Prince died of an accidental painkiller overdose.
Minnesota’s medical examiner has confirmed the music legend passed away after taking a fatal hit of fentanyl, a powerful opioid used to treat pain.
The examiner’s findings come more than a month after The Purple One was found unresponsive inside an elevator at his Paisley Park mansion, with the local sheriff’s department reportedly still investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.
According to the autopsy report, Prince self-administered the fentanyl, a prescription painkiller considered many times more powerful than heroin or morphine.
These official findings will provide little solace for Prince’s fans. If anything, they make the pop legend’s death even more tragic because it was preventable.
After news of Prince’s passing first broke on April 21st, many reports surfaced speculating that the music icon has been struggling with a secret opioid addiction.
A man claiming to be his drug dealer alleged that The Purple One had been addicted to painkillers for 25 years, after TMZ first reported that he’d been treated for a painkiller overdose in the week prior to his death, and rescued from the brink of flatlining with a “save shot” that was administered after his tour plane made an emergency landing.
It was later reported that Prince died one day before a scheduled meeting with addiction specialists.
The incredible thing is that the 57-year-old managed to conceal his pain from the world for so long, with even some of those closest to him swearing that he was the picture of health – a strict vegan who never abused drugs or alcohol.
Fans no doubt felt the same way, with The Purple One becoming famous for his marathon performances. He often played for hours, sometimes putting on two shows in a night and other times boogying into the wee hours with fans at his notorious after-parties.
Prince was cremated at a private ceremony on April 24th, and his family are understood to be planning to hold a public memorial for August.
Because he didn’t leave a will, the singer’s multi-million-dollar estate, which includes music royalties – not to mention the fate of thousands of unheard original recordings stashed inside his vault – are currently in the hands of a court.
But his family have expressed a desire to turn his Paisley Park mansion into a Graceland-style museum to honour his legacy.
You can read every interview that Prince ever gave in one place here.
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Gallery: Prince’s Life In Pictures