Obama Mourns ‘Virtuoso’ Prince: ‘Nobody’s Spirit Was Stronger, Bolder or More Creative’

Music legend performed at a private party at the White House last summer

President Barack Obama has released a statement mourning the death of Prince, calling him a “creative icon” and “electrifying performer.”

“Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince,” read the statement, released hours after news of the artist’s death broke on Thursday. “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent.”

The statement continues by praising Prince’s talents as a musician and his ability to seamlessly cross genres: “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,” it reads.

Last June, Prince performed at the White House at a party thrown by the President and First Lady Michelle Obama. In front of 500 guests, the singer reportedly performed his own hits and was joined on stage by Stevie Wonder.

This morning, the singer’s body was discovered at his Paisley Park compound in Carver County, Minnesota, according to the local sheriff’s office. Last week, the singer’s private plane made an emergency landing, and he was rushed to a nearby hospital, suffering from apparent flu symptoms, which worsened during the flight. He was released from the hospital after three hours.

Read the White House’s full statement below:

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. 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.

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