Singer Prince Dies at Age 57


The singer Prince died at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57. Paramedics were summoned to his Paisley Park estate early on Thursday, April 21st, and found him unresponsive in an elevator in his home. The cause of death is currently not known. An autopsy will be performed tomorrow. ADDENUM (June 3rd): The autopsy determined that Prince died from an overdose of the opioid drug, fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful pain-killer available in the US by prescription only. The use of fentanyl is supposed to be monitored continuously by a physician. The drug is only supposed to be taken intermittently and not on a regular basis. The son of a noted physician was going to meet with Prince that day to discuss his medical condition and overall health; he was part of the group of people who found Prince unresponsive and tried unsuccessfully to revive Prince. The police and the District Attorney’s office have on-going investigations on how Prince was able to obtain fentanyl.

Prince (Getty Images)

Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was a child prodigy of music – he taught himself to play the guitar, bass, drums and the piano.

Prince became a global superstar in the 1980s, with albums such as 1999, Purple Rain and Sign O’ the Times. His innovative music spanned rock, funk and jazz. He sold more than 100 million records during his career. He wrote his own songs as well as songs for many other musicians. A very prolific musician, he released 39 studio albums – four in the last 18 months. He released his debut album, For You, in 1978, followed by Prince in 1979, Dirty Mind in 1980 and Controversy in 1981. His fifth album, released in October 1982, was a career breakthrough for him. The double album was titled 1999 and included the hits Little Red Corvette and the apocalyptic (Party Like Its) 1999. He followed this with his next album, Purple Rain. Five singles were released from the album. Two of the singles, When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy, went on to become number one on the Billboard chart. The title track, Purple Rain, only reached number two on Billboard but became his signature song and one of the most recognizable songs of Rock and Roll music. His performance at the halftime show for the NFL Super Bowl XLI, between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts on February 4, 2007, is considered the best performance so far of all the halftime shows.

Prince performs during the Super Bowl halftime show
Prince performs during the Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show
Prince at the Billboard Music Awards in 2013
Prince at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas in May 2013. Chris Pizzello Invision/AP File
Prince at the American Music Awards in 2015
Prince at the American Music Awards in November 2015. Matt Sayles Invision/AP File