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Frank Ocean, Barack Obama and more pay tribute to Prince

Ocean: ‘He made me feel more comfortable with how I identify sexually simply by his display of freedom’

2016 has been monumentally shit so far. After losing David Bowie to cancer when we were barely a fortnight in, news broke last night that we’d lost Prince, too: an artist who was just as influential, both musically and stylistically, as The Thin White Duke himself. Has anyone got a ‘reset’ button? 

Understandably, it didn’t take long for anguished tributes to flood in from around the world; with musicians, artists, and even politicians pouring their hearts out on social media. “Numb, full of pain for his royal badness has been snatched from us today,” tweeted Courtney Love. “He Changed The World!!” cried Madonna. “A True Visionary. What a loss. I'm Devastated.”

Even POTUS Barack Obama, who isn’t exactly known for his celebrity eulogies, took to Facebook to share his thoughts on the Minneapolis musician’s passing – calling the icon “one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time.”

“Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent,” he wrote. “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.”

Frank Ocean also shared his thoughts in a Tumblr essay, calling Prince – real name Prince Rogers Nelson – a “vanguard and genius”.

“He made me feel more comfortable with how I identify sexually simply by his display of freedom from and irreverence for obviously archaic ideas like gender conformity,” wrote the elusive singer. “I'm not even gonna say rest in peace because it’s bigger than death.”

Other tributes came in thick and fast from other creatives, like James Franco (“I wish I could have expressed my love for him before he left”), Mick Jagger (“He was one of the most unique and talented artists of the last 30 years”) and Spike Lee – who threw an impromptu street party for the legend in New York last night. “I Miss My Brother,” he wrote. “Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor.”

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