Montreux Jazz Festival director Mathieu Jaton said in a statement that he was “devastated” by news of the death of the musical superstar Prince on Thursday evening.
The American artist's agent confirmed that Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park studio and home in Minnesota on Thursday morning. He was 57.
No details were immediately given for the cause of death, but last week he was rushed to hospital apparently recovering from a bout of flu that had forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois.
A postmortem examination will take place on Friday on his body.
The “Minneapolis kid” had come three times to the Montreux Jazz Festival, recalled festival director Jaton.
In 2007, Prince gave his first concert on the shores of Lake Geneva, where he announced 21 concerts to follow at the O2 in London. Later that night, Prince thrilled attendees with a “mythical” jam at the Montreux Jazz Café for 45 minutes, until nearly one in the morning.
“He is the freest musician I know…I still speak of him in the present tense. It was he who decided to come to Montreux,” said Jaton.
Two years later, Prince returned to give two concerts in the same evening at the Stravinski auditorium, replacing Donna Summer on short notice. All his concerts were held in the auditorium, which is the main hall of the Montreux Jazz Festival, and can hold 4,000 people.
Finally in 2013, the musician, who was born Prince Nelson, thrilled festival-goers for three nights.
In addition to Montreux, Prince also visited Zurich, Aargau, Basel, and Lausanne at the Pontaise Stadium.
In 2012 a Zurich DJ, Jamie Lewis, collaborated with Prince. We spoke to him at the time to find out how it came about.
swissinfo.ch and agencies