Music icon Prince, who won multiple Grammy awards as well as an Oscar during his storied four-decade career, has died. He was 57.
According to TMZ, which first broke the news, Prince’s body was discovered at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota early Thursday.
Prince cancelled a pair of concerts in Atlanta earlier this month, citing the flu. A week later, his private jet had to make an emergency landing in Moline Ill., when he fell ill.
The Minneapolis native broke through to mainstream success in 1979 with the release of his self-titled sophomore album, which yielded hits like “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” Over the next two decades, he continued to top the charts with tunes both funky and sexual, including “1999,” “When Doves Cry,” “Kiss” and “U Got the Look,” while also writing and producing for artists including Madonna, the Bangles, Apollonia and Sheena Easton.
Prince expanded his résumé by starring in the 1984 big-screen drama Purple Rain — the soundtrack to which has sold 22 million copies worldwide — as well as Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge. Among his TV highlights: Dozens of music videos that helped revolutionize the MTV era; a headlining gig at the 2007 Super Bowl halftime show; and a hilarious guest spot (as himself) in a 2014 episode of Fox’s New Girl. He also was a three-time SNL musical guest.
New Girl creator Liz Meriwether and star Jake Johnson tweeted their tributes to the musician shortly after news broke of his passing.
A seven-time Grammy winner who also picked up an Academy Award (for Purple Rain‘s Best Original Song Score) and a Golden Globe (for Happy Feet‘s “The Song of the Heart”), Prince’s career was not without controversy. The graphic sexual nature of his track “Darling Nikki” was among the reasons Tipper Gore launched the Parents Music Resource Center (and its Parental Advisory stickers on albums). In 1993, he changed his name to an unpronouncable ankh-like symbol, and his prolonged, contentious battle with the Warner Bros. record label led him to publicly appear with the word “slave” written on his face.
Check out videos of Prince’s Super Bowl performance and New Girl appearance below, then share your own memories of the music legend in the comments.