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'Prince overdosed on painkiller Percocet he had been taking for a hip problem' - report

Denise Calnan and Louise Kelly

Prince overdosed on painkillers days before his death, it has been reported.

The 57-year-old singer had been taking the painkiller Percocet, which is highly addictive, for a hip problem, TMZ reports.

According to TMZ sources, Prince had corrective surgery for his hips in 2010.

However, the cause of Prince's death may not be made public for weeks, officials said.

The American musician was pronounced dead at his Paisley Park estate near Minneapolis on Thursday, with tributes pouring in from the world of music and beyond.

A post-mortem examination was taking place on the 57-year-old's body today, where information about his "medical and social history" was gathered, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office said.

A spokeswoman for the office said it would not release information from the post-mortem examination until "all results are obtained" and the findings of a toxicology scan "could likely take weeks".

Carver County Sheriff's office said a press conference would take place later to provide an update on the investigation into Prince's death.

A day after Prince was rushed to hospital on April 15, he hosted a dance party at Paisley Park where fans said he "seemed happy" and appeared to look healthy.

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Gretchen Richardson, 27, said: "It was just a short appearance. He just said, 'Save your prayers for a couple of days. I'm OK. I'm here, thank you. I appreciate it'."

Jeremiah Freed, who also attended the event, said that Prince told the crowd: "Just wait a few days before saying your prayers."

Tributes have flooded in for the singer, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson. US president Barack Obama described Prince as a "creative icon".

Madonna said he was a "true visionary" while Sir Elton John shared a picture of Prince on his Instagram page, writing: "The greatest performer I have ever seen."

Sales of Prince's music soared after news broke of the pop star's death, and fans continued to leave floral tributes at Paisley Park many hours after his death was announced.

Thousands of Prince fans also gathered at the club in Minneapolis where he filmed Purple Rain as the venue hosted a free all-night dance party in his honour. Two more similar events are planned at the venue over the weekend.

He didn't perform, but he did make a short speech to the crowd. Fans had paid $10 to attend the party.

According to Associated Press, Prince's publicist confirmed the news shortly after it emerged a person had died at the singer's compound.

Now multiple reports have confirmed Prince Rogers Nelson has passed away, a week after he suffered a mid-air health scare following a gig, which prompted the pilot of his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois.

The superstar was heading home from a show in Atlanta, Georgia on 15 April when he was taken ill and had to be hospitalised. His representative subsequently assured fans the singer was battling a nasty bout of the flu. He was released shortly after receiving treatment and returned home to recuperate.

According to, Prince had also cancelled a pair of shows prior to his Atlanta performance due to illness.

However, the health scare didn't stop Prince from pressing ahead with a party at his Paisley Park studios on Saturday.

Irish Independent

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, where he was hailed as a trailblazer.

The dedication reads: "He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties.

"Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative."

He captured the imagination of Londoners when he played 21 nights at the O2 Arena in the summer of 2007.

On his last night he declared: "Everything's changed this summer. It doesn't matter who came before or who comes after. From now on, the O2 is Prince's house."

He played a total of 504 songs to audiences of half a million.

The last time he played in the UK was in October 2002, when he opened with a 12-minute jazz song, and berated fans who had come expecting Purple Rain.

At the O2 all that changed and he opened with his biggest hit.

Rebecca Burton-Kane, VIP and general manager at the O2, said Prince broke records when he played at the venue and his residency is a big part of its history.

She said: "We are all shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news that Prince has died.

"His record-breaking 21-night run in 2007 has made him synonymous with the venue. He set the standard for all the other artists who have performed at the O2 since. A true artist and musical genius, RIP."

Prince returned to the UK again in 2014 to play smaller venues with his new three-piece band of female rockers 3rdeyegirl.

Prince Rogers Nelson

The man who was born Prince Rogers Nelson stood just 5ft 2in and seemed to summon the most original and compelling sounds at will, whether playing guitar in a flamboyant style that openly drew upon Jimi Hendrix, switching his vocals from a nasally scream to an erotic falsetto or turning out album after album of stunningly original material.

Among his other notable releases were Sign O' The Times, Graffiti Bridge and The Black Album.

He was also fiercely protective of his independence, battling his record company over control of his material and even his name. Prince once wrote "slave" on his face in protest at not owning his work and famously battled and then departed his label, Warner Bros, before returning a few years ago.

"What's happening now is the position that I've always wanted to be in," he told The Associated Press in 2014. "I was just trying to get here."

In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame, which hailed him as a musical and social trailblazer.

"He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties," reads the Hall's dedication.

"Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative."

Creative genius who topped the charts

Prince was one of the biggest artists of the 1980s and 1990s and has influenced the pop scene since with his creative genius.

He was prolific in writing hits fusing a unique mix of rock, soul, RnB, soul and funk, and was a talented multi-instrumentalist.

Here are some of his biggest singles in the UK.

His first British top 10 When Doves Cry in 1984, was named the song of the summer by Billboard magazine in the US and sold two million copies over there. It reached number four here.

Purple Rain, title track from the cult film, reached number eight that year, followed in 1985 by a successful reissue of the impossibly catchy 1999, and Little Red Corvette on double a-side. It peaked at number two in the UK.

The upbeat party celebration Let's Go Crazy reached number seven that year, continuing his run of chart hits.

Kiss the following year reached number six, which went on to be successfully covered by Sir Tom Jones.

In 1988 his funk work out Alphabet Street charted at number nine, followed in 1989 by Batdance, from the Batman blockbuster, which reached number two.

His run of hits continued into the 1990s, with the James Brown influenced Gett Off reaching number four in 1991.

Sexy MF, with its eye-popping, explicit lyrics reached number four the next year, when My Name is Prince reached number seven.

His only number one came in 1994, when he had dropped the Prince title and chose to rename himself as a symbol, with his ballad The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.

He had already written the heartbreaking 1990 chart topper Nothin Compares 2 U, sung by Sinead O'Connor. It was a worldwide smash and was the third biggest single of the year.

He recorded 15 UK top 10s and 38 top 40s.


The world of showbusiness has been paying its respects to Prince on Twitter.


From Belfast Telegraph