Prince cremated, with resting place secret

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CHANHASSEN, United States: Loved ones cremated pop icon Prince on Saturday with his final resting place to remain a secret, two days after his sudden death stunned the music world.

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The 57-year-old “Purple Rain” creator, one of the most acclaimed and unique artists of his generation, will eventually be honored with a concert, his spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman, Anna Meacham, said that Prince was cremated on Saturday and that his ashes’ “final storage will remain private.”

“Prince was celebrated by a small group of his most beloved: family, friends and his musicians, in a private, beautiful ceremony to say a loving goodbye,” she said in a statement, with a faint echo of the opening lines to “Let’s Go Crazy.”

“An announcement will be made at a future date for a musical celebration.”

The pop legend, renowned for his stamina and prolific musical output, died suddenly Thursday at his Paisley Park estate near his birthplace of Minneapolis.

While the place of the cremation was unclear, the private service appeared to take place at Paisley Park which was full of commotion on Saturday, with an Agence France-Presse photographer counting around a dozen cars parked inside its gates in the suburb of Chanhassen.

Two staff members came out with a large vase of flowers in Prince’s signature purple, some of which they pulled out to give to fans who applauded in gratitude.

Maurice Phillips, Prince’s brother-in-law who is married to his sister Tyka, also took the time to come out to chat and take pictures with the fans.

Cause of death mysterious

The cause of Prince’s death remains a mystery.

The spokeswoman, in line with statements from authorities, said that at least four weeks would be needed for results of the autopsy conducted before the cremation.

Prince had been hospitalized a week earlier complaining of flu-like symptoms after his plane made an emergency landing on his way back from Atlanta where he performed what would be his final full-fledged concerts.

Authorities plan in the coming days to search Paisley Park — Prince’s sprawling headquarters that was home to a state-of-the-art studio and vaults of vast unreleased work.

But Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson told reporters Friday that the move was routine, with no indication of suicide or foul play.

The celebrity news site TMZ has reported that Prince’s earlier hospitalization may have been triggered by an overdose of an opioid-based painkiller.

Prince was legendary for his marathon performances, which would often last until dawn, but had hip surgery several years ago and suffered epilepsy as a child.

Tributes pour in

Prince, despite his personal eccentricities, was widely hailed as one of the greatest musicians of his generation, creating a unique brand of danceable funk and mastering the guitar so extensively that he could play it behind his back or blindfolded.

Tributes have come from throughout the music world and beyond.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Friday came out to “Let’s Go Crazy” on a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, calling Prince “extraordinary” and an “American original.”

US President Barack Obama, who invited Prince to play at the White House last year, earlier hailed him as “one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time.”

Prince became the sudden star of the second weekend of Coachella, the premier music festival which takes place in the California desert.

LCD Soundsystem, the influential New York electronic band that reunited for Coachella, performed a cover of Prince’s early funk hit “Controversy” during the group’s headlining set late Friday.

The English pop singer Ellie Goulding sang “When Doves Cry” at Coachella while Mavis Staples, the 76-year-old R&B great once signed to Prince’s label, broke down with emotion before offering a rendition of “Purple Rain.”

Saturday Night Live, the weekly comedy show, planned a special “Goodnight Sweet Prince” episode featuring some of its frequent skits about the entertainer as well as his performances.

Prince himself was no stranger to tribute songs. Videos posted by fans revealed that at his final show in Atlanta he performed “Heroes” by David Bowie, another music legend who died several months earlier. AFP

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