Prince found in an elevator in his Paisley Park home

Prince found in an elevator in his Paisley Park home

Pop superstar Prince has died at the age of 57 after being found collapsed in a lift at his home in Minnesota.

Medical personnel tried to revive the star, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, said Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson, who added the death is being investigated.

The singer, whose real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, was taken ill on April 15 while flying home from a show in Atlanta, Georgia.

His private jet made an emergency landing in Molina, Illinois and t he Purple Rain singer 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 his Paisley Park home.

But less than a week later paramedics were called to 7801 Audobon Road.

H is British publicist later said: "It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57. There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time."

Fans quickly gathered outside his home and t ributes flooded in for the music maverick, including a touching message from American President Barack Obama, ahead of his arrival in the United Kingdom.

Mr Obama said the world had lost a "creative icon".

He added: "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."

Chic frontman Nile Rodgers also remembered the star, tweeting: "RIP our dearly beloved Prince. Tears and love on our tour bus ... I'll never forget my brother. We've had good times."

Madonna, who collaborated with Prince on Love Song on her album Like A Prayer, posted a picture of the two of them together on Instagram, writing: "He Changed The World!! A True Visionary. What a loss. I'm Devastated."

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."

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood wrote: "I will miss a good friend who was so talented. He was such a great performer/guitar player. Sleep well Prince."

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

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

Sir Elton John shared a picture of Prince on his Instagram page, writing: "This is truly devastating news. The greatest performer I have ever seen. A true genius. Musically way ahead of any of us. Sang with him twice on stage. What an honour. Rest in peace you purple warrior. #Prince #RIP"

Scottish singer Sheena Easton, who cast aside her squeaky clean image to feature on his song U Got The Look, and was a rumoured romantic interest, said: "It is impossible to imagine him not being here. The world of music was forever changed the day he picked up his guitar. His talent was breathtaking, his heart was kind, and all of us have been blessed to have had a glimpse into this sweet and magical soul."

The star was widely regarded as one of the most inventive musicians of his era.

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 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 2in, 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 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.

It 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 with and then departed from his label, Warner Bros, before returning a few years ago.

The Rev Jesse Jackson praised Prince for fighting for the freedom of artists and for himself, calling him "a transformer".

Prince was married twice, the first time to his backing dancer Mayte Garcia, from whom he split in 2000, and then Manuela Testolini, whom he divorced in 2006.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame in 2004.

He captured the imagination of Londoners when he played 21 nights at the O2 Arena in the summer of 2007, performing to half a million people.

On his last night he declared: "Everything's changed this summer. It doesn't matter who came before or who comes after. From now on, the O2 is Prince's house."

The last time he had played in the UK was in October 2002, when he opened with a 12-minute jazz song, and berated fans who had come expecting Purple Rain. At the O2 all that changed and he opened with his biggest hit.

Prince returned to the UK again in 2014 to play smaller venues with his new three-piece band of female rockers 3rdeyegirl.

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

Sales of Prince's music soared after news broke of the pop star's death.

Shortly after Prince's death was announced, fans gathered outside his home to pay tribute.

His sister Tyka Nelson came out of the house and told fans that her brother "loved all of you. Thank you for loving him back".

She looked at the bouquets, balloons and signs left by fans before approaching the crowd of nearly 200 to speak.

The owners of the central Minneapolis nightclub where Purple Rain was filmed planned an all-night dance party in his honour.

First Avenue owner Dayna Frank said the club wanted to give people a place to share their emotions and celebrate Prince's life.

Mr Olson said deputies responded to a medical call at about 9.43am. Medics tried CPR but could not revive the singer, who was pronounced dead at 10.07am.

A cause of death was not immediately determined and a post-mortem examination was planned for Friday.

The singer is reported to have made an appearance at a dance party held at his Paisley Park estate on Saturday, when he told fans "Just wait a few days before saying your prayers", according to Jeremiah Freed, who runs the music website, who attended.

The Carver County Sheriff's Office released the transcript of the 9.43am 911 call from Prince's Paisley Park compound which brought emergency workers to the home.

An unidentified man struggles to find the address to give to the call handler, at first saying only that he is "at Prince's house" and a person is unconscious.

He later says the person is dead and continues: "And the people are just distraught."

When the call handler asks if he knows how the person died, he says: "I don't know, I don't know."

After confirming the address, the dispatcher begins to ask a question and the caller interrupts to say: "Yes, it's Prince."

At the end of the call, another ambulance dispatcher comes on the line to cancel any other paramedics on their way to the address as the person is "confirmed DOA" (dead on arrival).

From the outside, the Paisley Park complex bares a greater resemblance to a detention centre than the 10 million-dollar spiritual home of one of the 20th century's greatest musical talents.

Part recording studio, part living quarters, part performance venue - at around 10.07am local time on Thursday it became the theatre of pop star Prince's final breaths.

The Purple Rain singer was found unconscious in an elevator at the sprawling complex a short time earlier. He died, aged 57, in Minnesota where he was born and raised.

Paisley Park, with its dull off-white exterior walls, was not an obvious home to a global pop icon - although there was also a large glass pyramid on top of the facility that glowed purple whenever he was in the building.

Those who ventured inside, as fans on guided tours were allowed to do, said many of the trappings of his success were kept out of sight so as not to appear boastful.

The complex was built following the success of Around The World In A Day in 1985, which featured a track called Paisley Park. The facility opened a couple of years later and has been the recording studio for around 30 Prince albums.

Within hours of Prince's death being confirmed, fans channelled their grief by buying, downloading and streaming music from his extensive back catalogue.

By early Friday, the top best-selling physical albums on all belonged to the multi-instrumentalist.

This included two greatest hits collections, CD and vinyl editions of his seminal Purple Rain, and 1987 classic Sign O' The Times.

And seven of the online retailer's 10 most popular albums were also Prince releases - the exceptions being compilation Now 93, plus offerings from Adele and Sia.

A similar surge of activity on the singles chart could see Prince make a late break for the top spot - which would be his first UK number one single in more than two decades since 1994's The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.

By the early hours of Friday, the iTunes download chart saw Prince's Purple Rain in second place behind last week's number one, One Dance, by Drake.

Prince has previously achieved five UK number one albums and a further 14 top 10s.

It is not uncommon for showbiz deaths to trigger a sales spike.

In January, David Bowie's final record Blackstar rocketed to number one as mourning fans helped the late singer secure a quarter of the spots in the UK Top 40 album chart, days after his death.

The following month, little-known indie band Viola Beach entered the Official Top 40 singles charts as fans paid tribute to the band who were tragically killed along with their manager in a road accident.

Prince fans revealed the singer told them to "save your prayers" during his last public appearance, as hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to the music superstar at his estate in Minnesota.

Gretchen Richardson, 27, and Cory Amundson, 29, said the Purple Rain star "seemed fine" when they attended a party he hosted at Paisley Park on Saturday.

They revealed fans were banned from taking their phones into the event, which came just a day after Prince was rushed to hospital after his private jet made an emergency landing in Molina, Illinois.

Mr Amundson told the Press Association: "It's really strange. We were just here on Saturday, that's why this is super shocking.

"It was originally supposed to be a dance party. Prince was kind of known for his parties. He would have slumber parties where he would encourage people to dress in pyjamas. He was a funny guy like that.

"This was a dance party. He announced this one 10 hours before it started. We didn't expect him to make an appearance because he was just in the hospital the day before.

"He said, 'It's been a crazy couple of days. Save your prayers, I'm fine'.

"He didn't perform. He had a big cover over his piano. He just wanted to say thank you for being there, thank you for your prayers. It was more a way of him saying, 'I'm OK and thank you'.

"Everybody was super concerned. He seemed fine. He seemed happy."

Ms Richardson said Prince was wearing make-up for the party but appeared to look healthy.

"It was just a short appearance," she told the Press Association.

"He just said, 'Save your prayers for a couple of days. I'm OK. I'm here, thank you. I appreciate it'.

"I mean, he had make up on so who knows. But he appeared, from what we could see, from a couple of feet away, fine. He had make up on."

Emergency crews remained at Prince's estate Chanhassen, near Minneapolis, more than 12 hours after he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dozens of floral tributes, candles and a painting of the singer were left outside the property as fans continued to arrive after dark to pay their respects.