Legendary pop artist Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park estate, in Chanhassen, Minnesota, according to reports from TMZ. He was 57 years old.
Prince was recently battling some health issues which caused him two cancel two shows. Additionally, last week when on a flight home from Atlanta, an emergency landing was necessary to transport the singer to the hospital. A representative commented that he had the flu. No cause of death has yet been confirmed however.
In his storied career, Prince was undoubtedly one of the most charismatic and productive players in the pop world. During the 1980’s he released such classic albums as Dirty Mind, 1999, Purple Rain and Sign O’ The Times, all of which were acclaimed for their instrumentation, vocal style, and crossover of multiple musical genres. Prince dabbled in rock, R&B, soul, and funk over his career, creating a musical landscape that has rarely, if ever been duplicated with such effectiveness.
In total, during his career he accumulated seven Grammy awards, and sold more than 100 million records, firmly cementing himself as one of the most successful pop stars in the history of recorded music. He also had several hallmark performances, one of which occurred in the rain at the Super Bowl in 2007, completely flooring the live audience.
He was active in recording and performing up until his death, with his last recorded LP, HITNRUN Phase Two being released in 2015. His last live show was performed at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre last week.
Recently, one of Prince’s proteges, Vanity, from the female vocal trip Vanity 6, passed away as well. She was also 57 years old.
Prince’s death is a devastating loss for music, and creativity at large. He will be sincerely missed by musicians and fans the world over.
UPDATED (4/21/2016): The circumstances of Prince’s death are currently being investigated by the Carver County’s Sheriff’s Office. They report no signs of foul play, but did say that Prince was found in an elevator. Despite performing CPR, they were not able to revive him, and he pronounced dead at approximately 10:07 A.M. CT.
UPDATED (4/22/2016): TMZ has reported that six days before his death, Prince was treated for an overdose of the opiate Percocet, while flying home from a concert in Atlanta. The private plan made an emergency landing in Moline, IL, and he received a “save shot”, usually administered to counteract the effects of an opiate overdose, after he was rushed to a hospital. Medical personnel encouraged him to stay at the hospital, but he decided instead to return home to Minnesota.
UPDATED (4/23/2016): As of Friday afternoon, an autopsy has been completed on the body, but determining an actual cause of death could take “days or weeks”. Prince’s body has been released to his family. Investigating sheriff Jim Olsen has said in a press conference that there were “no obvious signs on trauma” and “we have no reason to believe this was a suicide”.
UPDATED (4/29/2016): Local law enforcement has opened up the possibility of future criminal charges, despite no suspected foul play or suicide in the case. The possibility of an opioid overdose is being looked into, which is the main reason for the criminal probe. The DEA is not a part of this investigation at the present time.
UPDATED (05/04/2016): Representatives for Prince had contacted opioid addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfield on April 20. Since Kornfield couldn’t clear his schedule for that day, he sent his son and colleague Andrew Kornfield to Paisley Park, and arrived on April 21, the day of Prince’s death. Apparently, Kornfied was the person who called 911, when Prince’s body was discovered in the elevator.
UPDATED (05/23/2016): It has been reported that a paramedic who responded to the 911 call told law enforcement that Prince may have been dead for at least six hours before discovery of the body.
UPDATED (06/02/2016): As was assumed, the cause of Prince’s death has been confirmed as an opioid overdose, as reported by the Midwest Medical Examiners Office. The specific drug was reported to be Fentanyl, which is roughly 40 to 50 times more powerful than pure heroin. Percocet was also found to be in his system, but it was Fentanyl that ultimately was the cause of the overdose.