Prince Rogers Nelson is now dead, according to information confirmed by the singer’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure. The legendary artist was 57.
Local police were initially examining a death at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota this (Thursday) morning. Paisley Park is Prince’s sprawling recording complex and residence, and a place where Prince spent a large amount of time.
That has now been confirmed as a response to the untimely death of Prince, though the official cause of death remains undisclosed. The Carver County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the death shortly after 2 pm Minnesota time, several hours after Prince publicist Yvette Noel-Schure also confirmed the passing to Digital Music News with this statement:
“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57.”
The alarms first rang this morning, when Carver County Chief Deputy Jason Kamerud confirmed that a death had occurred at the Paisley Park location, without disclosing the identity. Police and medical vehicles had been moving in and out of the complex all this (Thursday) morning, after responding to a call at 9:43 am Central Time (CT). The police presence at Paisley Park in Chanhassen was first announced this morning by Minneapolis television station KMSP.
Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson offered more details on what they found. “When deputies and medical personnel arrived, they found an unresponsive adult male in the elevator,” Olson offered in a statement. “First responders attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim.”
Signs of Health Trouble.
Prior to this morning, Prince had reportedly been battling something with flu-like symptoms (or, the flu itself). Based on an undisclosed medical issue, the singer’s private jet was forced to emergency land on April 15th in Illinois, however, the singer jumped back into action the next day by performing a show. That put rumors of something serious to rest, though Prince had previously cancelled two shows.
Prince’s last show was one week ago in Atlanta.
Prince is one of the largest artists to have ever lived, and the news of his death is sending shockwaves across a massive, worldwide fanbase. Already, a makeshift assembly of mourners is gathering outside Paisley Park, and vigils are likely to develop across locations around the world.
Carver County are now busy directly a rush of traffic to the scene, a mix of fans, members of the media, and other onlookers.
Comparisons to Michael Jackson’s Death.
The death closely follows that of another pop superstar, David Bowie, Prince’s passing is more frequently being compared to the early, untimely death of Michael Jackson. Back in the 80s and 90s, music fans often debated which was the bigger superstar; sadly, both passed decades later in their 50s, each with unique and powerful pop legacies.
Prince’s premature passing also raises questions over the cause of death. Though death at 57 isn’t unheard of, it is rare for someone actively performing, creating, and largely appearing healthy. In the case of Jackson, a lethal injection of Propofol was the cause of death, with personal physician Conrad Murray administering the lethal dose ahead of a massive string of performances.
For Prince, who doesn’t have known addictions or issues with medications, the reasons for such an untimely passing are difficult to predict.
Expected Sales Spike.
Like Bowie, Jackson, and countless superstars who passed away previously, sales of Prince CDs, vinyl, and downloads, not to mention streaming revenues, are expected to dramatically spike in the coming days and weeks. That sort of posthumous sales bounce is now de rigueur in the music industry, though ironically, former Prince recording label Warner Music Group stands to benefit dramatically.
Major Label Battles; Sales Legacy.
Throughout his career, Prince was frequently battling his label Warner Music Group, even likening the label to slave owners while changing his name to a symbol (and eventually, ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Prince’). But the fact remains that Prince’s most famous releases are on Warner Bros. Records, including 1999, released in 1982 by the label and Purple Rain, released in 1984.
To date, Prince has sold over 100 million albums, a monstrous number that makes him one of the best-selling artists of all time. A large chunk of those sales came from releases in the 80s, including 1999 (released in 1982); Around the World In a Day (1985), and Sign o’ the Times (1987).
Among seemingly endless accolades, Prince has also been awarded seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016).