Pop icon Prince — whose pioneering brand of danceable funk made him one of music's most influential figures — died Thursday at his compound in Minnesota. He was 57.
Prince became an international sensation in the 1980s, when he popularized the Minneapolis sound of danceable funk, incorporating rock elements. His 1984 album "Purple Rain" is often described as one of the greatest of all time.
The artist, who was born as Prince Nelson, lived in the outskirts of Minneapolis, where he was known for throwing parties and preserving master vaults at his Paisley Park studio.
Fellow musicians and other celebrities led an immediate outpouring of tributes and expressions of shock.
President Obama said: "Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince."
"He was definitely an original and a one of a kind," the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin told MSNBC. "Prince is gone, but the music will go on."
"RIP our dearly beloved Prince. Tears and love on our tour bus... I'll never forget my brother. We've had good times," American musician, producer, and guitarist Nile Rodgers tweeted.
"And just like that...the world lost a lot of magic," pop diva Katy Perry said.
"Devastated to hear the news about Prince. An enormous talent that we were all big fans of," the official account of British pop group Duran Duran posted.
"I Miss My Brother. Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor," director Spike Lee tweeted.
Recording Academy president Neil Portnow mourned the seven-time Grammy winner, calling him "one of the most uniquely gifted artists of all time."
"Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape. Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever," he said in a statement.
Samuel L. Jackson was among dozens of Hollywood stars who took to social media within an hour of the news breaking, describing feeling "crushed" by Prince's death.
Actress Whoopi Goldberg and TV scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson both observed that Prince's death "is what it sounds like When Doves Cry," referring to the lead single from the album Purple Rain.
Kiss singer Gene Simmons called the singer a "giant" while Boy George said it was "the worst day ever" and Justin Timberlake declared himself "stunned."
Public Enemy frontman Chuck D lamented that it was like "the Earth is missing a note" while Lenny Kravitz thanked his "musical brother" who had shown him "the possibilities within myself."
Aretha Franklin, music's "Queen of Soul," on Thursday hailed late pop icon Prince as "one of a kind" and said his songs would live on.
"It's such a blow. It's really surreal. It's just kind of unbelievable," Franklin told MSNBC. "He was definitely an original and a one of a kind. Truly there was only one Prince."
Madonna mourned fellow 1980s pop icon Prince as a "true visionary" after his sudden death at age 57 on Thursday.
"He changed the world!! A true visionary. What a loss. I'm devastated," Madonna wrote on Instagram, where she posted a picture of herself with the Purple One.
Madonna had a tumultuous relationship with Prince. They briefly dated in the 1980s before a long feud that they had since resolved.
Prince, a legendary guitar player, performed on her 1989 "Like a Prayer" album, with the track "Love Song" recorded at his Paisley Park studio where he died.
Madonna included a lyric from the track in her Instagram post: "This is not a love song."
With the deaths of Prince and of Michael Jackson in 2009, Madonna — who tours actively — is arguably the biggest of the 1980s superstars to remain alive.