Los Angeles City Hall and the U.S. Bank Building were both bathed in purple light overnight as a tribute to musical icon Prince, who died at the age of 57.
Prince — born Prince Rogers Nelson — was found dead at the recording studio at his Paisley Park estate in Carver County, Minnesota, Thursday morning. 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 transcript of the 911 call that brought police and paramedics to his compound reflected the shock and confusion of the unidentified person who made the emergency call. He tells the dispatcher he’s at Prince’s house and the musician is dead, but the dispatcher has to ask him repeatedly for an address so she can send out officers and paramedics.
“OK, get me the address,” the dispatcher says.
“OK, OK, I’m working on it,” the caller says.
“Concentrate on that,” the dispatcher continues.
“The people are just distraught,” the caller says.
“I understand they are distraught, but…” the dispatcher retorts.
“I’m working on it. I’m working on it,” the caller responds.
“OK, do we know how the person died?” the dispatcher asks.
“I don’t know. I don’t know,” the caller says.
“Um, so we’re, so we’re in Minneapolis, Minnesota and we are at the home of Prince.”
“You’re sure you are in Minneapolis?’ the dispatcher asks.
“OK, have you found an address yet,” the dispatcher continues.
“7801,” a woman interjects.
“7801, what?” the dispatcher responds.
“Paisley Park, we are at Paisley Park,” the man continues.
“You’re at Paisley Park. OK, that’s in Chanhassen. Are you with the person who’s…” the dispatcher says.
“Yes. it’s Prince,” the man responds.
“OK,” the dispatcher says.
Finally, the paramedics arrive and eventually one tells the dispatcher they are canceling their trip to the hospital because the victim is a “confirmed DOA.”
Prince’s death prompted a flood of stunned tributes.
“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.”
A master showman, 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 and CEO of The Recording Academy.
President Barack Obama issued a statement calling Prince “a creative icon.”
“Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince,” he said. “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent.
“As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader and an electrifying performer.”
Justin Timberlake said he was “numb” and “stunned” at the news, while Ariana Grande called him “an artist who showed true creative freedom and challenged all barriers.”
Kiss frontman Paul Stanley called Prince a “truly one-of-a-kind genius.”
“His influence is everywhere,” Stanley wrote on Twitter.
Lionel Richie said he was “in total shock” at the news. “So many wonderful memories. I will miss him.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti 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.
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 added that Prince “was a true legend and a musical genius.”
—City News Service