President Barack Obama called Prince a “creative icon” with a strong spirit as he offered prayers after the musician’s unexpected death Thursday.
“Today, the world lost a creative icon,” Obama said in a statement. “Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince.”
He 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.”
Obama also cited the musician’s own words.
“‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative,” Obama said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him.”
Prince performed at secret party at the White House last year, which also featured Stevie Wonder.