The world is still in shock over the sudden loss of one of its most talented and prolific musical artists, Prince, but new details continue to emerge that help explain what may have happened, and why the Minnesota-based talent died so suddenly.
Social media and various news and entertainment websites were reporting Friday that Big Pharma may have been partially to blame: The twitterverse exploded with news that Prince nearly overdosed on the opiate Percocet just days before his lifeless body was found in his home studio.
As reported by TMZ.com:
Prince had OD’d on Percocet days before his death, and he ingested so much, EMTs had to administer a “save shot” at the airport where his plane made an emergency landing to save his life.
Sources in Moline, Illinois tell TMZ, Prince’s entourage told responders he had taken the painkiller after his Atlanta concert which triggered the emergency.
Percocet is a painkiller which contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, an opioid. It is highly addictive.
We’re told Prince was taking painkillers for a hip problem. We’re told he had corrective surgery for his hips around 2010.
That “save shot” could have been Naloxone, trade name “Narcan,” which is carried by paramedics around the country, and made specifically for opioid overdoses. The drug works by quickly counteracting the opioid effect. That’s what Heavy.com thinks, anyway.
Entertainment site TMZ reported that Prince visited a local Walgreens store at least four times the week he died. The site also reported that it had taken photos of Prince looking agitated and pacing as he waited for his meds. They reported that employees of the Walgreens – which he frequented for years – were especially concerned in recent days because he appeared to be more frail and anxious than in previous visits.
Prince’s media team told reporters that he had been suffering from the flu, but reports about the overdose and Percocet make the flu story seem like a cover-up. That story began to fall apart almost immediately, however, after other news reports said that Prince’s plane was forced to make an emergency landing at an airport in Moline, Ill., less than 50 minutes from his home.
The entertainer was hospitalized there, but was discharged after only a few hours, TMZ reported.
The next day, Prince played a dance party near his home and strangely told the crowd at one point, “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers.”
More on the flight emergency from NBC News:
The final flight that a stricken Prince took from Atlanta last week made an emergency landing after an “unresponsive male” was reported on the plane, a source with direct knowledge of the incident [said].
So, obviously, the emergency was definitely real and the overdose was definitely happening.
An autopsy of Prince’s body has been done already, but authorities are saying that the results may not be publicly released for weeks. Given Prince’s notorious independence, however, it’s possible his family may never want the true cause of death released.
According to NBC News, the emergency began earlier in the evening. A Prince representative said the entertainer had indicated he was not feeling well at his show the night before in Atlanta, and that his health only got worse after he boarded his plane at midnight for the flight home to Minnesota. In the meantime, his staff were canceling other shows he had scheduled.
“The private jet he was on was diverted about 300 miles before reaching Minneapolis to Moline, Illinois, according to flight records and statements made by Prince’s publicist last week,” NBC News reported. “The only flight scheduled from Atlanta to Minneapolis — and with a diversion to Moline — was a Dassault Falcon 990 jet operated by Executive Jet Management ‘Jet Speed.'”
The Moline Fire Department said it had received an emergency medical call to respond to the airport at around 2:15 a.m.