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Prince Rogers Nelson, known as Prince, was a singer and songwriter who changed the music industry with his eclectic style and flamboyant performances. He was known to boogie on stage in high-heels and bring down the house with his vocals. His music merged funk, rock, R&B, soul, and pop into one, powerful sound that moved crowds from their seats to their feet. He won seven Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
On Thursday April 21, Prince was found dead inside an elevator at his Paisley Park recording studio and home at age 57. An unidentified man called 911, reporting that Prince appeared to be dead. Emergency responders found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR, but they were unable to revive him.
CNN has just released a report that authorities found prescription opioid medication on him at the time of death, and in his home.
Prince had postponed two of his shows, scheduled at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on April 7, because he was “battling the flu.” Six days before his death, on April 15, his plane made an emergency landing during a flight home from Atlanta. There was a medical emergency onboard: a male passenger was unresponsive. The cause of Prince’s emergency is still unclear. His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, claims that the singer was “fighting the flu,” and was severely dehydrated. Prince only spent a few hours at the hospital before his private jet flew him home to Minneapolis. He resumed life and work as normal.
In contrary reports by TMZ and the Daily Mail, Prince was allegedly given a Narcan ‘save shot’ during this emergency hospital visit because he had overdosed on Percocet. They claim Prince had chronic pain after years of dancing on stage in heels, affecting his hips and ankles, which left him walking with a cane and, supposedly, led him to taking Percocet to find relief. A man under the alias ‘Doctor D’ spoke to the Daily Mail after Prince’s death and claimed to be Prince’s drug dealer for 25 years, supplying him with six-month supplies of Dilaudid pills and Fentanyl patches. Doctor D described Prince as ” majorly addicted” to the opioid painkillers, using them to help deal with his pain and overcome intense stage fright.
In order to prove that his health was not in jeopardy, Prince invited people to Paisley Park on Saturday April 16 for a dance party. He showed off his new instruments—a purple Yamaha piano and a metallic purple guitar—though all he played was “Chopsticks” in his brief 5 minute appearance. “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers,” he told the crowd at Paisley.
Prince’s death has been clouded in controversial reports. Michael Padden, the attorney for Prince’s siblings, reported to the Star Tribune that Prince’s sister, Lorna Nelson, told him “her brother would die young…before his time and of a heart attack” and that Prince’s brother, Duane Nelson, told him Prince abused Percocet and cocaine. Both Lorna and Duane are deceased.
His publicist maintains that he was battling the flu, and Prince himself even joked about being “under the weather” at an Atlanta concert on April 14. His friends, like his former drummer, Sheila E., told the Associated Press that his energetic performances had taken a toll on his legs, but that she has “never seen him take anything, not even aspirin, in the 38 years I’ve known him.” Prince’s cousin, Chazz Smith told the AP that “he was perfectly healthy.” Smith maintains that the artist had sworn off of drugs and alcohol as a kid. In 2009, Prince even played some unreleased tracks for an L.A. Times reporter, Ann Powers, and said, “I don’t do drugs, or I’d give you a joint. That’s what this record is.”