Entertainment Lead Story Music West Edition

City Hall goes purple in tribute to Prince

LOS ANGELES — 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 Thursday 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. 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 four-hour autopsy was conducted Friday morning but no official cause of death was announced.

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 told the dispatcher he was at Prince’s house and the musician was dead, but the dispatcher had to ask him repeatedly for an address so she can send out officers and paramedics.

Finally, the paramedics arrive and eventually one told the dispatcher they were canceling their trip to the hospital because the victim was a confirmed DOA.”

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.

Prince fan Julya Baer holds a candle during a vigil Thursday night in Leimert Park, paying tribute and celebrating the life of Prince. (Courtesy photo)
Prince fan Julya Baer holds a candle during a vigil Thursday night in Leimert Park, paying tribute and celebrating the life of Prince. (Courtesy photo)

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.”

A candlelight vigil was held Thursday evening in Leimert Park with hundreds of people gathering to pay their respects to the superstar and celebrate his life.

“It hurt because that’s a lost soul, that’s music, I mean he had the soul man, I mean he had a way of wooing you, I was just listening to that guitar part, he has a way with that passion, with that music of making you feel it, and he don’t stop until you feel it,” Anthony Sheriff told Reuters.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck dropped by the vigil.