Superstar Prince found dead

Los Angeles - Prince has died.

The Purple Rain hitmaker's body was reportedly discovered at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota early Thursday morning, sources confirmed to website TMZ.

Authorities were called to a medical emergency at the estate at around 09:43 but did not immediately identify that the body was that of the 57-year-old singer.

His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, confirmed the news to The Associated Press.

The shocking news comes after the singer was rushed to hospital on 15 April with a severe bout of flu, after taking a turn for the worse on his private jet after several weeks fighting the virus.

But the following day, the Raspberry Beret singer wanted to give fans "living proof" he was OK and made an appearance at a $10 dance party.

He didn't sing, but he did tell the crowd: "Wait a few days before you waste any prayers."

Recent illness

He also recently cancelled two shows due to illness.

Last week, he shared a photo on Instagram of a blank white space, prompting fans to flood his page with get well messages.

The singer - whose real full name was Prince Rogers Nelson - shot to fame in 1982 with his groundbreaking album 1999.

He went on to sell over 100 million records and won seven Grammy awards during his lengthy career. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year he was eligible.

He famously changed his name to a symbol in 1993 in protest at his recording contract.

Prince was married twice, firstly to dancer Mayte Garcia - with whom he had a son,  Boy Gregory, in 1996 but the tot tragically died at just a week old - but they split in 2000 after four years of marriage, and then to Manuela Testolini for five years until 2006.

His most recent album releases came in 2015 with HitnRun Phase One in September and HitnRun Phase Two in December, and he announced earlier this year that he was writing his autobiography, The Beautiful Ones.

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