World pays respects to pop icon Prince, questions surface over death | News | DW | 22.04.2016
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World pays respects to pop icon Prince, questions surface over death

Tributes have poured in for the 57-year-old, who died in as-yet-unexplained circumstances at his home-work compound in Minnesota. One report said the performer had been treated for a drug overdose the previous week.

News of Prince's death on Thursday prompted a succession of tributes from fellow musicians and fans across the world.

The 57-year-old was found dead at his Paisley Park compound on the outskirts of Minneapolis, where he lived and worked. Official details of the cause of death have yet to be released, with one report that the artist had been treated for a drug overdose days earlier.

US President Barack Obama lamented the loss of a "creative icon," saying he and his wife, Michelle, joined fans around the world in mourning.

"Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent," Obama said.

"Prince's talent was limitless," Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger said. "He was one of the most unique and talented artists of the last 30 years."

Prince's fellow 1980s icon Madonna, who recorded with the artist and was said to have briefly dated him, said she was "devastated."

She wrote on Instagram: "He changed the world!! A true visionary. What a loss."

Other notable musicians, singers and celebrities took to Twitter to mourn.

Filmmaker Spike Lee mustered a crowd of some 1,000 people for an impromptu street party in honor of Prince.

Lee himself also tweeted.

Meanwhile, thousands of fans gathered around a club in Minneapolis used in the film "Purple Rain." Prince was born in Minneapolis and lived there most of his life.

"People are coming from all over the world, so this is a whole weekend of celebration," said guitarist Cleo Patricx, according to AFP news agency.

'Complicated and diligent'

One of the closest tributes came from Albert Magnoli, the filmmaker who worked with Prince on "Purple Rain". "We shared tremendous times together during and after the making of 'Purple Rain.' I know his fans are devastated," Magnoli said. "I know his music meant so very much to so many people. He was a good man, complicated and diligent, and like men of his caliber, he always demanded from himself and others the very best."

Fans took to Twitter and other forms of social media to share their shock at the 57-year-old's sudden death. And, in a nod to the artist's signature color, NASA tweeted a picture of a purple nebula.

The Carver County Sheriff's Office released a transcript of a 911 call from an unidentified man at the property where Prince was found. The caller was asked if he was with the patient. "Yes - it's Prince," the man replied. A female voice was later heard giving details of the address.

The musician was found unresponsive in an elevator. Attempts were made to resuscitate him, but these failed, and the artist was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. (1507 UTC). An investigation has been launched into the cause of death.

TMZ: 'Save shot' administered

The entertainment website TMZ, which broke the news, reported that the musician had been treated for a drug overdose the week before his death.

Prince was said to have been taken to a hospital after his private jet made an unscheduled landing in Moline, Illinois, last Friday. It came after he had performed a concert in Atlanta, and the artist had reportedly been suffering from flu-like symptoms.

"Multiple sources in Moline tell us Prince was rushed to a hospital and doctors gave him a 'save shot' ... typically administered to counteract the effects of an opiate," TMZ reported.

Although his music was less high-profile in recent years than in the 1980s, Prince - whose most famous hits include "1999", "Purple Rain" and "Little Red Corvette" - had been touring and recording right up until his death and released four albums in the past 18 months.

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