After reports of the death of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Prince began circulating earlier today, national news media sources swarmed to find the truth if there was any truth to the rumor. Sadly, the artist's publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, has now confirmed to multiple sources, including CNN, that Prince had been found dead at his estate and studios in Chanhassen, Minn. He was 57 years old.
This news comes only a week after the music icon's plane made an emergency landing following a show in Atlanta. While many fans and news sites have speculated that his death resulted from a prolonged flu, police are currently investigating to confirm the cause.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis in June 1958, the musician is known for his sexual lyrics and stage presence, as well as his blend of funk, rock, soul and R&B music elements. Over the years, he has won seven Grammy Awards for his music, including 1985's Album of the Year for "Purple Rain," which he had released the year prior in conjunction with a film of the same name. That album also won Prince an Academy Award for the best original song score in 1985. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
While his final studio albums, 2015's "HITnRUN Phases One and Two," were not the chart-topping successes of his younger years, they did receive mostly positive reviews across the board.
Prince also has a more direct—and more curious—connection to the city of Jackson. Last August, a viewer asked WAPT to look into a mugshot of Prince that had been making the rounds on the Internet, and anchor Ryan Houston obliged.
The mugshot was, in fact, real, Houston reported, and came from the musician's arrest after a show at the Mississippi Coliseum in March 1980, when Prince had been opening for Rick James. While boarding a plane departing from Jackson, keyboardist Matthew "Dr. Fink" Fink, who played in Prince's band, The Revolution, told the late legend that he had seen a megaphone in the overhead compartment.
Prince allegedly suggested that he put it in his carry-on bag, and a woman aboard the plane alerted authorities, who then detained both Fink and Prince for questioning. Police chose not to file charges.