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Prince dead: Obama plays Purple Rain to honor late musician

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UPDATE: President Barack Obama took some time during a visit to London to listen to Prince’s “Purple Rain,” in honor of the musician who died unexpectedly on Thursday at the age of 57.

Obama, who is in the U.K. for a meeting with the British Prime Minister, is staying at the Winfield House, where the U.S. ambassador resides. “It so happens the ambassador has a turntable,” Obama told reporters in London at a press conference Friday, according to CNN. “So this morning we played ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Delirious’ just to get pumped up before we left the house before an important bilateral meeting.”

RELATED: Prince: His Life in Pictures

The president praised Prince as “a great performer.” He came to perform at the White House, and was extraordinary, and creative, and original, and full of energy,” he said during the press conference. “So it’s a remarkable loss.”

EARLIER: President Barack Obama released a statement remembering Prince, who died Thursday morning at 57.

“Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince,” a post on the President’s Facebook page reads. “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.”

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Prince’s singular presence across many fields (music, fashion, business) were all byproducts of his nature — something President Obama admired by citing a quote from Prince himself.

RELATED: Prince: His Life in Pictures

“‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative,” Obama continued. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him.”

See other celebrities’ tributes to Prince here.

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