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How Did Prince Die? The Details Behind the Artist’s Drug-Related Death

how did prince die
Prince playing at Coachella 2008. Photo by Penner.

Minnesota artist and performer Prince is an unforgettable cultural and musical icon. His unique style and androgynous persona made him one of the greatest artists not only of his generation but of all time. Known for his hit songs such as “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry,” Prince has over 150 million record sales, seven Grammy wins, and thirty-three Grammy nominations.

After his untimely death, fans still want to know, how did Prince die? Join us as we look back at the life and times of Prince and all the series of events that eventually led to his death as we answer the question.

How Did Prince Die?

Prince’s death was caused by a combination of his failing health and addiction to pain medication, especially the deadly drug fentanyl. It is reported that the artist did not take the drug directly but that it was found in his counterfeit pain medications. 

His death shocked the world and brought the rising epidemic of opioid-related deaths into focus.

prince music
Levi Seacer and Prince in 2014. Photo by Levi Seacer.

When Did Prince Die?

Prince’s death was pronounced at 10:07 AM on April 21, 2016. He was scheduled to meet with addiction medicine specialist Howard Kornfield on April 22, but the Carver County Sheriff’s Office got an emergency call informing him about an unidentified person being unconscious at Prince’s home at Paisley Park.  

Unfortunately, he was already dead when they arrived. CPR was performed by the emergency responders, but it was no use, as he had been dead for nearly six hours. 

How Old Was Prince When He Died?

The music icon died at the age of 57. He was born on June 7, 1958, and died on April 21, 2016. 

Where is Prince Buried?

Prince’s body was not buried. His remains were cremated after an autopsy by Dr. A. Quinn Strobl. The ashes were then put inside a custom 3D printed urn. 

This urn was specifically designed to resemble the Paisley Park estate. It was then put on display in October 2016 in the atrium of the Paisley Park complex. 

Was Prince Murdered?

There are many conspiracy theories that claim that Prince was murdered or committed suicide.

However, all of these are false, as the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Anoka County released an official report on June 2 that clearly mentions that there was no sign of foul play or suicide on the body. 

The singer was scheduled to get treatment from Kornfield’s son on the same morning. He was the one to make the emergency call to the police. 

Did Prince Overdose On Drugs?

The medical examiner’s office announced that an accidental overdose of fentanyl was the reason behind Prince’s death at age 57. 

Fentanyl, which caused the overdose, reached Prince through fake pills that seemed like the painkiller hydrocodone or paracetamol. 

The baffling question is: where did the singer obtain the fake pills which eventually caused his demise? 

The police sealed his estate and searched it for evidence. They also searched the local Walgreens pharmacy. However, the investigation came to an end with no person being charged criminally. 

Related Story: 23 Interesting Facts About Prince 

Prince’s Family

At the time of his death, Prince was divorced twice and had no spouse or children. Tyka Nelson, his sister and only known full sibling, filed court documents in Carver County on April 26, 2016. 

It was stated that no will was found and that a probate case was to be opened. In addition to the sister, five half-siblings of Prince were also having a claim to the estate and other property worth millions of dollars. 

In the three weeks following his death, 700 people came forward claiming to be his half-siblings or descendants. 

Prince alive
Prince first visit to Ireland. Photo taken in 2007 by Jimieye.

Prince Songs That Mesmerized The World

From the beginning of his career as part of the band 94 East, which was formed by Pepe Willie in 1975, to the final albums released before his death, Prince released many classic tracks.

His Purple Rain ballad “The Beautiful Ones” is an underrated track that contains drama and passion. He begs his lover to take him instead of another. 

“Raspberry Beret” is a romantic song that is one of the most perfect pop tracks of its time.

Darling Nikki” is another masterpiece. The Prince classic is about a girl he encounters in a hotel lobby. This song does, however, certainly have a parental advisory sticker. 

The peak of Prince’s career was when he released “Kiss.” The singer wishes for nothing else but the kiss of his lover, not being concerned with the looks or status. 

“Little Red Corvette” symbolizes the ’80s, in which the singer makes use of a sports car as a metaphor for a woman with whom he had a good time with. 

Lastly, we mention “1999,” which was a party anthem as the clock moved closer to Y2K.   

The World’s Reaction To Prince’s Death

Several public figures and musicians reacted to the death of Prince. 

Perhaps the most notable was President Obama, who got a resolution passed by the United States Senate in which Prince’s achievements were praised. It stated him to be a musician, composer, innovator, and cultural icon. 

Tributes and vigils were held across cities in the United States, and many bridges, buildings, and monuments were colored purple. Facebook reported that there were 61 million interactions on the topic, and the word Prince was also trending on Twitter. 

MTV also stopped all of its programmings and broadcasted Prince music videos back to back. 

Saturday Night Live did an episode in remembrance of the artist and named it Goodnight, Sweet Prince. It had all of the singer’s performances from the show. 

Prince’s music was also being cherished by the masses, as Nielson Music announced a 42,000% rise in the playing of his material. From April 21st to 28th, 4.41 million Prince albums and songs were sold. 

Written by Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014


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