It didn’t take long for celebrities and fellow musicians share their reactions to the news, ranging from disbelief to honoring the award-winning artist. Even President Obama issued a statement on Prince on Thursday.
“Today, the world lost a creative icon,” reads the President’s statement. “Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince. 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.
‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him.”
A spokesperson for MTV released the following statement:
“MTV is heartbroken and in utter disbelief at the news that the world has lost Prince Rogers Nelson so suddenly and so before his time. Prince was a once-in-a-lifetime artist who transcended every medium and genre he touched and created music with a passion and individuality that inspired multiple generations. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, friends and millions of fans.”
Russell Simmons said in a statement, “Prince was more than an icon, he was a true musical genius who had a profound impact on our culture and our industry. There was no one like him and there will never be another like him. Rest in power.”
Social media exploded with thoughts, condolences and emotional reactions to Prince’s passing.
“Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda reacted with lyrics to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” saying, “‘Dearly beloved We are gathered here today 2 get through this thing called Life…’ -Prince.”
Pop star Katy Perry mourned her fellow musician saying, “And just like that…the world lost a lot of magic.”
Alicia Keys, who inducted Prince into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, posted a tribute to him on her site.
“Perhaps the most tremendous thing Prince showed us is how music can be the closest expression of freedom,” she wrote in an extended post. “His songs defied all the rules and taught us to let go of boundaries placed on us by the world and by each other.”
Frank Ocean also paid tribute on Tumblr, writing “I’m not even ‘gonna say rest in peace because it’s bigger than death.”
“More than a ‘once in a lifetime’ artist … just a once in forever artist,” Justin Timberlake wrote on Facebook.
“He always talked about life, not death. He was excited about music,” Carmen Electra, who dated Prince, told E!. “Back then he talked a lot about God, but not about religion. Prince was like a god. Maybe that’s why I’m so shocked he’s passed away.”
Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, former members of Prince and the Revolution, also mourned Prince with a statement on their Facebook page.
Al Franken, senator from Minnesota, also released a statement.
“Prince got his start in a Minneapolis jazz band and went on to share his talent throughout Minnesota and the entire world,” he said. “His artistry, innovation and unparalleled presence inspired — and will continue to inspire — millions of people. To say he’ll be missed is an understatement. My thoughts are with his loved ones.”
Like all Minnesotans I am shocked and saddened today, Amy Klobuchar, the second senator from Minnesota, said.
“I grew up with Prince’s music,” he added. “He was a superstar composer, an amazing performer and a music innovator with a fierce belief in the independence of his art. He made ‘Purple Rain’ a household name, First Avenue a landmark and brought international fame to Minnesota’s music scene. I was always so proud to say ‘Prince, he is from Minnesota.’ We grieve his loss today.”
The cast of “New Girl,” on which Prince appeared, also paid tribute. “We are all so deeply saddened to hear about the passing of this hero of ours – and so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet him and to have him on our show,” the executive producers of the comedy said in a statement. “It’s something we will remember forever. Our thoughts go out to his family. We are among the millions of people who will truly miss the brilliant Artist.”
See more tributes below.