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Music icon Prince invented his own custom "keytar"

The late, great musician Prince, who died Thursday morning at the age of 57, was a multi-hyphenate performer -- a Grammy and Oscar-winning singer, songwriter, actor, and iconic rock performer who constantly pushed boundaries of his craft. Did you know that you can also add "inventor" to that string of accomplishments?

Following word of the entertainer's death Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office tweeted out an image of the patent he received for the "keytar," a keyboard-guitar hybrid instrument.

Prince is listed as the sole inventor of the "Purpleaxxe," with the curved instrument somewhat resembling the shape of the iconic glyph that singer officially as his name for a period during the 1990s.

He received the patent for the instrument in 1994. Design patents expire after 14 years, according to the USPTO's website.

The Atlantic reports that the Purpleaxxe was invented for Tommy Barbarella, Prince's keyboardist at the time.

Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator when deputies arrived on the scene in response to a 911 call at 9:45 a.m. Thursday at his Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnoseota. No cause of death has been reported; authorities are currently investigating the circumstances of the singer's death.

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