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Pop icon Prince dies at 57

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CHANHASSEN — Pop icon Prince — one of the most influential but eccentric and elusive figures in music — has died at his home in Minnesota aged 57.

Prince was found unresponsive in a elevator at his Paisley Park Studios compound, which included his home, in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, according to a Carver County Sheriff’s Office statement. Emergency workers tried to revive him and he was pronounced dead a short time later.

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson has died,” his publicist Anna Meacham said.

The 57-year-old was treated at a hospital after his private jet made an unscheduled landing in Moline, Illinois last Friday following a gig in Atlanta, amid reports that he had been battling influenza.

Entertainment website TMZ reported Prince was treated for a drug overdose in the week before his death.

“Multiple sources in Moline tell us Prince was rushed to a hospital and doctors gave him a ‘save shot’ … typically administered to counteract the effects of an opiate,” TMZ reported.

It quoted unnamed sources as saying Prince had been advised by medics to remain in the hospital for 24 hours but decided to leave after three hours when he couldn’t get a private room.

Authorities said an investigation was underway at the Grammy and Oscar winner’s Paisley Park complex, where local media showed images of emergency vehicles.

Prince’s autopsy will be conducted on Friday, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Prince became an international sensation in the 1980s, when he popularised the Minneapolis sound of funk.

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His 1984 album Purple Rain is often described as one of the greatest of all time, while his hit songs included Purple Rain, Kiss and Little Red Corvette.

Prince won an Oscar for best original song score for Purple Rain, the 1984 movie whose music was based on his album of the same name. He also starred in the movie.

During his career Prince recorded 47 songs that reached the Billboard top 100 in the US, including 19 top 10s and five that reached number one: When Doves Cry, Kiss, Let’s go Crazy, Cream and Batdance).

 

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US judge dismisses Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’ copyright lawsuit

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LOS ANGELES — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing singer Taylor Swift of stealing lyrics for her song ‘Shake It Off’ on Tuesday ruling the phrases in question were not sufficiently original to merit copyright protection.

Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler brought the suit last fall, arguing that the chorus of the song borrowed from their 2001 composition, ‘Playas Gon’ Play’.

In his ruling, Judge Michael W Fitzgerald held that combining the phrases, ‘Playas gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate,’ does not entail sufficient originality to warrant copyright protection, Variety reported.

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Swift’s 2014 song reached No 1 on the pop charts and marked her evolution from country to pop music.

Swift’s lyrics from the chorus of ‘Shake It Off’ are, ‘the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.’

Attorneys for Swift asked US District Judge Michael Fitzgerald in January to dismiss the case.

“In order for such short phrases to be protected under the Copyright Act, they must be more creative than the lyrics at issue here,” Fitzgerald ruled, according to court papers.

The songwriters who sued Swift did not allege Swift’s song stole musical elements, the judge said, and phrases about players and haters existed in pop culture before 2001.

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