April 21, 2016

USA BREAKING NEWS: Legendary Musician Prince, 57, Found Dead In An Elevator At Paisley Park. No This Is Not A Joke! :'(

(June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)
crying buckets smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

Minneapolis Star Tribune, USA
written by By Pam Louwagie and Neal Justin
Thursday April 21, 2016

Legendary Minnesota pop musician Prince, hailed worldwide as a versatile musical genius, was found dead Thursday morning at his Paisley Park recording studio complex in Chanhassen. He was 57.

The Carver County sheriff’s office reported that responders found the musician, unresponsive, in an elevator and were unable to revive him with CPR. He was pronounced deceased at 10:07 a.m.

Immediately upon hearing the news, mourners began lining up with flowers and stuffed animals outside the studio on Audubon Road, some sobbing and embracing. Shocked condolences flooded social media. Lawmakers paused for a moment of silence at a state legislative hearing. A wave of purple washed over the Twin Cities, on sports teams’ social media pages and buildings.

Huddled in the rain, fans touched a star bearing his name painted on the First Avenue music club in downtown Minneapolis, the “Purple Rain” site where he played often early in his career.

“Our hearts are broken,” First Avenue said on Facebook. “Prince was the Patron Saint of First Avenue. He grew up on this stage, and then commanded it, and he united our city. It is difficult to put into words the impact his death will have on the entire music community, and the world. As the tragic news sinks in, our thoughts are with Prince’s family, friends, and fans.”

At the club, where Prince not only filmed the “Purple Rain” movie, but recorded the song of the same name and several more in concert, the singer’s influence on other musicians was still apparent on a daily basis. He was so closely tied to the club, many fans believed (erroneously) that he owned it.

“There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t hear a band playing one of his songs during sound check, or someone asks for a tour because of Prince or wants to come take a picture with his star on the wall,” said the club’s general manager Nate Kranz. “We cannot overstate what he means to this club. He put it on the map internationally.”

Prince still hung out at First Ave sporadically, including as recently as the Are You Local? showcase on Feb. 20, when he showed up to see the hot new women’s R&B trio King. “It was always exciting, and always interesting, every time he walked into the room,” Kranz said.

Condolences and 140-character Twitter eulogies poured in from everyone from U.S. senators to celebrities ranging from Questlove to MC Hammer to Justin Timberlake.

Broadway star and recent Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda echoed one of the singer’s famous opening lines: “Dearly beloved We are gathered here today 2 get through this thing called Life …”

Prince’s childhood friend and early bandmate Andrรฉ Cymone said he traded messages with him from Los Angeles last weekend after the reports of his illness on a plane flight.

“He said he was doing OK and we’d try to hook up next time he was in LA,” said Cymone, whose mother took Prince into her home in his midteens when his relationship with his parents got too strained. “I’m just devastated now. I’m in utter disbelief. It’s such a tragedy.”

Publicist Martin Keller, who covered Prince as a journalist since the artist was 17, called him a “great inspiration for African-American kids anywhere, growing up in a broken home, pursuing what you want to do, becoming successful at it, building a wide world following. That’s the all-American story, isn’t it?”

With his songwriting, multifaceted instrumental prowess and sharp sensibility, Prince’s command of the genre was deep, Keller said.

“Minnesota has never produced anyone like him and is not likely to again,” he said. “You just don’t get that in one artist.”

Keller said Prince was a “severe introvert” who grew from barely getting words out early in his career to becoming more articulate and press-friendly as he got older.

“People who have that personality draw on sources and things that the rest of us will never be able to find,” Keller said.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement that Prince’s music “brought untold joy to people all over the world. But in Minneapolis, it is different. It is harder here. Prince was a child of our city and his love of his hometown permeated many of his songs. Our pride in his accomplishments permeates our love of Minneapolis … Prince was unapologetically different and he made it okay for his fans to be different and to celebrate their individuality.”

Growing up in Minneapolis

The son of a social worker mother and jazz pianist father, Prince grew up playing music at home and in recent concerts, featuring just Prince and a piano, he mentioned his father’s influence on him. His father lead the Prince Roger Trio. His mother, Mattie Shaw, sang, as did his younger sister, Tyka Nelson.

He graduated from Minneapolis’s Central high school in 1976, playing music and going out for the basketball team. He was 13 when he formed his first band with friends, Grand Central.

Considered the driving force behind the “Minneapolis sound,” Prince became known for shunning interviews, creating his own mystique and controlling his image with a team of stylists, publicists and lawyers. Even after becoming a global superstar, Prince stayed close to home, recording at Paisley Park and appearing often at late-night concerts and dance parties there.

Born on June 7, 1958, Prince had a thing for the number 7. On July 7, 2007, (the date 7/7/7) he held three concerts at three separate venues in downtown Minneapolis, telling the crowd at one show, “Minneapolis, I am home.”

He married Mayte Garcia in 1996. They had a son, Boy Gregory, who died at one-week old due to a rare birth defect. He and Garcia later divorced.

Garcia now lives in Southern California and earlier this year auctioned off many items from their wedding in Minneapolis and other pieces from his career.

A woman who answered her phone Thursday afternoon, said, “She has no comment at this point. She’s just really dealing with it.”

Prince married again in 2001, this time to Manuela Testolini. Their marriage lasted until 2006.

He became a Jehovah’s Witness in 2001, and on at least one occasion went proselytizing door-to-door. An Eden Prairie told Star Tribune columnist C.J. in 2003 that she was stunned when Prince and former Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham knocked on her door. Prince introduced himself as Prince Nelson and spent 25 minutes at the woman’s house talking about his faith.

Prince was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll of Fame in 2004. In 2007, he played the halftime show for Super Bowl XLI with a set list that included “Purple Rain,” “Proud Mary,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” Rolling Stone magazine called it the best Super Bowl halftime show in history.

He was also fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his material and even his name. Prince once wrote “slave” on his face in protest of not owning his work and famously battled and then departed his label, Warner Bros., before returning a few years ago.

Prince started the band 3rdEyeGirl in 2012 and in recent years was more forthcoming and available to his fans, concerned with his legacy and teaching others. Prince announced plans in March to write a memoir. He planned to call it “The Beautiful Ones.”

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