Prince death spurs tributes in purple

media captionPrince released his first album in 1978 and went on to sell more than 100 million records - here are some of Prince's greatest hits

Fans have been remembering the life of Prince with purple-coloured tributes and dance parties, after the star died suddenly at the age of 57.

Buildings, newspaper front pages and websites across the US and beyond have changed colour in his honour.

Prince was found dead in a lift at his Minnesota home on Thursday. He became a star in the 1980s, with albums like Purple Rain and Sign O' the Times.

A post-mortem examination will take place on Friday.

Prince had been rushed to hospital in Illinois last Friday, while flying home from a concert in Georgia, but the singer had been treated and released after a few hours.

Prince's innovative music spanned rock, funk and jazz. He sold more than 100 million records during his career.

US President Barack Obama said the world had "lost a creative icon".

In Prince's native Minneapolis, the Minnesota Twins baseball team turned their stadium purple, as did the Lowry Avenue Bridge in the centre of the city.

The Niagara Falls were turned purple to mark the Queen's 90th birthday, but the coincidence was welcomed by Prince fans online.

On Thursday evening, hundreds of people gathered for an all-night party at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis, where Prince recorded his 1984 hit Purple Rain.

Vigils for the singer were also held outside his home as well as in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, where the film director Spike Lee, a friend of Prince's, led another impromptu party.

Prince's home at Paisley Park has become a makeshift shrine, said the BBC's James Cook at the scene.

There was shock and grief but also pride in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, our reporter said.

Many residents pointed out that Prince could have lived anywhere in the world and they felt honoured that he chose to remain until the very end in the place where he was born.

image copyright@NASA
image captionNasa were among the first to pay their respects
image copyrightNew Yorker/Liberation
image captionNewspaper and magazines published their tributes late on Thursday
image copyrightEPA
image captionIn Australia, the Melbourne Arts Centre spire was lit in purple early on Friday
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionHe had been touring as recently as this month

Born in 1958, Prince was a prolific writer and performer from a young age - reportedly writing his first song when he was seven.

He was also an arranger and multi-instrumentalist, and recorded more than 30 albums. His best-known hits include Let's Go Crazy and When Doves Cry.

media captionWillie Pep recalls how often Prince used to practise at his home in Minnesota

In 1984, he won an Oscar for the score to Purple Rain, a film in which he also starred.

Throughout his career he had a reputation for secrecy and eccentricity, once changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol.

media captionWhen Prince spoke to the BBC - and didn't say a word

He had a mercurial relationship with technology. In 2000, he released singles via the pioneering music-sharing service Napster, but he later declared the internet "completely over" and refused to allow his music on major streaming platforms.

Prince's latest album, HITnRUN Phase Two, was released last year and he had been touring as recently as last week.

Tributes have been pouring in from artists young and old, across the musical spectrum.

  • Madonna, who dated Prince briefly, described him as a "visionary who changed the world"
  • Chic guitarist Nile Rogers said there were "tears and love on our tour bus"
  • Mick Jagger said Prince's talent was "limitless", calling him a "revolutionary artist, a great musician, a wonderful lyricist"
  • President Obama said: "Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent"
  • "Musically, he could do it all: sing play and produce," said Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson
  • Guitarist Slash said Prince was "one of the greatest musical talents of my lifetime. Maybe of the 20th century"
  • "And just like that...the world lost a lot of magic," singer Katy Perry tweeted
  • "I can't believe it, I'm in total shock. So many wonderful memories," wrote Lionel Richie
  • "It's such a blow. It's really surreal. It's just kind of unbelievable," Aretha Franklin told MSNBC. "He was definitely an original and a one of a kind. Truly there was only one Prince."

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