This Friday, April 21st, will mark the one year anniversary of Prince’s passing. He was found unresponsive in an elevator in his Paisley Park compound.
That same day investigators found pills labeled “Watson 853”, which is a hydrocodone-acetaminophen, (Vicodin) as well as pills marked “A-349,” which is Percocet, in other bottles throughout the property.
Many people close to Prince said he’d been suffering from withdrawls from medications he had been taking from what some insiders say was a result of his taking the medication(s) due to a recent hip surgery which he needed from having been performing high energy concerts for most of his life.
One of the most prolific musicians of our time died of what the Anoka County (Minnesota) coroner’s office found to be an accidental overdose of (opiod) fentanyl, the strongest painkiller on the market.
According to documents unsealed this week, officials found that none of the prescription drugs found in Prince’s home were prescribed to him.
Numerous bottles of opioid painkillers were prescribed to one of Prince’s former drummers and longtime friend Kirk Johnson. Authorities found additional bottles throughout his Paisley Park compound under Johnson’s name, as well as bottles of vitamins with the opiods in them, and plain envelopes with even more of the powerful painkillers inside.
Just days prior to his death, Prince’s private jet had to make an emergency stop returning from an Atlanta show, after (according to CNN) going unconscientious and having to be rushed to the hospital for treatment.
The prescribing doctor, Michael Todd Schulenberg, claimed in court documents that he’d prescribed oxycodone under Johnson’s name in order to protect the privacy of the iconic singer.
One year later, many questions remain unanswered.
Did Prince realize exactly how strong the medication he was taking actually was? Which doctor actually prescribed the medication that he took and killed him? How long had he been (actually) taking the medication?
Ironically, the day Prince passed away, a specialist from California was to meet with the mega-star to discuss treatment for drug addiction.
For many, present company included, it was a sad day. I had been a Prince fan since his first single, which many people have never even heard. A song called, “Soft & Wet” from 1978. It was a song I heard at a teen nightclub my senior year of high school. From that moment on, I knew I would be an ardent to the end.
I was fortunate enough to have met him in 1993 at a night club in New York City while I was working there. He’d performed a charity concert for the Harlem Boys Choir, and after the show ended at midnight or so, I waited three hours just to shake his hand. I remember I asked his road manager (and friend) Billy Sparks, if I could interview him, “no” he said. “Well, can I get stations drops (identifiers) from him?” Again Billy said, “NOPE”. “What about a photo or autograph?” I begged. Billy looked at me straight in my eyes and said, “no Paco…he doesn’t really talk much either.” So, I asked him, “how’s anybody gonna know I met him?” Billy replied, “you’ll tell them.” So now, I’m telling you.
He sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling artists in music history.
During the course of his four decades of entertaining the world, he won 7 Grammy Awards,an American Music Award,a Golden Globe Award,and an Academy Award for the semi-autobiographical movie Purple Rain.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. It was his first year of eligibility. And Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at #27 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists, “the most influential artists of the rock & roll era.”
He taught himself how to play all the instruments he played and wrote many of the songs for himself and other artists such as:
Nothing Compares To You by Sinead O’Connor
Manic Monday by The Bangles
When You Were Mine by Cyndi Lauper
How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore by Alicia Keys
Jungle Love by The Time
Stand Back by Stevie Nicks
I Feel For You by Chaka Khan
The Glamorous Life by Sheila E
Round and Round by Tevin Campbell
Pray by M.C. Hammer
He also wrote songs under several aliases.
Alexander Nevermind, Joey Coco, Christopher, Partyman, Tora Tora, Rocker Happyfeller, Freddie “The Phantom”, Camille, Jaime Starr, and John Lewis, to name just a few.
Ironically, his sister Tyka Nelson said that she’d had a conversation with Prince where he’d told her that he’d done everything he’d been born to do and there was nothing else for him to do. Tyka said in interviews post his passing, that she knew the end was near.
My question is, why didn’t she tell anyone, everyone, and get him help sooner.
He’ll be missed. However, his music will live on forever.
Here’s what I consider to be one of Prince’s GREATEST songs.