It's Been One Year, Here's Everything We Know About Prince's Passing
Prince2005 Getty Images
It’s been a year since music legend Prince was found unresponsive in his Minneapolis home and many have yet to come to terms with the singer’s passing.
Since his death, an ongoing investigation has revealed details about Prince’s life that the secretive icon kept hidden. Here’s everything we’ve learned since The Purple One’s tragic passing.
The Events Leading Up To His Death
More from ESSENCE
On April 7, Prince postponed two performances, his team released a statement that the singer was suffering from the flu. The performances were rescheduled for April 14. However, while flying back to Minneapolis the next morning, the singer became unresponsive and his jet made an emergency landing in Illinois. He was hospitalized and received Narcan, which is used to block the effects of opioids, usually due to an overdose. He left the hospital shortly after against the doctor’s advice.
Reps called addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfeld the day before Prince’s death. Kornfeld was scheduled to meet with the singer April 22 and a physical exam was scheduled for April 21.
On April 21, police received a call shortly after 9 a.m. requesting an ambulance to Prince’s home. The caller, later identified as Kornfeld’s son, Andrew Kornfeld, initially told dispatchers that an unidentified person had been found unconscious, later confirming that the person was dead, identifying the deceased as Prince.
Emergency responders found Prince unresponsive in an elevetor at his Paisley Park compound. CPR was administered, but medics were unable to revive the singer. A paramedic later stated that Prince had been dead for about six hours. Prince was announced dead at 10:07 a.m., a press release stated that the singer had died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl.
Prince’s remains were cremated and placed in a custom 3d printed urn that resembled his Paisley Park estate. The urn is displayed in the atrium of Paisley Park.
There is now an ongoing investigation into how Prince obtained the fentanyl. A sealed search warrant was issued for his estate with another unsealed warrant issued for a local Walgreen’s pharmacy.
According to The New York Times, recently unsealed documents reveal that the singer had a “sizable amount” of narcotic painkillers he did not have a prescription for, many hidden in vitamin and aspirin bottles. Some prescriptions were issued under the name of close friend and employee, Kirk Johnson, who was also the person who found Prince unresponsive. Investigators are trying to figure out to what extant Johnson aided Prince in hiding his addiction.
Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg, the doctor who treated Prince for hip pain, also revealed to investigators that the singer was prescribed oxycodone on April 14, but the prescription was put under Johnson’s name for privacy. Prince’s oxycodone prescription was filled the same day his plane made an emergecny landing in Illinois. At the time, Johnson told doctors that the singer may have been on Percocet.
Investigators have also interviewed Andrew Kornfeld, Dr. Kornfeld’s son, who called police when Prince was found unresponsive, and singer Judith Hill, who was involved with Prince at the time of his death. She was also on the plane with Prince when it made an emergency landing in Illinois.
Whatever the investigation uncovers, Prince will be remembered as a boundary-pushing, influential, and enigmatic icon. The one-of-a-kind artist will truly be missed. It’s been a year and for many Prince’s passing is a wound that may never heal.