Neil Lupin/Redferns
Christian Holub
April 21, 2016 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Reports of Prince’s death hit suddenly Thursday afternoon. The news took fans off-guard, and celebrities were just as shocked as everyone else.

Collaborators, friends, and fellow musicians mourned the funk legend on social media, praising his expansive, experimental talent. See the tributes below.

GALLERY: Prince’s Life in Pictures

“MTV is heartbroken and in utter disbelief at the news that the world has lost Prince Rogers Nelson so suddenly and so before his time,” MTV representatives said in a statement. “Prince was a once-in-a-lifetime artist who transcended every medium and genre he touched and created music with a passion and individuality that inspired multiple generations. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, friends and millions of fans.”

I Miss My Brother. Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor.

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A Prince Among Men I don't even know what words are. . . When I was in college I had 2 friends who were obsessed with Prince. They'd been to concerts, had his albums, sang every word to his songs. I didn't get it. I wasn't into Prince. I knew a few songs but to me he was a li'l man in purple ruffles. I don't like purple and hated ruffles. Then I moved to Los Angeles and for some ungodly reason I joined the pyramid scheme known as Columbia House CD Club and ordered 8 CD's for a penny. I KNOW RIGHT?!?! That's a steal! (It wasn't. Google it.) One of the albums I got for 3/8 of a cent was Prince's The Hits/The B Sides. It was a box set and it was a revelation I never saw coming. I was obsessed with that damn box set. How had I not been into music's purple waif genius? Thanks to that pyramid scheme I was never NOT listening to it. It was my Hamilton Cast album at the time. I would drive around LA jobless while it blasted on my sound system. I drove an '84 convertible Mustang at the time and would drive up and down Sunset Boulevard with my top down singing When Doves Cry Let's Go Crazy 1999 Nothing Compares 2 U Diamonds and Pearls Delirious Little Red Corvette I Would Die 4 U Kiss Cream Purple Rain But my favorite to sing like I WROTE THAT SHIT was 7. I just knew that some Hollywood powerhouse would hear me in my raggedy ass car, recognize the raw talent and make my Hollywood dreams come true. Thank you Prince for being a part of my early starlet dreams . . . 💋💋💋💋💋 KISS, Yes, Oh Oh Oh, Oh, Ooh, Ah.

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