Pop superstar Prince dies aged 57

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Pop superstar Prince has died at the age of 57.

His body was discovered at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota early on Thursday, his publicist confirmed.

Prince, whose real name is Prince Rogers Nelson, suffered a medical emergency earlier this month that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois.

The Purple Rain singer was flying home from a show in Atlanta, Georgia on April 15 when he was taken ill and his private jet made an emergency landing in Molina, Illinois.

He was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance, where he was treated and released hours later.

At the time a representative for Prince assured fans he was feeling much better and was resting at home.

Television pictures from the scene on Friday showed fans gathering across the road from his home in the rain, with a number of dark-coloured cars parked inside the Paisley Park compound.

Tributes quickly flooded in for the music maverick, with Chic frontman Nile Rodgers tweeting: "RIP our dearly beloved Prince. Tears and love on our tour bus... I'll never forget my brother. We've had good times."

Rapper Lupe Fiasco wrote: "In Minneapolis right now...and it's raining... Prince..." while singer Katy Perry also paid tribute to the musician, writing: "And just like that...the world lost a lot of magic. Rest in peace Prince! Thanks for giving us so much..."

Prince was widely regarded as one of the most inventive musicians of his era and many of his songs are seen as classics.

He became an international superstar in 1982 after his breakthrough album 1999 and was most famous for hits including Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Kiss.

His music career spanned more than three decades and he won seven Grammy Awards, sold more than 100 million records and won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain.

The singer, who was just 5ft 2ins tall, was also seen as an eccentric with a tendency towards bizarre career moves, such as changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol in the 1990s.

He was in the process of writing an untitled autobiography which was due to be published in 2017.

He became even more famous with the release of the film Purple Rain in 1984, a seemingly autobiographical movie set in the club scene in his home town of Minneapolis.

The film was a huge success and the soundtrack album spent 24 weeks at the top of the charts and sold more than 13 million copies.

It was the first time in his career that Prince had recorded with, and credited, his backing band, which he named the Revolution.

He was fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his material and even his name.

"Prince once wrote 'slave' on his face in protest at not owning his work and famously battled and then departed his label, Warner Bros, before returning a few years ago.

"What's happening now is the position that I've always wanted to be in," he told The Associated Press in 2014. "I was just trying to get here."

Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame in 2004, where he was hailed as a trailblazer.

The dedication reads: "He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties,

"Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative."

Music producer Quincy Jones tweeted: "RIP to @prince...a true artist in every sense of the word. Gone way too soon."

And film director Spike Lee wrote on Instagram: "I Miss My Brother. Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor."

Chaka Khan posted a picture of herself with Prince on Twitter, adding: "I LOVED him, the world LOVED him. Now he's at peace with his Father. Rest in power, @prince, my brother."