Prince, who over the previous week had been suffering from flu, is pronounced dead on 21 April at the age of 57. He was found unconscious in an elevator and not breathing and a call made to the police at 9:43am and officers from Carver County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to his Paisley Park home, Minneapolis. Officers performed CPR on Prince but were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at 10:07am.

Prince, who days earlier on 16th of April had  thrown a party at his Paisley Park complex had briefly appeared to tell fans to Wait a few days before you waste any prayers in the attempt to allay recent concerns over his health. Severe flu had caused him to cancel two shows on 7 April planned in Atlanta as part of his introspective tour Piano & A Microphone. The shows took place on the 15th but during a flight home the day afterwards, midway at 1:12am his charted 1988 Dassault Falcon 900 jet, accompanied by Judith Hill and Kirk Johnson, was forced to make an emergency landing on route back to Minneapolis. Prince was rushed to hospital but discharged himself. He was found dead at his home six days later.

Only a month before, on 19 March, Prince announced he was hard at work on his memoir, entitled The Beautiful Ones. It is unknown how far that that progressed, it was planned for release in the autumn of 2017.

Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. Barrack Obama

His death, first met with disbelief, was publicly confirmed after his next of kin had been informed by his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure: “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.”

In a career, which lasted 40 years, his impact on music will be impossible to quantify.

The official details of the cause of his death are yet to be released, however Prince was noted as looking frail and anxious in recent days when last seen in public at 7pm on the 20th, during his last of four visits to a nearby branch of Walgreen’s pharmacy that week. Some media outlets suggest that his death was due to an overdose of medication which he was taking to treat pain in his hips. Although the official explanation at the time was he was suffering symptoms of flu, his hospitalisation the previous week is believed to have become dangerously dehydrated following an overdose from a powerful painkiller, and that despite medical advice to the contrary Prince discharged himself three hours later. Since 2009 Prince had been in need of a double hip replacement but refused undergo surgery due to religious beliefs.

Public buildings in many cities across America were lit purple in honour of the musician. The future of his catalogue of unreleased music, the fabled vault containing what is believed enough material for 100 albums, is now the subject of speculation.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday 22 April. The police investigation is on going. Prince’s music sales have since mushroomed and 15 of his albums have entered the iTunes top 40 album chart.


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