Obama Pays Tribute to Prince: ‘An Electrifying Performer’

NEW ORLEANS - JULY 2: Prince performs at the 10th Anniversary Essence Music Festival at the Superdome on July 2, 2004 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Washington, DC

President Barack Obama paid tribute to late pop music icon Prince, who died inside his Minnesota home on Thursday morning.

“Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince,” the president wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday afternoon.

President Obama continued: “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.”

The president added: “‘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.”

The statement was also posted on the official White House website.

Prince performed a “private” concert for the president and First Lady Michelle Obama last June at the White House.

Prince, who was legally named Prince Rogers Nelson, played his hits “Kiss” and “Purple Rain,” and also performed “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” with Stevie Wonder, according to People magazine.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest described the private event as “an opportunity for the President and First Lady to host some of their friends at the White House at a party that they paid for themselves,” Politico reported.

Prince was found unresponsive at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota on Thursday morning. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death, according to TMZ.

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