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Music legend Prince cremated in private ceremony

The body of US artist Prince has been cremated at a small, private memorial service in Minneapolis. A musical celebration of the artist's life is to be held at a later date.

A private tribute was attended by Prince's family and friends in Paisley Park on Saturday, the musician's home for decades. The musician was found unresponsive in an elevator in his home on Thursday and pronounced dead an hour later.

Trauer um Prince

A fan looks at the tributes brought to the gate of Prince's home in Minnesota.

"Prince's remains have been cremated and their final storage will remain private," Prince's publicist, Anna Meacham, said on Saturday. "We ask for your blessings and prayers of comfort for his family and close friends at this time."

Meacham said a musical celebration of Prince's life would be held at a later date.

The artist's family members did not comment on the final destination of the ashes nor did they provide details on the funeral or memorial service arrangements.

The cause of Prince's death remains unknown and results of an autopsy will take at least four weeks, Meacham said.

Prince had reportedly been ill since April 7 and had delayed two concerts in Atlanta for a week as a result. His private plane landed for a medical emergency during his flight home from Atlanta on April 15, but he was seen the next day at a dance party where he appeared healthy.

Prince, who was born in Minneapolis, had opened his Paisley Park recording complex in Chanhassen, a town of nearly 23,000 people about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Minneapolis in 1987.

Many fans continued to gather outside the complex on Saturday leaving tributes to the artist whose 35-year career brought him seven Grammys and an Academy Award. Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Prince's former bass player Larry Graham told them: "Prince made us all better musicians ... he pushed us and he made us better and we listened deeply."

jm/sms (AFP, dpa)

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