LOS ANGELES — The death of musical icon Prince prompted a flood of stunned tributes from luminaries in the worlds of music and entertainment Thursday, all hailing the 57-year-old icon for penning the soundtrack of a generation.
“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.”
Prince — born Prince Rogers Nelson — was found dead at the recording studio at his home in Paisley Park, 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 master of showmanship, Prince created a musical style of his own, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. His talent was on full display in the 1984 film “Purple Rain,” which became a cult sensation and propelled him to superstardom.
“I had the privilege and pleasure of seeing Prince in concert twice in Los Angeles, including his last world tour at the Forum,” writer and activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson said in an email. “He brought grace, style, and social consciousness to the world of music and art. I hailed him for that then and hail him even more for that now. Prince lives on.”
Hutchinson colleague Najee Ali said a candlelight vigil would be held in Prince’s memory Thursday at 6 p.m. in Leimert Park.
“Prince was an iconic musical genius whose legacy will live on forever,” Ali said. “This is a sad day for music fans all over the world. Our prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.”
Prince won an Oscar for best original song for “Purple Rain.” He also won seven Grammys.
“I loved this man. Too soon. Can’t comprehend it but it’s unfortunately true,” MC Hammer said via Twitter. “Heaven is yours.”
Justin Timberlake said he was “numb” and “stunned” at the news.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti even 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.
Actor/talk show host Mario Lopez said he saw Prince in concert “more than any other artist.”
“Soundtrack to my generation,” he said. “‘When Doves Cry’ was on every mixtape I ever made.”
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.”