Prince passed away in his home outside Minneapolis on Apr. 21. The Purple One was 57.
The week before he’d been hospitalized after becoming ill on a flight, which made an emergency landing in Moline, IL. Prince’s reps said he had the flu. But it clearly was much more serious. TMZ reported that Prince overdosed on Percocet on the April 15 flight. He was seen at his local Walgreens several times in the days before his death.
According to the Daily Mail, Prince was a longtime opiate addict dating back to the ’80s. His former dealer claims Prince regularly abused Dilaudid and Fentanyl, and that he likely died because of a bad reaction to Percocet.
“He needed the drugs because he was so nervous,” the anonymous dealer based in the Los Angeles area explains. “He could be nervous in a room with just five people in it. He was scared to go out in public, he was scared to talk to people and didn’t like to go on stage. He had the worst case of stage fright I’d ever seen A lot of performers rely on drugs to make them feel confident on stage but he was by far the worse. Plus he was always paranoid about doctors so he wouldn’t ask them for help – he had a phobia of them. I was surprised when I heard he had been picking up prescriptions before he died.”
Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis. He had his musical breakthrough in 1979 with the No. 11 single, “I Wanna Be Your Love,” on his eponymously titled second album. Many more hits would follow on such popular albums as Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade andSign o’ the Times.
Along with Michael Jackson, Prince dominated the ’80s music scene. His androgynous look, mod outfits, coiffed hair and rock-star demeanor was the perfect fit for the post-’70s funk and classic rock world. Prince never succumbed to disco; he rose above it.
Prince peaked in 1984 with his star turn in Purple Rain, which cemented his myth as motorcycle-riding casanova. He appeared in several other films, Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge, but by 1990, Prince’s popularity was starting to wane. He christened himself the Artist Formerly Known as Prince and eventually sank into self-parody. But no one could take away his brilliant body of work.
Note: This is the second death in Prince’s musical family this year. Vanity passed away in February.
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