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Prince 1958-2016

Prince's body has been cremated and a small group of family and friends have attended a private ceremony in his memory.

The singer's publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said in a statement that those close to the 57-year-old had gathered "in a private, beautiful ceremony" on Saturday.

The statement said that a "musical celebration" would be held in future but the star's "final storage" was not for the public.

"We ask for your blessings and prayers of comfort for his family and close friends at this time," it added.

Prince was a Jehovah's Witness, meaning that his funeral needed to take place within a week of his death.

The statement did not say where the service had been held but Prince's sister Tyka Nelson and brother-in-law Maurice Phillips were both seen going into Prince's Minneapolis estate of Paisley Park on Saturday.

The singer's friends, including percussionist Sheila E, bass player Larry Graham and model Damaris Lewis, were also seen there.

Prince - real name Prince Rogers Nelson - was found dead in a lift at Paisley Park on Thursday. An autopsy was done on Friday but officials have not released the cause of his death, saying results could take days or weeks.

Giving an update on the latest in the police investigation into the singer-songwriter's death, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said: "There were no obvious signs of trauma on the body at all. We have no reason to believe at this point that this was a suicide."

Celebrity news website TMZ cited anonymous sources saying that Prince was treated for an overdose of the powerful painkiller Percocet while travelling home from concerts in Atlanta days before his death.

Meanwhile, Prince's former manager has claimed that the singer's sister Ms Nelson, 55, is not "business savvy" enough to handle the rights to her brother's huge estate.

Owen Husney's words come amid reports that Ms Nelson, Prince's closest living relative, could inherit his multimillion pound fortune and other items such as his vault of unreleased material.

"I'm sure Tyka is a great person. I would be remiss to think she has the music business savvy to be able to handle a body of work that's got to be worth $250 to 500m.

"Prince's music has never really appeared in commercials. God forbid someone gets hold of this thing and it winds up in some toothpaste commercial.

"I pray that he has left it in good hands with people who know what they're doing."

Sky News (c) Sky News 2016

 

Tributes

Famous names from the world of music and showbiz have been expressing their shock at Prince's death and paying tribute to his extraordinary contribution to music.

Madonna posted a picture on Instagram of the two together and said: "He Changed The World!! A True Visionary. What a loss. I'm Devastated. This is Not A Love Song."

Oprah Winfrey tweeted: "Prince the doves really are crying now. Listening to your music. Remembering you. #RIPPrince."

Chaka Khan shared an image of herself arm-in-arm with a smiling Prince.

She tweeted: "I LOVED him, the world LOVED him. Now he's at peace with his Father. Rest in power, @prince, my brother."

Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood called him "a good friend", while Sir Mick Jagger said his talent was "limitless".

"He was one of the most unique and talented artists of the last 30 years," said Sir Mick.

Sheena Easton, who collaborated with Prince on U Got the Look - and was rumoured to have had a romantic relationship with him - said: "It is impossible to imagine him not being here.

"The world of music was forever changed the day he picked up his guitar.

"His talent was breathtaking, his heart was kind, and all of us have been blessed to have had a glimpse into this sweet and magical soul."

President Obama posted on Facebook to say he was a fan, calling Prince "one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time".

"Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince," he wrote.

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