Prince's Cause Of Death Revealed

Prince Purple Rain

A law enforcement official has told the Associated Press that music icon Prince died of an opioid overdose. The 57-year-old musician was found dead in his Minneapolis-area estate on April 21.

The official who revealed the findings is said to be close to the investigation, and spoke to the AP anonymously. Authorities suspected an overdose may have been the cause of death, but have been investigating whether Prince has been prescribed drugs in the weeks before his death.

One week prior to Prince's death, his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois during a return trip from a performance in Atlanta. Anonymous sources told news outlets that Prince was found unconscious onboard the plane, and that first responders administered a shot of Narcan, an antidote used to counteract opioid overdoses.

The investigation has led the authorities to two doctors. The first, Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, is a family practitioner who treated Prince twice in the weeks leading up to his death. Schulenberg gave Prince a prescription for a drug that was not specified in the report.

The second is Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a California based addiction specialist who was asked by Prince's representatives to see Prince on April 20, the day before his death. Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew, on a flight to meet Prince. Andrew, who is not a doctor, was among those who found Prince's body the next day. Andrew was carrying buprenorphine, a medication used to ease the cravings of opioid addicts, which he says he would have given to an unnamed Minnesota doctor who had made time to treat Prince.

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Prince had cancelled several shows prior to his death, saying that he was ill. These included a show in Atlanta and two shows in St. Louis. He was returning from playing two Atlanta makeup shows when his plane made the emergency landing.

Those close to Prince claim that the star lived a clean life, free of the addiction that is often considered a normal part of the rock star lifestyle. However, friend and collaborator Sheila E. told the AP that Prince had physical issues brought on by years of on stage acrobatics performed in heels, including hip and knee problems.