The death of musical icon Prince prompted a flood of stunned tributes from luminaries in the worlds of music and entertainment Thursday, all hailing the 57-year-old icon for penning the soundtrack of a generation.
“And just like that … the world lost a lot of magic,” singer Katy Perry wrote on her Twitter account. “Rest in peace Prince! Thanks for giving us so much.”
Prince—born Prince Rogers Nelson—was found dead at the recording studio at his home in Paisley Park, Minnesota. There was no immediate word on a cause of death, although he had recently been hospitalized with the flu, prompting him to cancel a pair of performances.
A master of showmanship, Prince created a musical style of his own, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time, thanks to hits including “When Doves Cry,” “1999,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Kiss” and “Little Red Corvette.” His talent was on full display in the 1984 film “Purple Rain,” which became a cult sensation and propelled him to superstardom.
Prince won an Oscar for best original song for “Purple Rain.” He also won seven Grammys.
“Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape,” said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of The Recording Academy. “Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators and all who have been impacted by his incredible work.”
Prince performed one of the Super Bowl’s most memorable half-time shows—in a driving rainstorm in Miami in 2007, bringing the crowd to its feet with his opening number, “Let’s Go Crazy.”
“I loved this man. Too soon. Can’t comprehend it but it’s unfortunately true,” MC Hammer said via Twitter. “Heaven is yours.”
Justin Timberlake said he was “numb” and “stunned” at the news.
Kiss frontman Paul Stanley called Prince a “truly one-of-a-kind genius.”
“His influence is everywhere,” Stanley wrote on Twitter.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti even reacted to Prince’s death while appearing on KNX Newsradio’s “Ask the Mayor” program, saying he remembers watching “Purple Rain” with a girlfriend in eighth grade, and later getting to meet him after a performance at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.
Actor/talk show host Mario Lopez said he saw Prince in concert “more than any other artist.”
“Soundtrack to my generation,” he said. ‘`When Doves Cry’ was on every mixtape I ever made.”
Stunned reactions also came from the world of Hollywood, with entertainers also pouring out their sadness online.
“I’m crushed!” actor Samuel L. Jackson said. “Massive loss for us all! What a genius. Speechless.”
Director/writer/actor Spike Lee added, “I miss my brother. Prince was a funny cat. Great sense of humor.”
Comedian/actor Chris Rock wrote simply, “Say it isn’t so.”
Magic Johnson said Prince “was a true legend and a musical genius.”
Even Apple CEO Tim Cook weighed in, writing on his Twitter account,
“Prince was a true innovator and a singular artist. His music and influence will live on for generations. Rest in peace.”
A candlelight vigil will be held at 6 p.m. in Leimert Park in memory of Prince.