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Cameron to Meet Obama Amid Brexit Debate; Prince Fans Gather Outside His Home; Countries Signing Historic Climate Change Deal. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 22, 2016 - 10:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Hello and welcome. I'm Robyn Curnow.

We begin with the backlash to an American president inserting himself in a crucial U.K. policy vote, it's an increasingly bitter debate over whether

Britain should leave the European Union.

Mr. Barack Obama, President Barack Obama is due to arrive any minute now at 10 Downing Street in London, these are live pictures where he will be

meeting with British prime minister David Cameron.

Mr. Obama is urging the U.K. to remain part of the E.U., a move that sparked angry criticism from people on both sides of the issue, including

from London's influential mayor, Boris Johnson. Earlier, though, Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, supposed for a picture with Queen Elizabeth and her

husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, inside the Oak Room at Windsor Castle before having lunch together.

Ms. Obama, we note, wore purple, perhaps in honor of the late superstar, Prince.

Well, we are covering the story from all angles. Nic Robertson is live from Downing Street. CNN's senior political reporter Steven Collinson is

in Washington. And Quentin Peel is with us from Chatham House in London.

Going to get to you all.

Nic, though, I want to start with you. A very controversial op-ed Mr. Obama wrote in "The Telegraph" today, some people saying he's trying to

tell Britons how to vote.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, what the White House has said last week, that when he came here if he was asked, he

would offer advice about Brexit, in or out, offer that advice as a friend.

What has happened today and what people are waking up to today, seeing this letter in the "Daily Telegraph" really reaches out to David Cameron's

heartland in the countryside here, if you will, the conservatives who are beginning to think like some of his cabinet, that Britain should pull out.

What Barack Obama has done here is write a very emotional and very strong appeal -- you know, the White House had been briefed over the last few days

how important it is for Britain to stay in the European Union, important for Britain's economy and when Britain's economy is doing well that's good

for the United States.

Britain punches above its weight. It's good for Britain to have a strong voice at the European table. The United States likes to see united Europe

with a strong single voice.

All of this -- this has been the position of the United States for some time. We've been hearing this in the past few days. But for people here

to wake up and see, as they saw in the "Daily Telegraph" today, such strong and emotive language, it really indicates how much President Obama does

have invested in this, to quote that article, tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe's cemeteries, shows how much our -- how much

we are intertwined, our prosperity and security intertwined together.

So what you hear here is a very emotional approach, an appeal, as well as a logical, common-sensical approach in his opinion. But we are hearing now

that backlash, Boris Johnson, the flamboyant mayor of London, calling this -- calling the European Union "undemocratic" and saying the United States

is telling Britain to do as it says, not as it would do. The United States would never subscribe and put itself in a position --


CURNOW: Yes, in fact, Nic, we've got that sound bite.

I want to interrupt you, Nic, there because I also want to play what Boris Johnson has just said and I want to get comment from Quentin on that. If

my producers could just roll that and we'll discuss it. There's a lot to talk about.


BORIS JOHNSON, MAYOR OF LONDON: It's always very good to hear from Barack Obama, I'm a big fan of Barack Obama on any subject.

But clearly this is something where we have a disagreement. And I do think it's perverse that we're being urged by the United States to embroil

ourselves ever more deeply in a system where our laws, 60 percent of them, are now emanating from the E.U., when the United States would not dream of

subjugating itself in any way to any other international jurisdiction.

They won't even sign up to the International Criminal Court, the law of the sea. America's the only country in the world not to sign up to the U.N.

Convention on the Rights of the Child.


CURNOW: Earlier Boris Johnson said it's incoherent, it's inconsistent and it's downright hypocritical.

What do you make of this, Quentin Peel?

QUENTIN PEEL, CHATHAM HOUSE: I think that Boris Johnson is being totally predictable in his response. I think that Barack Obama has taken a

calculated risk in intervening, which underlines two things. One, how strongly the feeling is in Washington that a British vote to leave the

European Union would be very much not in the U.S. interests --


PEEL: -- and not in Britain's interest. That's obviously a strongly held view.

But at the same time I think Barack Obama reckons that he can probably get away with it. He's a very popular figure still in the United Kingdom;

something like 70 percent approval ratings. And I think on the whole this is never going to persuade the Boris Johnsons of this world who've decided

that we've got to get out of the European Union, come hell or high water.

But those who are in the middle who are a bit undecided may be moved.

CURNOW: May be moved. And as you're talking now we're looking at pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama, arriving at 10 Downing Street. There he

is, giving a friendly, warm welcome to the British prime minister, as they go arm in arm into the residence and office of David Cameron.

A lot to talk about. They're going to take their photo opportunity now. All smiles.

Stephen Collinson, as we're looking at images of these two men walking into the door there at 10 Downing Street, why has President Obama written such

an emotional article?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, Robyn, there's always been an assumption that Britain would, in the end, vote to

stay in the E.U. But some of the polls in recent weeks which have shown this is perhaps going to be a closer vote than some people expected, of

course, quite a stir in Washington.

I think there is a bipartisan concern that Britain could vote to leave the European Union. And as your guest said, I think that the U.S. has a vital

national interest here.

First of all, it believes that having Britain inside the E.U., as a voice within the -- within the E.U., despite the fact that it's not in the euro,

is advantageous to the United States.

Britain has been philosophically on economic and trade questions more in line with America than France and Germany to other allies of the United

States have been inside the European Union.

But there's also a concern that if Britain leaves the European Union that could precipitate a wider fragmentation of the block. You know, Washington

looks across the Atlantic and sees a period of great instability in Europe, it sees revanchist behavior by Russia, it sees the refugee crisis, it sees

Europe struggling to deal with its multiple economic and currency crises over the last few years.

So the United States has a very strong interest in a strong Europe that's able to stand with Washington on big questions like the Iran nuclear deal,

on the Middle East.

If Europe is falling apart, that is not possible and Washington loses a real ally that's been a fulcrum in the national security of not just the

United States but the West since the Second World War -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Quentin Peel, we also know that if you read "The Telegraph," there's an article, an op-ed in there, that says that President Obama is

the part-time leader of the free world.

We know that Boris Johnson has called him a part Kenyan, hinting that he's got some sort of anti-colonial agenda. The backlash to President Obama

continues to be pretty hefty and many people will be saying this is a president meddling in domestic policy, trying to tell Britons how to vote.

Is it worth it?

PEEL: Well, I think that it probably is worth it. There's been enormous hesitation, not just on the part of President Obama but all the other

European leaders, like Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, about getting involved in the British debate.

They've been saying oh, dear, we'll be seen to be telling the Brits what they should decide. But I think there is an enormous anxiety out there

that if the British were to vote to quit, not only would this be a big economic blow to the world economy, to the European economy, but also a big

blow to, if you like, the cohesion of the West.

You could start to see a Europe fragmenting. And I think that has become such a big issue now, that I expect to see them all start to get more

engaged. So I think -- I mean, if this had been George W. Bush who had come out and said what Barack Obama said it would have gone down like a

lead balloon. It would have been very unpopular.

But Barack Obama puts these things very cautiously, very carefully. You're right to say there was emotion in it. But he's put it in the broad

historical context. I think it's going to make a difference.

CURNOW: The broad historical context, Nic Robertson, that is key to his argument. I mean he evokes dead soldiers, World War II, the Americans who

are buried on European battlefields, he really does evoke history and emotion, the special relationship.

But at the same time this comes -- and this meeting I think with David Cameron comes after these quite controversial statements he made, calling

essentially David Cameron a free rider --


CURNOW: -- partially blaming Britain for the mess in Libya. This is still quite tricky diplomacy.

ROBERTSON: It is tricky diplomacy. And I think we're right to look at the broader context that President Obama has characterized this in. And in

particular, to draw, as he has done, reaching back to just before the Second World War, with Roosevelt's meeting with King George VI, also

talking about the American soldiers who lie dead on European fields, of course, their contribution to the Second World War.

But what he's really doing in the broad context here, when you look at everything that is happening in Europe at the moment, the tensions within

the European Union, the migration crisis, as we heard just then, the tensions being created by Russia along Europe's eastern borders, the period

of stability that we have had over the past six to seven decades since the Second World War is coming to an end.

And that, I think, is recognized in what President Obama is saying, the necessity he has felt to say this in the way that he has said it, that the

language that he uses and the periods in history that he points to really provide us that light, that illumination, that we are looking at a

different period in history right now and the peace we've enjoyed of the past decades and the way to take this relationship, these relationships,

within the United States, Britain and Europe for granted cannot be done. And that's why it's coming to the fore.

Of course the comments President Obama made, that he felt that Britain took its eye off Libya 2011 after the NATO strikes that stopped Gadhafi's army

in its tracks outside Benghazi, the fact that President Obama and many others in the United States feel that the European partners in NATO don't

pull their weight, that Britain should be providing 2 percent of its GDP towards defense, Britain does do that, it's one of the only NATO partners

that does.

But all of these are sensitive issues. And a couple of weeks ago at the Brexit issue hadn't been on the table for President Obama here to get so

involved. And one might have been looking at the relationship in that room and saying, well, he's coming at a rather frosty time.

It's exactly the opposite, as you said, that warm welcome when President Obama arrived here is exactly what David Cameron needs. There's that

famous saying, a friend in need is a friend indeed. And right now President Obama needs David Cameron, needs that friendship.

CURNOW: Yes. All chummy there.

I want the perspective on this chumminess from Washington. Stephen Collinson, you've written a piece for And you say there's some

irony to Obama's appeal and why Mr. Cameron might need him because he's a man of the Pacific.

And, as Nic was saying, throughout his presidency, Obama has expressed irritation at the neediness of European leaders.

COLLINSON: Yes, it's interesting. We know that Barack Obama was brought up in Hawaii and, throughout his presidency, I've never seen him more

energized than when he's been in Asia. He takes great energy from the dynamism of Asia, the future of Asia.

He tends to see the world in some ways through an Asian perspective and he's been less enamored, I think, of the traditional links with Europe that

many other U.S. presidents have enjoyed. He doesn't have that personal heritage with Europe. He's not hearkening back to a period after the

Second World War, as many other U.S. presidents were, at the time of great warmth between the United States and Britain.

But I think, as his second term has progressed and as these problems have arisen in Europe, Barack Obama has undergone and experienced as comments as

many other U.S. presidents who start to see Europe in different eyes during their second term and perhaps believe that they need Europe perhaps more

than they thought.

I think early on in the presidency, the people in the White House were, I think, bemused by all the sort of language that surrounds the special

relationship and how important it is to British politicians to get those kind of affirmations from Washington.

I think he was a little bit irritated sometimes when he was traveling in Europe and European leaders and European press said, you know, you're not

spending enough time in Europe.

And I think Obama didn't see Europe as a great priority. But I think, as Nic said, that has changed. The changes in Europe over the course of the

Obama presidency over the last eight years are huge and once again is thrusting itself to the forefront of the American sort of political psyche.

And there's one other point; we're going through a general election here. Donald Trump has, you know, very pointedly spoken about Europe, the costs

of European alliances, questions whether it's actually worth it for the United States, suggested that he would downgrade U.S. participation in


So the president is also, I think, during this trip in the United Kingdom and also later in the week in Germany, going to make a case to the American

people why Europe is so important. And I think that was one of the reasons that he talked in that op-ed piece about the American soldiers that are --

lie buried on the cliffs of Normandy -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Quentin Peel, you've been -- throughout your career you've had a close eye on Europe and you've written about it a lot.


CURNOW: Do you think -- and I know you think his words will make a difference.

To what extent is this -- some might argue that this is throwing fuel on the fire?

PEEL: Well, it's a very finely balanced situation, this whole referendum campaign in Britain. You've got a very emotional campaign to leave the

European Union. People who believe passionately that it's a threat to British sovereignty.

On the pro side it's much more low-key, pragmatic; look, this is an economic case for staying in Europe. And it's a very difficult balance to

get right.

There's one other very interesting aspect, I think, to President Obama's trip here. Tomorrow he's going to be having a town hall meeting with,

above all, young people.

Now young people could very much have the key to this vote because they're seen as much more pro-European than the older generation. And they're on

the other hand not the most likely people to get out and vote.

I think we're probably going to see Barack Obama say to them tomorrow, look, if young people want to decide their future, they've got to get

engaged in politics and that could be an important message, too.

CURNOW: Quentin, Nic, Stephen, thank you all for all of your perspective and we will be hearing from the prime minister and the president in the

coming hour or two and, of course, we'll bring that to you live. Thanks, everyone.

Coming up here at CNN, remembering the man, Prince, and his amazing music.




CURNOW: Now 24 hours after the shocking death of music genius Prince, the circumstances surrounding his sudden passing are very much in question

right now. An autopsy is expected to get underway this hour.

The 57-year-old singer died at his Minnesota estate. Just one week ago, he gave performances in Atlanta, which had been rescheduled because of his


Grieving fans are continuing to gather outside Paisley Park, Prince's estate near Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephanie Elam is there.

Hi, there, Stephanie. I suppose it's not a question of what fans are saying, it's what music they're listening to.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. When you take a look, Robyn, out here, it's actually just starting to rain again, but take a look at the

number of people who are out here, it's Friday morning.

Since the sun came up, people have been coming out here to Paisley Park. This is where Prince lived, this is where he also would hold dance parties.

I actually had the privilege of getting in there for a party in August, to be honest, and it's pretty cool to see the inside of this compound that he

has built.

But you can see people coming out here to pay their respects to a man who is from --


ELAM: -- Minnesota, who grew up here, has always lived here, always kept his home here. So he meant a lot to the people that are here and a lot of

people do want to know what happened, why someone who was so talented and who has done so much for the community and given back here, maybe not in a

big, boisterous way but in his own quiet way, why he would be gone.

They said that with this autopsy they're going to collect personal effects. They're also going to take a look at other medical records, perhaps find

out more about what happened last week, when we know he was flying back from Atlanta to Minneapolis. And the pilots brought the plane down because

of health concerns for Prince.

He was hospitalized. They said that -- a spokesperson saying that he was treated for dehydration and flu-like symptoms but that he was fine. He did

continue on, came back to Minneapolis, threw a dance party. And then we know what happened yesterday just about 24 hours ago -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And tell us some more of the reaction, what people are saying to you and just the general feeling of shock and grief across the whole of the

United States.

ELAM: Oh, it was everywhere. People couldn't focus. I'm not sure that work actually happened after the news broke, Robyn, to be honest. So many

people were just crushed. They were talking about their memories, people posting pictures of their first Prince concert that they ever went to.

People talking about the times that they've met him. They've seen him live.

People devastated by this news because of the fact that Prince pretty much gave the soundtrack to so many people's youth in this country and around

the world. And you can see that by the number of iconic buildings that were bathed in purple after the news of Prince's passing. Even NASA

tweeting a picture of a purple nebula in honor of Prince, just showing the impact of a man who that, if you ask any other superstar in the world right

now if they had greater talent than Prince, most of them will tell you no because they were in awe of what he was able to do, playing multiple

instruments, leading bands and just being able to hear music and take it to a level that so many people just appreciated and revered him for -- Robyn.

CURNOW: So you say you managed to go to one of those dance parties late last year.

What was it like?

What was he like?

ELAM: You know, it's -- I even had the chance to meet him before in New York City through one of my best friends -- and he speaks so quietly. It's

so quiet but he's very engaging. But then you go and you see him on stage and it's different.

Now when I was here, he did not perform but seeing him on stage is such a revelation because seeing him in New York City I saw him at Madison Square

Garden and the energy that he brings to the stage, the energy that he could get out of the crowd with his ability to play different instruments

throughout, singing songs that everyone knows and being generous with his guests, like Sheila E. Or like The Time, who were there when I saw him.

It's amazing how his energy is so quiet and reserved when you would see him off stage and how he could just ignite the entire room when you saw him,

you know, play and perform for crowds.

And that's what he loved. He did not like being watched by people unless he was on stage. But he did like to observe people. And he was quietly

observing people all the time.

CURNOW: Stephanie Elam, thank you so much.

And we're playing images there of what I think was his last concert here in Atlanta.

But let's get some more global reaction from Phil Black, who joins us now from London.

Hi, there, Phil. We heard from Stephanie that he was quiet. We also know that he was very small, 5'2". But the reaction certainly has been large

and loud.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has and international. Deeply loved here, Robyn. There's no doubt. As the queen turns 90 and Barack Obama

arrives in London, those two figures have had to share the front pages of almost every British newspaper with Prince.

In many cases they were knocked off the front pages by a full page image of the pop star. He's deeply loved here, not just for his music and

recordings, stretch back decades, but because he toured here so regularly.

He played huge gigs from Wembley Stadium to smaller pop-up, guerilla style events in more intimate settings. And of course, famously, he spent 21

nights in a residency at London's O2 arena, selling out there for that stretch of time. It was estimated that he performed to around 500,000

people at that time.

So there is this sense here of people having had a close experience with him. Many people, many people saw and enjoyed that wonderful experience of

seeing him perform live in concert. And that's what they've been talking about, not just fans but also his peers.

Simply the biggest names in the industry have been paying tribute to a man who they deeply respected, who was influential and continues to be. Let's

take a look at some of those tributes more carefully now. We'll start with Mick Jagger, the front man of the Rolling Stones --


BLACK: -- he said, "I am so saddened to hear of Prince's passing. Prince was a revolutionary artist, a wonderful musician and composer. Prince was

an original lyricist and a startling guitar player. His talent was limitless. Prince was one of the most unique and exciting artists of the

last 30 years."

Elton John said, "This is truly devastating news, 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 honor. Rest in peace, you purple warrior."

And from Paul McCartney, "God bless this creative giant."

Enormous words of praise from, as I say, these towering figures of the pop music industry. So today he is certainly being missed but, at the same

time, celebrated for his music and the influence that he has had on so many other musicians as well -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes. Those messages really powerful in themselves. Thanks so much, Phil Black there, in London.

Let's go to Broadway now, where the tributes to Prince from the cast of "Hamilton" and from "The Color Purple" also flocked in, also very, very

powerful. Here's a look.




CURNOW: And I think scenes like that happened across the world ad hoc, sing-alongs to "Purple Rain" and all of his other songs.

We also know that Prince helped to launch musician Sheila E.'s recording career. He oversaw her first album, called "The Glamorous Life." She

recently took to CNN about what it was like to work with the legendary artist.


SHEILA E., RECORDING ARTIST: We loved collaborating with him because he brought the best out of us and he was influenced by all of us as well. You

know, we just had great moments. He did things differently, you know, and he would do things outside the box. There were no limits for him.


CURNOW: The two were engaged to be married for a time and, as she tells it, he asked her to marry him during an intense performance of "Purple


This is the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Coming up, a big day in the battle to curtail global warming. Many of the world's nations are signing a historic

climate change pact. We're live at the United Nations. Stay with us. It's a busy news day. Lots happening.





CURNOW: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks for joining me. Here's a check of the headlines.


CURNOW: On Earth Day, a big moment in the drive to reduce global warming. The signing of the climate change pact reached last December in Paris is

happening any minute now at the United Nations.

Here are live pictures of speeches that are being given. Representatives from more than 160 nations are on board. But the pact will not take effect

until certain thresholds are met. Our senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth joins me now live.

Hi, there, Richard.

What's happening at the moment?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: A woman from civil society from Chad in Africa is addressing the general assembly. Leonardo DiCaprio,

the Best Actor winner this year, is scheduled to speak, perhaps next.

You have over 171 countries ready to sign this climate agreement that was reached in Paris last December. But it's a two-step process. They have to

sign and then these countries have to get it ratified through their national governments or parliaments, not so easy in some cases.

China and the U.S., though, have made major commitments further than they've ever gone to curb carbon emissions over the next few years. And

that has helped spur the momentum, which French President Hollande has mentioned must be followed up on, as he again used the term about sounding

the alarm regarding climate change.

Secretary of State John Kerry just spoke, again mentioned how each year has been the hottest on record -- Robyn.

CURNOW: When is the actual signing going to take place and how long is that going to take?

ROTH: They're going to line up in droves to sign here. Many countries. That's the easy part, in effect, and it's a good photo op. They're going

to use two different rooms, heads of states, prime ministers. But then each country will have to have it ratified.

In the United States, where there is a Republican Congress and a Democratic president who favors this climate agreement, the U.S. doesn't consider it a

legally binding international agreement. So President Obama can use an executive order to sign it.

Some concern among climate activists that, depending on who's in the White House, it would be better if President Obama took action this year since

the Republicans, including Donald Trump, are opposed to this climate change agreement -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Richard Roth, always great to have you on the show, coming to us there from the U.N., thanks.

Let's get more on this from our Chad Myers.

Chad, hi, there. Obviously climate change, global warming, we're feeling it all. It's been one of the hottest years on record.

Do you think this will make a difference?

And how quickly does this need to be implemented?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It needs to happen years ago. We are already past where we want to be at this point in time. And I will show

you that on a graphic.

Ironically here, Earth Day, the Earth being helped a little bit today by 1 billion people trying to do something positive. But let's get to the

numbers here. March was the record warmest March ever. The warmest March ever on record since we've been keeping track. Maybe not a billion years

ago but you get the idea.

Now we move to the last 11 months. It was the warmest February on record, it was the warmest January on record, it was the warmest December. All the

way back to May of last year, every consecutive month has broken the record across the globe.

So how does that change and how does that really affect what we're seeing here across the globe when it comes to temperatures?

Well, the benchmark, the old 2014-2015, 1998 benchmark record years are here.

Where are we now?

There. Way up, way above 1.2. Now the leaders of all these countries are trying to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius the maximum, hopefully we can keep it

under 2. But we're already at 1.2 this year.

Can we get there?

Can we keep it?

Here is how quickly it has changed and there are people that are arguing, saying it has been warmer -- sure and I know it has. But, we have gone

from a --


MYERS: -- below normal couple of decades in the '50s to the '60s, to the '70s to the '80s, to the '90s to 2000. We're going up so rapidly. It's

what's called the hockey stick. It's now even the El Nino years and the La Nina years and the neutral years are in white, the La Nina years are in

blue, usually the La Nina years are cool and the El Nino years are warm.

We're just warm all the time now, above 1 degree all the time. And we're trying to keep this thing below 2, obviously optimistically, 1.5. But if

we're already 1.2 this year, we have a long way to go. And I think we're probably going to start to hear about methane more than maybe even carbon

dioxide emissions.

Because methane is about 20 times more potent as a carbon keeper, just a gas that keeps the heat at the surface. That greenhouse gas and if we can

reduce methane, one part methane is like taking 20 parts of carbon dioxide out. So there's a lot going on here and the countries are finally working

this out. I don't think it's too late but it's a long time coming.

CURNOW: OK. Very sobering assessment there, Chad Myers. Thank you.

Next here on the IDESK, the performer who inspired Prince talks about the loss of a dear friend. Stevie Wonder on Prince's death. That's just





CURNOW: Besides bringing all of us much joy, Prince also influenced countless other musicians. But in an interview with CNN's Larry King in

1999, Prince said he modeled himself after Stevie Wonder, calling him an inspiration and a role model. They were friends and performed together

several times.

Stevie Wonder spoke to our Anderson Cooper about Prince's death.


STEVIE WONDER, MUSICIAN: It's a heartbreak and I was shocked. I didn't believe it. As I find it so hard to believe, you know, in this journey of

music, we, as artists, that sort of create the reflection of society and reflect really just the people that really want to see a better world, a

better people, a unity of people, all those things, as did his music do and will continue to do for those of us who will continue to listen to it.

It's a heartbreak to lose a member of that army of love.


CURNOW: Stevie Wonder getting very emotional there.

Prince's music catalog seemed endless, his genre-bending influence undeniable. Our Michaela Pereira takes us on a look back on his music

through the decades.



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prince, the trailblazing superstar singer, prolific songwriter and mystifying instrumentalist,

leaving an indelible imprint on the world of music, the popular R&B virtuoso leaping onto the scene in the late 1970s with the hit, "I Want To

Be Your Lover."

His ascent to stardom cemented with his double album, "1999," which went platinum and featured six hit singles.

Prince's unbridled creativity and signature flamboyant style unleashed in 1984 the film, "Purple Rain" and its Grammy and Academy Award-winning

soundtrack taking the world by storm.

Smashes like, "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy" and the legendary "Purple Rain."

Prince's crooning vocals on his 1986 sexually charged hit single, "Kiss," arguably one of the most recognizable songs in R&B and pop history.

His wildly inventive 2007 Super Bowl halftime performance of "Purple Rain" in the rain considered by many as the greatest of all time.

He'll always be remembered for his unrivaled showmanship and taste for the eccentric.

Selling more than 100 million records in his four-decade-long career, winning seven Grammys, an Oscar and five number one singles.

An ardent champion of personal and artistic freedom, Prince was a force to be reckoned with. He truly was one of a kind.


CURNOW: What a legend.

Well, that's it from us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. Don't go anywhere. "WORLD SPORT" with

Christina Macfarlane is up next.