The iconic artist's legions of fans are turning to social media to spill grief for an artist who had a conflicted relationship with the Internet.
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The Internet is spilling tears Thursday following the news that music icon Prince, patron saint of all things purple, is dead at age 57.
Since the news broke, hundreds of thousands of fans have taken to social media to grieve and share their devotion. "This is what it sounds like when doves cry," some have written, quoting one of the musician's signature songs, "When Doves Cry." It ranked as the No. 3 download on iTunes Thursday afternoon, after Prince's "Purple Rain" and "Little Red Corvette."
By Friday, the top 11 songs on the iTunes charts were by the purple one.
The groundbreaking artist and eccentric prodigal son of Minnesota was beloved by many and controversial to others. Millennials and tech-savvy Generation Xers may have been bewildered by Prince's sometimes contentious relationship with technology.
But Prince's relationship with technology couldn't dampen the love and admiration many people had for the musician. He was known for bending gender and genre over the decades and even made his name unpronounceable for a time.
Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, was hospitalized last week with the flu following an emergency plane landing, a happening that sparked rumors about his health. Police were called to his Paisley Park studio Thursday and his publicist later confirmed the seven-time Grammy winner had died at his Minnesota home just months after the world lost another music superstar, David Bowie.
The loss immediately prompted an outpouring on the Internet, where both Prince and Purple Rain became trending topics on Twitter soon after the news broke. Below is a small sample of the most poignant tweets, some of them surely written by people donning their raspberry berets.
Update Friday, 10:25 a.m. PT: The story has been updated to indicate that 11 Prince songs topped the list of iTunes downloads Friday.