Prince Cause of Death Still Unclear; Drugs Suspected

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SNL: Goodnight Sweet Prince (via NBC.com)

SNL: Goodnight Sweet Prince (via NBC.com)

Authorities have yet to announce how Prince died a week after the autopsy was performed on the late superstar, who was found dead at his Paisley Park complex in Chanhassen, MN on April 21st. In the interim, multiple media outlets have published reports and engaged in speculation related to how he might have died.

The most likely cause and, reports Associated Press today (4/29), focus of investigations is an overdose of a prescription pain killer, most likely Percocet. The April 15th emergency stop by Prince’s plane in Moline, IL so he could receive a “save shot” (of Narcan aka Naloxone) to counteract opioid overdose certainly indicates the likelihood. Investigators are said to be looking into what if any medications may have been on his plane or found at his Paisley Park home and studio. A search warrant for Paisley Park has been issued by a judge.

Related: Prince albums dominating sales chart.

Investigators are also looking into whether a doctor had prescribed the painkillers and if a doctor or medical professional had been on Prince’s private plane as he returned home from his shows in Atlanta. TMZ reports that the artist made at least four trips to a Walgreen’s pharmacy near Paisley Park in between April 15th and his death. England’s Daily Mail reports that there had been 47 emergency calls to authorities from Paisley Park over the last five years and three medical emergency calls in the last nine months (including the one where he was found dead).

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Prince’s friend and musical collaborator Sheila E. has said that Prince had damaged his hips and other body parts with his jumps onstage and other highly physical moves during his concerts. There have been contradictory reports on whether he had hip surgery (and was prescribed opioids for post-surgical pain) or not (and took painkillers for relief).

There also remains the possibility that the flu that had reportedly caused the cancellation and postponement of shows on Prince’s Piano and a Microphone tour was the cause of his death. Flu can be fatal, especially when there are further medical conditions and complications.

Finally, in the wake of Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson filing to become the executor of his estate, as the superstar apparently had no will, a man has emerged making claim to be the artist’s “love child,” says England’s Metro.

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