A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Apr 21, 2016 at 3:00pm PDT

As the music world continues to express shock at the sudden death of pioneering music icon Prince, Beyonce has paid her tribute to the artist. Posting an image of him on Instagram she drew on a poignant quote from the star himself which said: "Everyone has their own experience. That's why we are here, to go through experience, to learn, to go down those paths and eventually you may have gone down so many paths and learned so much that you don't have to come back again."

Beyonce performed a version of his hit Purple Rain with Prince at the Grammy Awards in 2004. She later said she was "terrified" and "overwhelmed" to have been working with him but by the time they performed he "made me feel really comfortable".

Justin Timberlake also honoured the artist who he credited with profoundly influencing his own music as he recalled his 'hilarious' encounters with his music hero. Describing him as a "once in a lifetime" artist, he said we should "HONOR this musician that changed all of our lives, our perspectives, our feeling, our whole being.

Elton John posted a photo of Prince on his Instagram page describing him as "The greatest performer I have ever seen. A true genius. Musically way ahead of any of us. Sang with him twice on stage. What an honour. Rest in peace you purple warrior."

In an interview Aretha Franklin said his death was "a real blow." "He had longevity in the music industry because he was a natural and he had It. He is gone but his music will live on forever."

Mariah Carey was visibly upset as she paid an emotional tribute to her late friend at the AccorHotels Arena. Speaking to her fans at the show, Mariah explained: "I didn't know if I was able to come out here and put on a show and be festive but I said I'm in Paris and that's what Prince would want me to do. To get through it rather than just make everything bleak we need to take this and honour this."

Recalling her personal assocaition with Prince whose hit, The Beautiful Ones, she covered for her 1997 album Butterfly, she said "He was a friend to me too and he talked me through some times I really really needed somebody. He was an incredible person if you never got to meet him. I'm sure his music has touched every single person in here so let's have a moment of silence for Prince.'

Tributes from fans and music industry peers continue to flood social media as police confirm an investigation into his death is ongoing. An autopsy will be conducted on Friday (22 April).

He Changed The World!! A True Visionary. What a loss. I\'m Devastated. This is Not A Love Song. pic.twitter.com/x4JaSxRraC

— Madonna (@Madonna) April 21, 2016

Today is the worst day ever. Prince R.I.P I am crying!

— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) April 21, 2016

Rest in peace to a very beautiful soul, Prince you were an amazing artist and human being. I wish I had the honor of meeting you.

— Paris Jacksoη (@ParisJackson) April 21, 2016

1984 wasn\'t about George Orwell\'s prediction. 1984 was about Prince\'s masterpiece #PurpleRain

— Marilu Henner (@TheRealMarilu) April 21, 2016

???? great interview with Prince! pic.twitter.com/5wDArv8LKR

— Wesley Snipes (@wesleysnipes) April 21, 2016

Saddened to hear about @prince. I interviewed him in 1999. He was a pure delight! #ItsMy2Cents on the music legend: https://t.co/njB8mTJP3q

— Larry King (@kingsthings) April 21, 2016

Fans of @prince, young and old pay homage at @FirstAvenue. @kare11 pic.twitter.com/61kd9vADIH

— Chris Hrapsky (@ChrisHrapsky) April 21, 2016

The cover of next week\'s New Yorker:

\"Purple Rain\" pic.twitter.com/8tQXQaNxc3

— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) April 21, 2016