Update: Toxicology report rules Prince’s death an ‘accidental overdose’

MINNESOTA (KUSI) — 6/2/2016 — Toxicology results released Thursday revealed that Prince died from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl, according to a report on his death by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office. 

According to CNN, Fentanyl, which is usually prescribed for cancer treatments, has caused an increase in accidental overdose deaths in the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that it is 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. 

It is unknown at the time how the drug was taken and if the fentanyl was prescribed or illegally made.

4/27/2016 — Prince had opioid medication on him at the time of his death, a law enforcement official told CNN.

Opioid is a common prescription medication used to treat pain. According to CNN’s source, investigators from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have been brought in to help with the case.

It is believed that the health scare that caused an unscheduled landing of Prince’s plane a week before his death was also due to a reaction of the medication. In that incident, the pilot told air traffic control that a passenger was unresponsive. That passenger turned out to be Prince. 

4/25/2016 9:15 a.m. — Prince’s sister and only full-sibling of the late musician said Tuesday that there is no known will to Prince’s estate and she has filed the paperwork to be appointed executor. 

Tyka Nelson filed the paperwork Tuesday in Carver County probate court in Minneapolis, according to the Associated Press. 

TMZ was first to break the news and reported that if there is no will, the estate would be split between Tyka and Prince’s six half-siblings. Tyka is asking the judge to appoint her special administrator, which in Minnesota is appointed when there is no executor named in a will. 

4/22/2016 9:30 a.m.— An autopsy to determine the cause of music superstar Prince’s death began Friday at 9 a.m. In San Diego, the Hard Rock Hotel located in the Gaslamp Quarter honored the music legend. 

Prince died at the age of 57 at his estate, Paisley Park in Minnesota. 

The lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego was lit up in purple and Prince’s music could be heard, Thursday and Friday in his memory. In 2013, he performed in San Diego for the last time in an intimate performance at the Hard Rock Hotel. 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama remembered the icon in a statement. 

"Michelle and I join the millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince," he said. "Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent." The President went on to say, "’A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said—and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder or more creative."

4/21/2016 — Music superstar Prince — full name Prince Rogers Nelson — was pronounced dead Thursday morning at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota, according to TMZ. He was 57 years old. 

Prince was hospitalized Friday after his jet made an emergency landing in Illinois. Representatives indicated he had been battling a bad case of the flu. Two shows were canceled prior to his brief hospitalization, though he made an appearance the next day at a concert. 

According to TMZ, Prince was treated for a drug overdose just six days before his death. Prince taken to a hospital and doctors gave him a "save shot," which is typically administered to counteract the effects of an opiate.

According to CNN, Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen. Paramedics performed CPR, but were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.

The Carver County, Minnesota, Sheriff’s Office released the transcript of the Prince 911 call: 

Dispatcher: 911, where is your emergency?

Unidentified Male: Hi there, um, what’s the address, here? Yea we need an ambulance right now.

D: OK.

UM: We have someone who is unconscious.

D: OK, what’s the address?

UM: Um, we’re at Prince’s house.

D: OK, does anybody know the address? Is there any mail around that you could look at?

UM: Yea, yea, OK, hold on.

D: OK, your cellphone’s not going to tell me where you’re at, so I need you to find me an address.

UM: Yea, we have um, yea, we have um, so, yea, um, the person is dead here.

D: OK, get me the address please.

UM: OK, OK, I’m working on it.

D: Concentrate on that.

UM: And the people are just distraught.

D: I understand they are distraught, but —

UM: I’m working on it, I’m working on it.

D: OK, do we know how the person died?

UM: I don’t know, I don’t know.

D: OK.

UM: Um, so we’re, we’re in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and we are at the home of Prince.

D: You’re in Minneapolis?

UM: Yea, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

D: You’re sure you are in Minneapolis?

UM: That’s correct.

D: OK, have you found an address yet?

UM: Yea, um, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry I need, I need the address here?

Unidentified Female: 7801.

Unidentified Male: 7801.

D: 7801 what?

UM: Paisley Park, we are at Paisley Park.

D: You’re at Paisley Park, OK, that’s in Chanhassen. Are you with the person who’s …

UM: Yes, it’s Prince.

D: OK.

UM: The person.

D: OK, stay on the line with me.


(phone ringing)

Ridgeview Ambulance dispatcher: Ambulance, Shirley.

D: Carver with the transfer for Paisley Park Studios, 78.

Ambulance dispatcher: Paisley Park Studios, OK.

D: 7801 Audubon Road.

Ambulance dispatcher: OK.

D: We have a person down, not breathing.

Ambulance dispatcher: Down, not breathing.

D: Yup.

UM: He’s, he’s —

D: We’re going to get everybody, go ahead with the transmittal sir.

(Carver County Dispatcher 2 comes on line)

Ambulance dispatcher: Yea, Kayley, this is Shirley at Ridgeview. You can cancel anybody going to Aubudon, confirmed DOA.

Dispatcher 2: OK, thank you.

Ambulance dispatcher: All right, thanks, bye.

Prince’s publicist confirmed his death but didn’t provide details about the possible cause or who was with the musician.

"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," publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said.

Prince won seven Grammy awards through his prolific career with two of his albums earning the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. He’s known for his album "Purple Rain" which is widely considered one of the greatest records of all-time. The accompanying film won an Academy award for Best Original Song Score. Prince was a innovator who pioneered R&B, funk, soul and other genres throughout his career. 

Family, friends and fans took to social media to share their grief and their memories of the legendary artist.

President Obama shared the follow statement upon hearing of Prince’s death. 

"Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince. Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer.

“A strong spirit transcends rules,” Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him."

"I loved this man. Too soon. Can’t comprehend it  but it’s unfortunately true,” MC Hammer said via Twitter. "Heaven is yours.”

Justin Timberlake said he was "numb” and "stunned” at the news, while Ariana Grande called him "an artist who showed true creative freedom and challenged all barriers.”

"Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape,” said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators and all who have been impacted by his incredible work.”

In San Diego, the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter was lit in purple in memory of musical icon. 

Related Links 

All Songs +1: Remembering Prince, The Utopian by NPR

6 Huge Songs You Never Knew Prince Wrote by Marie Claire

Prince, Michael Jackson and James Brown on stage together was a moment we didn’t deserve by The Los Angeles Times

Categories: Local San Diego News