed the news.

The star sold over 100 million records during his career, which threw him into the limelight in the 1980s. He recorded more than thirty albums and wrote songs for plenty of other musicians, such as Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor and The Bangles’ Manic Monday.

He was widely known for his total eccentricity, changing his name to The Artist Formerly Known As Prince and once to an unpronounceable symbol, which combined the symbols for male and female and paved the way for gender fluidity – even once saying: “I’m not a woman. I’m not a man. I’m something you will never understand.” As well as being at the forefront of bending gender, Prince was vegan and channelled his feelings through the song Animal Kingdom.

The artist would perform at a multitude of venues, just two years ago performing at Electric Ballroom, Roundhouse and Koko in Camden Town as well as Shepherd’s Bush Empire and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club elsewhere in London, often at incredibly short notice. He also performed at arenas around the UK later in the year. In 2007, he even took a residency at The O2 in Greenwich, London, playing a record breaking 21 shows at a 23,000 capacity venue: Michael Jackson was due to do 50 nights of performances at the same venue before his death in 2009.

More recently, Prince revealed he was writing his memoirs, due to be published and released next autumn.

The Purple Rain singer and multi-instrumentalist was briefly hospitalised after an emergency landing of his private jet, after cancelling two shows in Atlanta. The cause of his death is not yet clear. Prince fans are gathering at his estate in Minnesota and theatres around the world to celebrate his life and musical legacy.

Tributes from popstars such as Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and Madonna have flooded the Internet paying tribute to one of the most influential and acclaimed stars of the 20th century.

His death comes four months into a year which has been devastating for celebrity deaths: musicians such as Lemmy at the end of 2015 and David Bowie in early January, comedians Ronnie Corbett and Victoria Wood, actor Alan Rickman and other well-known faces like Agony Aunt Denise Robertson and David Gest have all passed in the last 112 days.

Jessica Allen

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