On April 21st, 2016, the world lost one of its most invigorated musical icons. The death of Prince is one that — even in a year that became as tragically death-filled as 2016 — felt like a huge blow, and a wound that never fully healed. While the legendary musician’s untimely passing has understandably been shrouded in mystery, today brings to light new information about Prince’s end. A new toxicology report was obtained and released to the public, and it reveals that Prince had “exceedingly high” levels of fentanyl flowing in his bloodstream when he died, even for a person with high levels of chronic pain.
The Associated Press (via TMZ) released the confidential medical information to the public. As the report notes, the “concentration of fentanyl in Prince’s blood was 67.8 micrograms per liter.” For comparison, as the report additionally stresses, people have died from as little as three micrograms per liter. People have also died from as high as 58. This information could raise suspicion about Prince’s death, as the singer-songwriter was known to be against drinking and excessive drug use, according to NPR. Prince was also said to be in severe pain near the end of his life, using a cane to walk.
Additionally, Prince’s toxicology report notes that his liver had a concentration of 450 micrograms per kilogram. Levels beyond 69 micrograms per kilogram suggest overdose or fatal toxicity cases. There were also potentially lethal amounts of fentanyl in Prince’s stomach. “Fentanyl toxicity,” a.k.a. an opioid overdose, was labeled as the cause of death in the June 2016 autopsy. Prince was 57 when he left this world. The death was labeled as accidental when it was first revealed, and it was reported that Prince was battling an illness just before he died. The investigation into his tragic death remains open, according to Carver County Attorney Mark Metz. The musician passed away in the suburbs of Minneapolis in his Paisley Park home.
The impact of Prince’s death is undoubtedly still felt today. During this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, for instance, Justin Timberlake paid tribute to the fallen musician in an appropriately purple fashion. There is also no shortage of other tributes made to the musician, one who inspired whole generations of singer-songwriters for decades to follow. His legacy is one that will be remembered and celebrated for years to follow, and now we have a better understanding what caused his mournful passing. No matter the cause of his death, the iconic superstar will continue to be missed by millions upon millions of fans and followers all around the world. In death, Prince will continue to live on. With each passing day, Prince will be remembered.