Hollywood actor Will Smith was one of the last people to speak with music icon Prince just hours before the singer's death. The music legend was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park studio in Minnesota on Thursday 21 April.

Writing on Facebook. Smith, 47 expressed his shock at the news of Prince's sudden passing stating: "I am stunned and heartbroken. I just spoke with him last night. Today, Jada & I mourn with all of you the loss of a beautiful poet, a true inspiration, and one of the most magnificent artists to ever grace this earth."

The actor posted a photo of the musician on stage at the Forum in Los Angeles in 1985, at the height of his career, but did not reveal the details of their last conversation.

Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith, 44, also posted an online tribute to Prince. "Prince was one of the first artists to put me on game in regard to the industry," she said on Facebook. "He was not only a genius artist, he was kind, funny, beautifully eccentric, curious, imaginative, magical, spiritual, rebellious and extremely intelligent."

"He showed me early the power of living one's life by one's own rules and no one else's," she added. "There are really no words to express what we have all lost today. To quote my friend Paress, 'Music has lost its heart beat.' Rest in peace Beauty...Jada."

The music world has been reeling following the news of the singer's sudden death. Beyonce, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Celine Dion, Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin were among the stars to honour the music genius who profoundly influenced the industry over five decades.

One of the best-selling artists of all time, Prince rose to prominence in the mid-70s and went on to sell more than 100 million records, reaching the peak of his fame in 1982 with the release of his album 1999 and hits including Little Red Corvette, Purple Rain, Raspberry Beret, and When Doves Cry.

Prince was no. 1 on iTunes 45 minutes after he died. As tributes pour in from fans around the world, his music plays on.