WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama mourned Prince as one of the most gifted artists of his time after the pop legend's sudden death Thursday.
"Today the world lost a creative icon," Obama said in a statement, adding: "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," he said.
Obama last year invited Prince, along with Stevie Wonder, to perform a concert for friends at the White House, which generated a level of controversy as the event was listed as private.
Prince was famously reclusive but has occasionally taken up politics, last year writing the song "Baltimore" in support of African-American victims of perceived police brutality.