Prince fans dance grief away at all-night Minneapolis party

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[April 22, 2016]    MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Prince's funky tunes filling the room, up to a thousand of the pop star's fans danced the night away at the Minneapolis club where "Purple Rain" was filmed, celebrating the late singer hours after his death on Thursday.

Dancers filled the floor at the First Avenue club, where a screen played videos of the eccentric singer-songwriter in action, boogieing to his hits which included "Little Red Corvette", "When Doves Cry", "Kiss", "Let's Go Crazy" and "Get Off".

They shone their phones and waved their arms in the air when "Purple Rain" came on. The venue was packed and other fans crowded at the doors trying to get in.

The all-night party paying tribute to the influential Grammy Award and Oscar-winning star, who successfully blended jazz, disco, R&B, funk and rock, had begun late at night and was expected to last into the morning.

Prince, 57, was found in an elevator at his Paisley Park Studios compound on Thursday in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen.

Distraught fans gathered outside the compound, which included his home, during the night, bringing flowers, balloons and photographs as tributes.

"He is an icon in the community. I mean, Paisley park, living in Chanhassen, he is an icon," fan Leszlie Dawson said. "We grew up with his music ... So we're just wondering, gosh, what happened?"

Prince had been on tour in the United States only just last week. He was briefly in hospital last Friday with what a representative told celebrity news outlet TMZ was the flu after his plane had made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois.

(Reporting By Jane Ross in Minneapolis; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian in London)

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