UPDATE: According to the medical examiner's office, the official cause of death was "self-administered" Fentanyl toxicity.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that after multiple tests, investigators determined that the “Purple Rain” singer’s addiction to painkiller medications was what ultimately led to his death on April 21.
As previously reported, Prince had Percocet in his system when his body was discovered in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota. In May, Carver County Chief Deputy Jason Kamerud revealed that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration were being called in to help with the ongoing investigation.
“They have agreed to provide federal resources and expertise,” Kamerud said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Prince’s close friends were aware of the Grammy winner’s secret, decade-old addiction to painkillers, which started after he began taking pain medication for a hip injury.
“[Prince] took the pills to keep the show going,” his longtime friend and musical collaborator Sky Dangcil told Us, adding that “everyone saw that his hips were turning into a bigger problem. He was always ‘on,’ so he wouldn’t complain or say anything was wrong.”
Kim Berry, Prince’s longtime hairstylist, told Us similar stories about Prince’s use of painkillers.
“He was always in a lot of pain,” she told Us, adding that the legendary musician's tendency of “jumping off speakers with four-inch shoes on” necessitated the drugs. “Walking around with a cane was not just to look supercool.”
Prince was due to meet with an opioid addiction expert on April 22, one day after his death.
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