PRINCE has died suddenly at the age of 57, just days after his private jet was forced to make an emergency landing so he could be rushed to hospital.
Paramedics found the singer unresponsive in the lift of his $13 million Paisley Park compound in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota after they were called to respond to a “male down not breathing”.
While the singer’s cause of death is not yet confirmed, TMZ, who broke the news of his death, say that multiple sources have confirmed he was treated for a drug overdose and not the flu – as his reps had said – when his plane was forced to make an emergency landing six days ago.
“Prince’s private jet made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois last Friday, hours after he performed in Atlanta,” the website wrote. “At the time his reps said he was battling the flu … something we questioned because his plane was only 48 minutes from home before the unscheduled landing.
“Multiple sources in Moline tell us Prince was rushed to a hospital and doctors gave him a “save shot” … typically administered to counteract the effects of an opiate.”
The website also reports Prince was advised to remain in hospital for 24 hours, but when he was denied a private room, he “decided to bail,” was released three hours later and flew home.
“We’re told when Prince left he “was not doing well,” the website added.
Prince made a surprise appearance at a dance party in Minnesota the following day, what is now believed to have been his final public appearance.
While he didn’t sing, it is believed he attended to quieten the speculation about his failing health, arriving two hours after the soiree had started.
“Wait a few days before you waste any prayers,” Prince reportedly told fans at the party near his home.
He was found dead five days later.
The star had been forced to postpone two of his Piano & a Microphone tour shows in Atlanta the week before his hospitalisation due to health concerns.
According to TMZ, Prince was also seen leaving a pharmacy near his suburban estate, which is also where his recording studio is, about 7pm the night before his death, in what was his fourth visit to the store this week.
One week ago, the superstar musician shared an ominous photo on Instagram of a blank white space.
Fans flooded his social media page with messages of concern for their idol.
Meanwhile, authorities have released the 911 call in which paramedics were called to attend to a “male down not breathing”.
He was found unresponsive in a lift at his home at 9.43am, CPR began at 9.49am, but by 10.07am, he was pronounced dead.
A fatality was reported by Carver County Sheriff’s Department but they did not immediately identify the deceased.
They have since released a statement.
“Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson reports that on April 21st, 2016, at about 9:43 am, sheriff’s deputies responded to a medical call at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen.
”When deputies and medical personnel arrived, they found an unresponsive adult male in the elevator. First responders attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim. He was pronounced deceased at 10:07 am.
“The Carver County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.”
Prince’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, subsequently confirmed his death.
“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 at the age of 57,” the publicist said in a statement. “There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”
A forensics team and a medical examiner arrived at the scene shortly after.
Prince’s first wife Mayte Garcia, whom he married in 1996, has released a statement about his death, saying he was her “everything”.
Garcia, who was the inspiration behind his hit, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, gave birth to the singer’s first child in October that same year, but he died a week after birth from Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
“I can’t even think of the words of what I’m feeling,” she told People magazine.
“This man was my everything, we had a family. I am beyond deeply saddened and devastated.
“I loved him then, I love him now and will love him eternally,” she continued. “He’s with our son now.”
The pair divorced in 1999. Prince wed again in 2001 to Manuela Testolini. She filed for divorce in 2006.
In an interview in 2009, he revealed his wild stage presence and forward-thinking music was partly a result of childhood epilepsy.
The musician explained he had gone through a struggle with the condition when he was young, for which he felt he had to overcompensate.
He said: “I used to have seizures when I was young. My mother and father didn’t know what to do or how to handle it but they did the best they could with what little they had.”
He claimed at the time that divine intervention cured him of the condition, but he continued to struggle with the effects.
Prince explained: “My mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to be sick anymore,’ and she said ‘Why?’ and I said ‘Because an angel told me so.’
“Now, I don’t remember saying it, that’s just what she told me.
“From that point on, I’ve been having to deal with a lot of things, getting teased a lot in school.
“And early in my career I tried to compensate by being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could.”
The award-winning singer, songwriter and actor — born Prince Rogers Nelson — became an international superstar in 1982 after his breakthrough album 1999. He famously changed his stage name to a symbol in 1993.
In his lifetime, the Purple Rain singer won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
He sold tens of millions of albums worldwide in a career that spanned several decades and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.