Social media explodes as Prince tributes mark death of music icon

Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:32pm EDT
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By Amy Tennery

(Reuters) - The sudden death of music legend Prince sent shockwaves through social media on Thursday, as masses of Twitter users flooded the site to express their heart-felt emotions.

Actors, musicians and celebrities quickly jumped on social media, sending tributes and messages of sadness as news of the singer's death hit media outlets.

"'A strong spirit transcends rules,' Prince once said—and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative," tweeted President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) on Thursday.

In the first five hours after news broke of his death, 25 million people had 61 million Facebook interactions related to his legacy, said a spokeswoman for the social media site.

"Prince" became the top-trending term on Twitter worldwide shortly after his death was reported, with more than 6 million tweets paying tribute to the musician.

"He Changed The World!! A True Visionary," tweeted Madonna (@Madonna) "What a loss. I'm Devastated."

Celebrities around the globe used social media to highlight the singer and his influential, genre-defying music combining jazz, funk, R&B and disco. Prince won seven Grammy awards and an Oscar.

"God bless this creative giant. Thanks Prince," tweeted former Beatle Paul McCartney.   Continued...

Julya Baer, 30, (R) cries at a vigil to celebrate the life and music of deceased musician Prince in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson