Thursday 30 March 2017

Prince 'was treated for drug overdose days before death' - report

Prince performs during the halftime show of the NFL's Super Bowl XLI football game between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts in Miami, Florida, U.S. February 4, 2007
Prince performs during the halftime show of the NFL's Super Bowl XLI football game between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts in Miami, Florida, U.S. February 4, 2007
Prince
Independent Newsdesk

Independent Newsdesk

A post-mortem examination will take place today on the body of Prince, after the pioneering musician died at his home aged 57 amid reports he was treated for a drug overdose just days before his death.

The singer, real name Prince Rogers Nelson, was confirmed dead at Paisley Park in Minnesota, days after being rushed to hospital after falling ill on tour.  His body was found unresponsive at the estate where he lived and worked in a recording studio.

TMZ, the gossip site, claimed that he had been treated for a drug overdose days before his death.

Read More: Remembering the emotional and spiritual night I saw Prince play at his home

Prince
Prince

They said his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois on Friday so that the singer could be taken to hospital for a "save shot" - typically administered to counteract the effects of an opiate. Doctors wanted him to remain in hospital, but when they were unable to provide a private room Prince and his entourage left.

Read More: John Meagher: Prince - A creative giant who owned the '80s

In this Nov. 22, 2015 file photo, Prince presents the award for favorite album - soul/R&B at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
In this Nov. 22, 2015 file photo, Prince presents the award for favorite album - soul/R&B at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

His publicists have not responded to the claims.

And outside his estate, fans laid purple flowers on Thursday around the compound in tribute, as they flocked to console one another, with musicians around the world hailing Prince and his legacy.

The singer was one of the best-selling artists of all time with countless hits including Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Kiss.

He was a source of hits for others, from Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U to Cyndi Lauper's When You Were Mine. He also wrote Manic Monday for the Bangles.

Read More: Our favourite top ten hits from fallen music legend Prince

Fans had initially held out hope news of the death, first reported by US celebrity website TMZ, was a hoax, after several false rumours over the last few years.

But on Thursday night, Prince’s publicist released a statement saying: “It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57.

Read More: In Pictures: The life and times of Prince

“There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”

A post-mortem examination will take place on Friday on the body of the pop superstar. His body was found in a lift at his home in Minnesota.

Medical staff tried to revive the 57-year-old star but he was pronounced dead at the scene on Thursday, said Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson.

A cause of death was not immediately determined and police are investigating.

Read More: Singer Prince dies aged 57

The singer had been taken ill on April 15 while flying home from a show in Atlanta, Georgia.

His private jet made an emergency landing in Molina, Illinois, and the Purple Rain singer was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance, where he was treated and released hours later.

Read More: Celebrity tributes flood in following death of much-loved music legend Prince

At the time a representative for Prince assured fans he was feeling much better and was resting at his Paisley Park home and just five days ago the singer made an appearance at a dance party held at his estate where he told fans: "Just wait a few days before saying your prayers."

But less than a week later paramedics were called to 7801 Audobon Road after a 911 call at 9.43am. Medics tried CPR but could not revive the singer, who was pronounced dead at 10.07am.

Read More:

His British publicist later said: "It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57. There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time."

Fans quickly gathered outside his home and tributes flooded in for the music maverick, including a touching message from US president Barack Obama, ahead of his arrival in the United Kingdom.

Mr Obama said the world had lost a "creative icon".

Madonna, who collaborated with Prince on Love Song on her album Like A Prayer, posted a picture of the two of them together on Instagram, writing: "He Changed The World!! A True Visionary. What a loss. I'm Devastated."

Film director Spike Lee wrote on Instagram: "I Miss My Brother. Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor" and later invited fans to pay tribute to the singer at a street party in New York.

Sir Elton John shared a picture of Prince on his Instagram page, writing: "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 honour. Rest in peace you purple warrior. #Prince #RIP"

Scottish singer Sheena Easton, who cast aside her squeaky clean image to feature on his song U Got The Look, and was a rumoured romantic interest, said: "It is impossible to imagine him not being here. The world of music was forever changed the day he picked up his guitar. His talent was breathtaking, his heart was kind, and all of us have been blessed to have had a glimpse into this sweet and magical soul."

The star became an international superstar in 1982 after his breakthrough album 1999 and was most famous for hits including Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Kiss.

His won seven Grammy Awards, sold more than 100 million records and won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain.

The singer, who was just 5ft 2in, was also seen as an eccentric with a tendency towards bizarre career moves, such as changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol in the 1990s.

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