Music megastar Prince, whose iconic and influential 40-year career transcended genre and defined genius, collapsed inside an elevator and died Thursday at his suburban Minnesota home. The cause of death was under investigation and officials wouldn’t comment on a report that he was recently treated for a drug overdose.
The 57-year-old winner of seven Grammys and an Oscar died inside his Chanhassen, Minn., recording studio at 10:07 a.m. First responders tried to revive the unresponsive musician for 20 minutes.
“The person is dead here. ... And the people are just distraught,” a man said in a 911 call from the singer’s estate, according to a transcript released by authorities.
Celebrity gossip site TMZ.com reported that Prince was treated for an overdose six days before his death. His private jet made an emergency landing on Friday in Illinois — less than an hour from his home. The music legend was given a “save shot” at a hospital to “counteract the effects of an opiate,” TMZ.com reported.
PRINCE TAKEN TO HOSPITAL AFTER PLANE MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING
An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
The revelations threatened to cast a dark pall on the music legend’s legacy.
Prince’s brilliant musical output in the 1980s defined the decade: His classic albums included “Purple Rain,” “1999” and “Sign O’ the Times,” along with a string of chart-topping singles like “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Raspberry Beret” and “U Got the Look.”
The “Purple Rain” soundtrack alone sold more than 13 million copies, earning Prince the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
“It hurts on a bunch of different levels,” said Justin Sirota. “We’re robbed of a musical talent. He’s part of our identity as Minnesotans.”
A rainbow later appeared above the $10 million estate, drawing oohs and aahs from the crowd. His sister, Tyka Nelson, briefly addressed the crowd.
“Thank you for loving him,” Nelson said. “He loved you all.”
STARS REACT TO PRINCE'S DEATH
On Broadway, Jennifer Hudson and the cast of “The Color Purple” belted out a heartbreaking rendition of “Purple Rain” after their Thursday performance.
A flood of fans, friends and fellow musicians of all generations marveled at the legacy left behind by a prodigy taken far too soon.
“Prince’s talent was limitless,” tweeted Mick Jagger, who hired the young singer-songwriter as the Rolling Stones’ opening act for a 1980-81 tour.
“He was one of the most unique and talented artists of the last 30 years . . . a revolutionary artist, a great musician, a wonderful lyricist, a startling guitar player.”
Justin Timberlake, like many others, found reports of Prince’s death impossible to accept.
“This can’t be real,” he tweeted.
Funk mastermind George Clinton called Prince a powerhouse who “inspired you to want to keep up with him.”
President Obama remembered Prince as “one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time.”
“Wait a few days before you waste any prayers,” Prince advised the invited guests at the same suburban estate where his body was found.
Prince emerged from the chilly obscurity of his home state of Minnesota as a one-man band playing an untamed mix of funk, dance music and rock guitar — a merger of Little Richard, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix.
He was sexual yet androgynous, incredibly gifted and eager to share his music with the world. Yet he refused to surrender one bit of his musical independence to his corporate masters.
FANS ENCHANTED DURING PRINCE'S FINAL SHOW
The diminutive musical dynamo was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, the son of a pianist in a Minnesota jazz band. He was playing piano by age 7, guitar at 13, and the drums one year later as his parents’ marriage imploded.
His first band, Grand Central, gave way to a solo career and an enticing self-produced demo tape.
The precocious Purple One was signed to Warner Brothers Records while just 18, and released his debut album “For You” in 1978. Prince played all the instruments — as well as writing all the music and lyrics — and produced the record himself.
The sexual themes of his lyrics — incest on “Sister,” or the naked lust of “I Wanna Be Your Lover” — turned the libidinous Prince into a polarizing figure. He embraced the debate, titling his 1981 album “Controversy.” And he opened for the Stones before exploding on the charts himself with back-to-back albums.
LONG LIVE PRINCE: A SALUTE TO THE MINNEAPOLIS GENIUS
The Oscar-winning album’s hits included “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Take Me With U” and sent Prince into the stratosphere of ’80s stardom with Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna.
Prince typically defied convention with The Revolution, a racially mixed group featuring two women in prominent roles. The band broke up in 1987 before Prince released the acclaimed “Sign O’ the Times.”
He later wrote the music for the Tim Burton movie version of “Batman.”
Prince wound up battling Warner Brothers over control of his music, at one point changing his name to a symbol and appearing publicly with “Slave” written on his face in protest.
He was quickly dubbed the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, although he later reached a deal with the label and resumed the use of his given name.
The reclusive Prince returned to the public eye in the new millennium, performing with Beyoncé at the 2004 Grammy Awards — the same year his stunning solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” left Tom Petty grinning in delight at a tribute to George Harrison.
FLASHBACK: PRINCE HAD GIANT AFRO AS HS BASKETBALL PLAYER
The low point of his personal life came after his marriage to background vocalist Mayte Garcia. Their son died of a rare disorder called Pfeiffer Syndrome, shortly after his November 1996 birth.
“This man was my everything,” Garcia, who was the inspiration behind the Prince hit “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” told People magazine.
As Prince approached age 60, he seemed determined to shed his hermitlike image. Last month, he announced the release of his memoir “The Beautiful Ones” in fall 2017. He did a 2014 cameo with Zooey Deschanel on her sitcom “New Girl.”
The Baltimore death of Freddie Gray in police custody last year prompted Prince to pen a protest single, “Baltimore,” and he offered his support for the Black Lives Matter movement at the 2015 Grammys.
PRINCE WAS TREATED FOR DRUG OVERDOSE SIX DAYS BEFORE DEATH
His final performance, which had been rescheduled due to illness, was April 14 in Atlanta, where he closed the Fox Theatre show with “Purple Rain.”
His death sent iTunes sales of the Prince catalog soaring, with four of his albums and three of his singles cracking the top 10.
“It is a heartbreak to lose a member of that army of love,” Prince mentor Stevie Wonder told CNN.
“We heard he had the flu, but he wasn’t supposed to die,” a stunned Rivkin said. “The puzzle doesn’t fit.”
He said Prince didn’t drink, smoke or do drugs and worked out regularly.
“I’m sure he thought he was going to live forever. We all did,” Rivkin said.
Anna Pratt reported from Chanhassan, Minn.